We all love to look at book covers. We enjoy the different images, the sexy ones, the elaborate ones, and the ones that intrigue us, but are the covers the most important things about good books? Then again, just because a cover draws my eye and the blurb is intriguing, will I enjoy the read? Not necessarily. I’ve read my share of books with fabulous covers where the story was so amazing, it could be wrapped in brown paper and I would still love it. But we truly cannot judge a book by its cover – or blurb.
With the onset of digital books, covers still attract but it is ultimately the blurb, which sells the book. I’ve discussed the importance of a great blurb, which captures the reader’s attention and sells the book. What happens after the blurb and the cover already hook the reader but when he/she begins reading the actual story, it just isn’t as good as was expected?
Well, in some cases the reader has actually asked for a refund. Oh yes, my friends, readers have asked for refunds on digital books which only cost them a mere 99¢. I’ve purchased my share of books, which turned out to be okay reads or even something I couldn’t finish because they were poorly written but honestly, I never asked for a refund. Print copies, I donate to a local library or book bank, and digitals, I just forget about them or delete them from reader, but I’ve never asked for a refund. I always thought it was too much like going to the movies, sitting through the entire thing and then asking for a refund because it was horrible. I say chalk it up to taking a chance on the unknown. So, when I hear a reader has asked for a refund on a digital book that cost only 99¢, I can only assume the reader is actually doing so to make a statement.
What statement, you ask? A statement I totally agree with and support. Indie publishing is competitive enough without readers being pushed away from taking chances on unknown authors who might be extraordinary storytellers by those who refuse to acknowledge that even the best authors don’t publish without an editor looking at it first. Yes, that’s where the problem is with books that aren’t even worth 99¢ – poor or worse, no editing at all.
Authors who publish through traditional publishing have editors who work for the publishing house who scrutinize the entire manuscript, make suggestions on how to improve it, point out awkward writing, grammar and spelling errors, as well as catch continuity problems. Admittedly, I still find all of the above in traditionally published works but hey, no one’s perfect. Although, I do have to wonder why everyone, including the author, editor, copyreader, proofreader, and beta readers all miss them but what can I say, I guess everyone’s not perfect.
These are all things that an author cannot see without stepping away from a work for months or even years in order to come back and look at a manuscript with a fresh eye. Who has that kind of time, right? No one, not if they want to publish it in a timely manner. It’s for this reason, every author – EVERY AUTHOR – needs an editor who will scrutinize every word, every line, make corrections, pay attention to continuity, and make sure the story makes sense, flows well, and the characters grow as well as making sure the plot coming to a sensible conclusion. It’s a lot more than just putting words on a page and telling a story – it’s creating a world the reader wants to climb into every time he/she picks up the book. It’s a creative work, which will leave the reader happy they read it and eager to read more by the same author, not return it for a refund of 99¢.
So who is your editor? Don’t think you can afford an editor who will do your work justice? Who will polish it until it shines so bright, anyone who reads it will exclaim over its ability to hook, capture, and keep the reader’s attention and never wish to ask for a refund? You can afford an editor. If you’re looking for someone to do all that for your manuscript, just give me holler. It’s what I do and I do it well, without breaking your bank.
Happy Writing Everyone!