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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Have you been here?

I contributed this comment to a discussion about reviewing unknown authors on Book Blogs, a very informative site.  It later occurred to me that it might serve some good on this site as well. cjc

The discussion can be viewed at the following url:
 http://bookblogs.ning.com/forum/topics/problems-getting-book-reviews?commentId=2071157%3AComment%3A300917&xg_source=msg_com_forum


I have been reading the numerous postings on this subject because it is close to heart.  I am an unknown, unpublished author who has waged the battles of being reviewed.  One of the factors to be considered is that the length of my first volume is 650 pages and includes illustrations.  Being unknown, including artwork, and passing the +-250 page size eliminated me from print not only by publishing houses, but also in many cases, POD publishers.  Size does matter.

My only recourse is digital.  Ebooks. 

But that presents even more headaches than POD because instead of submitting a Word file to a POD, you are faced with editing your own work (unless you have the funds to pay an editor), do all your own page layout (if you provide PDF formats), all your own conversions into html etc. (again, unless you want to pay for it), and aside from all of this, you still have to learn digital illustration apps, develop a website, and then get reviewed, promote,  and let’s not forget…write.

A recent posting mentioned that there were four or five typos in a work completed by an editor.  At 650 pages, I can only dream of having such a glorious score.  I have spent months going back over the work improving grammar and cleaning up misspellings.  What many reviewers may not realize is that after a few hundred pages, spell check does not function, and those little "finger flops" go by unnoticed.  The "ctrl Z" undo is particularly disastrous because it can undo one too many changes and trash your work without you having the faintest idea.

For every day I spend writing, I spend a month in support work.  I believe reviewers of unknown authors should take these issues into consideration and understand that the raw capacity for storytelling is what is important.  Technical matters can always be addressed by the rules and improved by learning, but good storytelling can't be had by the best proofreader, editor, or reviewer unless they possess the creativity to do so.

One result of my experience is a new blog that calls for unknown authors to collect in one place so that instead of searching for reviewers, they might attract them.  If any reviewers would care to support this concept, I invite you to follow progress at http://www.ebook-review-request.blogspot.com. By all means refer your ebook authors if you don’t do digital. The courtesy would be appreciated by many.

Book Blogs is a great site.  Thank-you.

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