Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Producing a Polished Manuscript

I've read a number of books on my Kindle recently, ranging from free books to best sellers. I've been annoyed to outright riled about the quantity of errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar in too many books. When I have to stop and interrupt the flow of a story to untangle a sentence or figure out a wonky-looking word, I lose momentum and interest. Enough distractions and I move on to another book.

The responsibility of presenting the reader with a well-polished, pleasant reading experience lies with the writer. This is especially true for self-publishing. From my reading experiences, I suspect many writers whip off a story, publish it online, and expect the reader to love it as much as they do. That's not going to happen if the reader has to grapple to make sense of it.

I've begun writing a review for each book I read - the person thinking about buying that book has a right to know if it's sloppily churned out. And hopefully, it will send a message to the writer that readers demand their best efforts.

I have a lot of sympathy for beginning writers.  After all, that's what I am. But I'm committed to turning out the best story I can which, aside from plot and characters, includes reading it endlessly, looking for errors, rewriting and editing appropriately. Don't be too hasty to get your book out there for sale - some extra tweaking might make a big difference in your reviews and sales.

No comments: