Friday, August 18, 2017

DON'T SHORT-CHANGE YOUR READERS



I was going through an author's Amazon author page to check out some of his books. A friend of mine had suggested he wrote well. As I always do, I went to the free sample that Amazon has. The novel I was looking at was decent. However, when I clicked on to the short stories, they were a whole different ball-game. They were awful. You might think that the short tales were written earlier in the author's career and were not as polished as the newer writing. The shorts were actually written after the novel. It was obvious to me that they were not professionally edited. Even the book descriptions were not error-free. Wow!

So, what was going on with this author? Besides the fact he took no pains to publish a decent short story, it told me he was totally unprofessional. The novel had an editor. It wasn't completely error free, but it was interesting and held my attention. I wound up not purchasing any books by this guy. My feeling was that the editor for the novel got stuck doing a lot of re-writes instead of merely doing edits. I'm sorry. I cannot accept buying such worthless tripe.

It's obvious that I'm not easily attracted to just any book or author. I can overlook some mechanical errors, but not a ton of them.

Another thing that irritates me is reading terribly written website or Facebook posts. If an author doesn't care enough to use capital letters on Facebook, it shows me they are lazy. If posts have misspellings, comma splices, and more, I see red flags. Show professionalism, people. If you write like a third-grader don't expect many people to latch onto your latest and greatest story. Once again, you're showing you just don't give a damn.

I know this last election cycle totally sucked. It was certainly okay for authors to write their views. Hell, I wrote some. But, check out your sources. Even reputable newspapers and magazines get a few things wrong. Never accept a friend's post as being the truth unless you check it out. And if you did goof, acknowledge the fact. Shit happens. Some authors are afraid to alienate prospective readers. Don't be. They'll know you're honest when they read your tales. Also, by all means, use real life horror in your stories. By getting the evil out of your soul and sharing it with the world, there will be more room for the good things in there. One trap I suggest you stay away from is being suckered into other people's rants. I might read some, shake my head, and even laugh some at the stupidity, but I don't comment on other people's Facebook posts anymore. I don't have the time. I'll post some of my views on my author page and regular page, but their page belongs to them. 

Always stay true to yourself when you write. Write your story, at your pace. Just because Stephen King writes long novels doesn't mean you should. Some readers aren't crazy about a ton of back-story at the beginning of a book. Me? I have to be hooked within the first page or so, by the end of the first chapter at the least. My wife does not agree with me. But that's the beauty of writing: different readers like different things. Write for yourself. You'll attract fans.

My last item contains a pet peeve that really causes my typing fingers to wish they could wring some necks. If I buy an author's book and review it, I don't want that author to immediately tell me they have another book out and would I review that one too. The skies turn dark, lightening flashes, and my trigger finger wishes it was ready to go into action. My answer is a resounding, "Fuck no!" Yes, I know writers like reviews, but don't grovel at my feet. Yes, There are some authors I like so much that I want them to tell me they have a new book, could I review it, and my answer is, "I'm on it ASAP!"

I hope some folks get some value out of this post. Thanks for reading.

Blaze McRob

  

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