Second Review | On Editing

City With No Name received its second review! This one, another four star, comes from Amazon user azog.

azog writes:
—–
I would consider this book a diamond in the rough.

The story is dystopian. It was relatively fast-paced, and I read it from start to finish without feeling distracted or losing interest.

The story-telling and editing is a bit rough. I noted a few typos and the like, but the majority of editing issues were with comma usage: misplaced commas (“So, what it isn’t here?”); missing commas (“Well I am you sycophant”); or comma splices (two distinct sentences mistakenly joined by a comma, creating a run-on sentence). Some of the storytelling techniques were a bit ambiguous, with unclear pronoun references, or awkward pileups.

Either way, I quite enjoyed the book. At the end of this book, there is a teaser for a sequel, so I will keep this on my radar.

—–

I am glad to have another verified review and doubly glad that the reader enjoyed it. Additionally, I want to thank both of my reviewers so far and any future reviewers. As an ever growing author I really appreciate those who take the time to leave me feedback on my work. It is a huge help, seriously, you guys are awesome.

The bits about comma usage help me segue into the next topic… Editing.

One thing that was especially helpful in the review was that the reviewer mentioned specific weak points. This allowed me to go in and update the text so it would not appear for future readers. I’m not sure if Amazon propagates updates to the books post-purchase, but I certainly hope they do. In any event, I apologize for those two egregious typos. The paperback copies will also be updated, but it is a longer process to complete so I want to make more corrections before submitting those changes.

For anyone who is curious, the text was indeed edited – and not just by myself. Three different editors looked over my work and made corrections/suggestions/etc. For my part, after every story and every chapter I’d re-read the entire section twice. Once silently and once aloud. This helped me fix some otherwise awkward parts and forced me to give up on some of the more interesting (read: difficult to pronounce) names I came up with. I can’t tell you how many times I went over the entire novel length work before I decided to publish.

That brings up a tip I have for any other self pubbing authors out there: No matter how good of a writer you are, you always need another pair of eyes to examine your work (preferably professional). There are certain things, that no matter how many times you read your text, how long you put it away for, you will always just glaze right over them.

All that said, it is funny that those two issues the reviewer mentioned managed to make it past everyone and myself multiple times. Because of this, I’ve decided to invest in a Grammarly.com account to supplement the human editing. It seems to do a good job of finding things similar to those mentioned in the review – things Word apparently did not notice either.

On a final note – My blog posts, facebook posts, reddit comments, and other social media mentions are all raw and unedited. Usually I just want to get my thoughts out there and discuss them quickly. Point being, I see these posts as not being representative of my published writing style. That may be a bad move on my part, as I’m sure someone may see mistakes here and there and decide my work isn’t worth their time, but it is a risk I’m willing to accept.

-js

As an aside — If any reviewer happens to see my posts regarding reviews (I’m not going to post on every one, but these first few have been special to me) and does not want to be quoted or would rather I not feature them, please feel free to let me know and I’ll edit my post ASAP. I don’t want to put anyone out.

Also, if you notice any issues with my published text that you believe need addressed, feel free to contact me through the many outlets available (FB, email, comments, etc) and I’ll make sure to check it out. I try to be as open as I can as an author and I appreciate the input that everyone has to offer.

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