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I've recently finished my book and getting ready to publish it on Amazon, but just like every other author I'm skeptical. Here's a link to read the first four chapter for free, http://www.wattpad.com/user/kingsofawakeningsu00. Please give me some feedback. I've never publish before and this process is I guess you can say a bit scary.
 

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I would suggest (as I do to anyone who asks) that you make sure you have an editor and a proofreader for content and mechanics.  Then, I would get several Beta readers to give you feed back. 
 

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At a brief glance, I see tense shifts (moving between present and past tense), comma splices, and misused words. I agree with Judi-- find an editor, a proofreader, and some beta readers. We all improve with editing.
 
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I would suggest finding a proof reader and editor to give you some detailed feedback, especially if it is your first book.

Part of the problem with editing your own work is that you see what you think should be there, rather than what is actually on the page. There are a couple of tricks that can help with this. One is to put the manuscript aside for a few weeks and come back to it fresh. The other is an old editor's trick of reading it backwards, starting at the end, which tends to make spelling and punctuation errors jump out.

 

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One other thing you can do is join a writer's workshop site like TheNextBigWriter.com. There's a membership fee involved to post your writing, but it serves to keep out many non-serious writers and maintains a pretty intimate membership, so your writing likely won't get lost in the shuffle. Posting your work works on a points system based on how much you've reviewed in turn, so that no one is off the hook for reviewing others. This results in reciprocal reviewing relationships (there's some alliteration for you), so if you remain consistent in sticking with others' novels, you'll build a small audience of your own you can usually count on for reviews. We members have a bit of a reputation for being too nice, but you will find a lot of legitimate advice there. Our criticism is usually crouched in a nice way because we want to encourage writers, not scare them off.

DISCLAIMER: Lest this be seen as a plug, I am not affiliated with TNBW except as a member. I have no financial interest in the site.
 

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VH Folland said:
Part of the problem with editing your own work is that you see what you think should be there, rather than what is actually on the pages.
This was the best post ever! I have a teacher friend who edited mine, and she was so frustrated because she said I left words out. I tried to explain that I honestly didn't realize they were missing. I thought I was crazy! Thank you!
 

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Anotherdreamer said:
This was the best post ever! I have a teacher friend who edited mine, and she was so frustrated because she said I left words out. I tried to explain that I honestly didn't realize they were missing. I thought I was crazy! Thank you!
Yes! The same thing happeend to me! After a chapter had been proofed by 3 different people, we STILL found mistakes! I think our minds just autocorrected as we read. ;D
 

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Welcome to KB, jeffte.  :)

I'm seeing lots of mechanical errors in the first couple pages of the sample. So, yes, professional editing needed. You're in the same boat with most of us, on that front. I published my book without having pro go over it, and I was sorry afterwards.

Larger issues (plot, characterization, world-building, etc.) are hard to judge from a sample. Having experienced beta-readers who can read the entire manuscript and give feedback on those big things is very useful.

Good luck with the book!
 

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It's actually really good that you're asking yourself this question, because it takes a lot of courage to come out and put your work up for scrutiny, so take heart from this. You have an open mind and are willing to listen.

As others have said, this book will need a lot of work. Tenses, POV shifts, POV control, narrative pacing all need work.

You can find out about these things by going to a critique group. Since you write fantasy, I'm going to recommend SFF-OWW Online Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. Yes, it costs to join, but there are real pro members, the site is clean and password-protected (very important if you are thinking of submitting the work to traditional venues), and, most importantly, gives you control over removing your work from the site. This is one important thing that many sites don't do.

Whichever group you choose, participate, read the work of others and learn from it. Stay in the group for at least 6 months (but preferably longer) before you hit "publish" on this one. By that time, you will have a much better feel for what we're all talking about.
 

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I also want to say:

I am an editor (SFF magazine Andromeda Spaceway Inflight Magazine), and an editor won't help you much with the large-scale story mechanics that need a lot of work. If an editor takes it on, you're wasting your money, because this needs a lot of work, and it needs the author to get a better handle on storytelling mechanics.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
You can find out about these things by going to a critique group. Since you write fantasy, I'm going to recommend SFF-OWW Online Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. Yes, it costs to join, but there are real pro members, the site is clean and password-protected (very important if you are thinking of submitting the work to traditional venues), and, most importantly, gives you control over removing your work from the site. This is one important thing that many sites don't do.
I didn't know about SFF-OWW, Patty. Thanks for the tip.
 

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Becca Mills said:
I didn't know about SFF-OWW, Patty. Thanks for the tip.
I was a member for four years, and critted about 2000 submissions in that time. They are the sole reason I got the sales I did. It's $49.95 a year, which is a lot cheaper than any writing course, and it's well worth it.
 

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Unfortunately, I'd say no.  It isn't.

It needs editing help and the grammatical errors read as though English is not your first language.  If that's the case be sure you find an editor that is used to working with non-native speakers.  Likewise, you need someone to read through the whole thing and make sure the story actually hangs together properly.  If you really want to go ahead with getting published and writing more books one day, I'd strongly recommend taking some English courses at your local community college.  You'd be helped by anything on writing or composition, grammar, etc.

I do have to give you kudos though.  Every day thousands of people put stuff up on Amazon and THEN ask this question, so you've got the sequencing down!

All the best with it.
 

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Sorry, rant here. May contain inflammatory content. I will promise not to argue anymore.

There are many different types of acceptable English in the world, and you can't measure them all by the US standard.

I see no evidence, and the OP certainly hasn't indicated such, that the OP's chapter is the work of someone whose first language isn't English. Even if so, I think that pointing this out is a putdown and unnecessary insult. If the OP is writing in a second language, the above alone (mis-used words, tense shifts etc.) will bring the point home. The OP will think "ooh, I obviously need to learn better English". The OP will get it.

But if the OP has grown up speaking English, then... FFS, can you think of a worse insult to a beginning writer?

P.S. I take exception to the word "native", because at a certain point, a language learned later in life becomes the dominant language. There is no such thing as "native" speaker. The English skills of a person who was born English-speaking and lived in France since the age of 15 are going to be worse than those of the person who was born in France and who spoke English since age 15.

/endrant
 

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Patty Jansen said:
Sorry, rant here. May contain inflammatory content. I will promise not to argue anymore.

There are many different types of acceptable English in the world, and you can't measure them all by the US standard.

I see no evidence, and the OP certainly hasn't indicated such, that the OP's chapter is the work of someone whose first language isn't English. Even if so, I think that pointing this out is a putdown and unnecessary insult. If the OP is writing in a second language, the above alone (mis-used words, tense shifts etc.) will bring the point home. The OP will think "ooh, I obviously need to learn better English". The OP will get it.

But if the OP has grown up speaking English, then... FFS, can you think of a worse insult to a beginning writer?

P.S. I take exception to the word "native", because at a certain point, a language learned later in life becomes the dominant language. There is no such thing as "native" speaker. The English skills of a person who was born English-speaking and lived in France since the age of 15 are going to be worse than those of the person who was born in France and who spoke English since age 15.

/endrant
He mentions it in his bio.

"I grew up in Haiti and moved to Connecticut when I was twelve; speak no English, none so ever."

Just pointing that out.
 

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I definitely have to applaud your bravery for putting your work out there for people to read and evaluate, but I have to agree with the other posters. It's just not ready. Aside from numerous typos, misused or missing words, and tense shifts, I also saw a great number of superfluous words and phrases. You may not need to hire an editor. However, finding someone who really knows their grammar (possibly someone published) could greatly enhance your work.

You can release it on Kindle whenever you like, but the story would likely receive several one-star reviews for the writing. Let it sit for a few weeks or a month before looking at it again. The fresh perspective will help you greatly. Congrats on finishing the draft! Very few who set out on the journey of writing a novel actually complete it.
 

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Read.

That's the one thing I'm seeing that's missing from everyone's advice.

Putting up your work and asking questions is fantastic, and shows you have the humility needed to one day be a solid writer. Getting critiqued, beta read, and edited will help but...

Read. Find something in your chosen genre. Better yet, discover books in your chosen genre that you love, read them, and then ask yourself why they worked so well. Pay close attention to their pacing, their prose. How they build their scenes. How they flesh out their characters. How they handle the mundane, like tense, and how they handle the sophisticated -- like subtext.

An analogy is that workshops and editors are like good friends telling you about their relationships over dinner. Yeah, you'll learn what works and what doesn't. But the substance -- the art of it -- that lies in falling in love.

Go fall in love.
 

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Your book reads like a 30 Days of Night novel. There is definitely a target market for you out there. I think if you put the work into it, you will get a lot of sales.
 
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