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Bongo
09-20-2017, 08:57 PM
$425 is a nice chunk of change to gamble on something. To take such a gamble, I really need to feel:

A. My chances are at least more than 50/50 for a favorable review.

B. That a favorable review will make a significant difference in sales.

For people who've seen me here before, I've been talking about dropping some serious marketing money on my book. I just uploaded my absolute final draft (there was still a lot of fixin I needed to do), and as soon as it's available I'm going to move forward in a variety of areas. This is just one I'm considering, and I'd like to know what people's thoughts/experiences are. For the record, I released the book the first of the year, have just past the 1000 sales mark, and I did that with minimal marketing on Amazon only (a little bit of Facebook, too). The point of that being - I'm hopeful for future success. This will however be the first time my book is going before the eyes of the elite, and I have some concerns. While I like to consider myself superhuman :), a really bad review may very well put a dent in my confidence and hold me back from some other plans I have... arrgh. I know that that could be looked at as either a good OR bad thing, but yeah...

Just looking for thoughts, info and opinions right now.

Thanks.

cornflake
09-20-2017, 09:10 PM
Kirkus paid reviews are not the same as 'regular' Kirkus reviews and most people who care about reviews know it.

Also, not for nothing, as you didn't ask for critique and it's already published and all that, but I just looked at the book linked in your sig and I'd suggest editing before you consider it a final draft. You've got agreement problems, a misused semicolon, a modifier thing, etc., I've seen in a couple of pages.

Bongo
09-20-2017, 09:35 PM
Kirkus paid reviews are not the same as 'regular' Kirkus reviews and most people who care about reviews know it.

Also, not for nothing, as you didn't ask for critique and it's already published and all that, but I just looked at the book linked in your sig and I'd suggest editing before you consider it a final draft. You've got agreement problems, a misused semicolon, a modifier thing, etc., I've seen in a couple of pages.

As stated in my OP, I did just put in a final edit. Maybe I wasn't clear about it not being available yet. It's going to take a few days, and then who knows with the look inside feature :/.

I know of one agreement problem that I was on the fence about big time (...holistic guide to not just treating depression, anxiety, and panic, but healing it) - I know that it's wrong grammatically, but it just doesn't sound right written correctly. The other things you mention I can only hope I fixed.

I would love to have people's reviews and opinions! I think I'm still a few posts away from that though, or I'd have requested them.

FWIW - the book was rushed to make a deadline for a contest. I made the deadline, but then realized I got what I paid for with an editor. In a panic (as my book was up already) I did another edit as quickly as I could, which is the book that is still up. The final draft I just posted (not yet available and my 3rd edit after publication) is the one I'm confident with. I had roughly 150 edits that still needed to happen.

Would you mind terribly pointing out the mistakes you found, either in a PM or right here? I'm hoping they're things I already caught before this upload.

I'm also concerned how much a small handful of glitches would affect a paid for (or other truly legitimate) review? If there are still some major flaws, I'm all for fixing them before moving forward.

Bongo
09-21-2017, 12:17 AM
Any other thoughts from any other members?

lizmonster
09-21-2017, 12:26 AM
I'm also concerned how much a small handful of glitches would affect a paid for (or other truly legitimate) review? If there are still some major flaws, I'm all for fixing them before moving forward.

Re: paid Kirkus reviews - my understanding is the same as cornflake's. I'm not convinced you'll get a good bang for your buck there.

Re: the above - This really depends. If you're talking about a smattering of typos or formatting problems throughout the book, then no, they'd be unlikely to affect my review. If you're talking about grammatical errors repeated throughout and/or a large number of typos - that can be very distracting, and could absolutely affect my feelings about the book overall.

I think the trouble is that the number (or type) of errors that a person finds problematic is going to vary. In general, I'd err on the side of fixing absolutely every problem you know about, full stop. Remove every reason you know about that might keep a person from clicking "buy" or leaving you a positive review, even if that reason seems trivial to you.

AW Admin
09-21-2017, 12:53 AM
I wouldn't bother with a paid Kirkus review.


Book stores and libraries know they're paid; they're not going to pay a lot of attention to them
Readers don't read Kirkus
Readers may pay attention to a pull quote on an Amazon page, but I suspect they aren't going to pay more attention because it's Kirkus
Spend time / effort reaching out to good reviewers who review your kind of book on Web sites and blogs; send them ARCs or free digital copies, or maybe, free print copies.

Old Hack
09-21-2017, 08:14 PM
As others have said, the Kirkus reviews which are free are not the same as the paid-for ones. And it's the free ones which are going to have a good influence on your book's sales. I wouldn't bother paying for a review with Kirkus. There are better places to spend your money on.

As for asking our members to forward you the mistakes they find in your writing, editing is far more than just error-spotting. I agree that your book needs editing; I also fear it needs more than a quick check for grammar and spelling mistakes. I found repetition, confusion, and some stuff that was downright patronising towards people with depression, which isn't going to help your sales at all, I'm afraid.

cornflake
09-21-2017, 08:17 PM
NB: I only looked at two pages, was only speaking about the grammar issues I saw, and would suggest you assume OH to be telling the truth as far as the rest goes.

Bongo
09-21-2017, 10:48 PM
As others have said, the Kirkus reviews which are free are not the same as the paid-for ones. And it's the free ones which are going to have a good influence on your book's sales. I wouldn't bother paying for a review with Kirkus. There are better places to spend your money on.

As for asking our members to forward you the mistakes they find in your writing, editing is far more than just error-spotting. I agree that your book needs editing; I also fear it needs more than a quick check for grammar and spelling mistakes. I found repetition, confusion, and some stuff that was downright patronising towards people with depression, which isn't going to help your sales at all, I'm afraid.

Wow. Ya'll don't go easy here :). Starting to think I might have been better off remaining anonymous.

Curious what you found patronizing? I was very careful throughout my writing and revisions to NOT be patronizing and to in fact be respectful. Did you read my story and my motivation behind writing the book?

I'll add that I'm not looking to argue, only to gain insight. The intention of the book is to be helpful, not hurtful.

Old Hack
09-21-2017, 11:13 PM
Wow. Ya'll don't go easy here :). Starting to think I might have been better off remaining anonymous.

I'm so used to being honest with the writers I've edited that I do the same thing when commenting elsewhere. I didn't mean to be hurtful.


Curious what you found patronizing? I was very careful throughout my writing and revisions to NOT be patronizing and to in fact be respectful. Did you read my story and my motivation behind writing the book?

I found the bit in your book about how to see your GP really dismissive. It was, roughly, "How to actually do it: phone and make an appointment; go to the appointment." There was nothing which recognised how impossible this might be for someone in the grip of depression, nothing in the way of tactics to make it more achievable: just, "jot down a few phone numbers, make the appointment, go."

Something like this can easily make things much harder for someone who is currently depressed or anxious, and could well be dangerous.


I'll add that I'm not looking to argue, only to gain insight. The intention of the book is to be helpful, not hurtful.

Insight is helpful, and I hope I'm helping there. Bearing in mind the huge problem I've spotted with the "how to go to the doctor" section, I do think your book needs a lot more work before it will be not only publishable, but helpful. As it is, I worry that you'll do more harm than good if your book gets into the hands of someone who is severely depressed or anxious.

Bongo
09-21-2017, 11:45 PM
I'm so used to being honest with the writers I've edited that I do the same thing when commenting elsewhere. I didn't mean to be hurtful.



I found the bit in your book about how to see your GP really dismissive. It was, roughly, "How to actually do it: phone and make an appointment; go to the appointment." There was nothing which recognised how impossible this might be for someone in the grip of depression, nothing in the way of tactics to make it more achievable: just, "jot down a few phone numbers, make the appointment, go."

Something like this can easily make things much harder for someone who is currently depressed or anxious, and could well be dangerous.



Insight is helpful, and I hope I'm helping there. Bearing in mind the huge problem I've spotted with the "how to go to the doctor" section, I do think your book needs a lot more work before it will be not only publishable, but helpful. As it is, I worry that you'll do more harm than good if your book gets into the hands of someone who is severely depressed or anxious.

I appreciate your honesty, and response. And while I don't want to argue my book in an open forum and I do appreciate your opinion, I also want want to point out that I think you may have been skimming what I wrote. Or somehow missed something.

I AM one of those people who is both horrified of doctors, and while in the throes of depression - was completely unable to make or keep an appointment. I make quick mention of that in "My Story." My "How To Do It" in the first section addresses exactly what you're saying I don't address. I speak from experience telling someone suffering that it's OK to have someone else make the appointment FOR you, that there's no shame in that. I suggest if it's truly overwhelming to break it up into little, more do-able steps. I offer other alternatives also, for people who have nobody to help them. I'll add that I'm intentionally brief in my suggestions because I'm respecting that the reader will use these tools as a springboard toward their recovery. Not assuming I know best, nor that I can fix anybody. Just offering suggestions that work for me and I know have worked for others.

Ehh....

I may be too thin skinned for this place. I may not be a writer - I'm actually a musician who just likes to write. I'm happy I got this book out there and I hope it helps the people I intended it for. So far it seems like it is.

I have the deepest respect and admiration for the people who are truly writers and spend their lives honing their craft. Not just blowin sunshine either. A lot I'd like to say regarding my fitting or not fitting into that world, but I'll leave it this for now. I know I still have much to learn.

BenPanced
09-22-2017, 04:22 AM
I may not be a writer - I'm actually a musician who just likes to write. I'm happy I got this book out there and I hope it helps the people I intended it for. So far it seems like it is.

To add further insight, being an expert in the field you wish to write about is going to weigh heavily in peoples' decisions to buy your book or not. If you aren't a trained, licensed, and qualified psychiatrist/psychotherapist, readers are going to question why they should trust your opinion over those of people who have worked in the field for years. I've turned down reading books on similar subjects because the author wasn't qualified, in my mind, to write about them.

Bongo
09-22-2017, 09:19 AM
I'm taking into consideration all that's been said to me yesterday and today from people here, and now want to express myself.

As mentioned earlier, I'm a musician. I'm a fairly successful one too. I've gotten to play with some well known people, tour around the world, and live out some of my childhood fantasies. I currently earn my living doing what I love most, and I can't even begin to tell how grateful I am regarding that. I'm not bragging about any of this as I don't believe my success is based on my talent. It's based on my hard work, commitment, and good attitude.

I am also a member of one of the most active musicians forums on the net. And I'm well respected there. People know me, trust in my experience, and know that I know what I'm talking about when giving input.

Newcomers join that forum every day looking for inspiration, help, and advice. I (and most others there) give them what they came to get. We encourage them, we find what they do well and try to build on it, and we talk specifically about areas that they might be able to improve. We tell them how they can do that, too. I never, EVER took a person's creative efforts and did anything in an attempt to discourage or belittle them. As I also said in an earlier post, I'm there (and here) to help whenever I can - not hurt.

I don't get that vibe on this forum, nor on another writers forum I was a member of. And I think that's sad.

After saying in my OP that I'm already enjoying some success with my book, I've been told in a very short thread: I've got a whole bunch of problems in the first 2 pages alone, I need lots more editing, there's repetition, confusion, there's stuff in my book that was downright patronizing - and now, that if I'm not a licensed professional, psychologist or psychiatrist it's going to weigh heavily on my sales. Really? I'll add that in my OP I even state clearly that I'm concerned about how bad reviews might affect me. Well, thanks... as you've at least taught me that I have much tougher skin than I originally thought. While I thank those who were respectful (Lizmonster and AW Admin), I didn't get a single word of encouragement from anyone else. Nada.

Whatever. My mind is going blank as it's late and I'm tired. I wish you guys well... and while I don't know yas from a hole in the wall, I'm going to venture a guess that you'd be happier people if you started treating others a little more kindly.

I'm going to sleep well tonight. Peace.

mccardey
09-22-2017, 09:30 AM
As I also said in an earlier post, I'm there (and here) to help whenever I can - not hurt.

I don't get that vibe on this forum, nor on another writers forum I was a member of. And I think that's sad.

<<snip>>I didn't get a single word of encouragement from anyone else. Nada.

<<snip>>. and while I don't know yas from a hole in the wall, I'm going to venture a guess that you'd be happier people if you started treating others a little more kindly.

I'm going to sleep well tonight. Peace.

Ahem.

May I direct you to this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?331670-Got-my-first-bad-review-on-Amazon)?

MaeZe
09-22-2017, 09:34 AM
Ahem.

May I direct you to this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?331670-Got-my-first-bad-review-on-Amazon)?

And this one. (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?331736-Another-self-published-vs-traditionally-published-question)

Bongo
09-22-2017, 09:35 AM
Ahem.

May I direct you to this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?331670-Got-my-first-bad-review-on-Amazon)?

Thanks.

Bongo
09-22-2017, 09:40 AM
And this one. (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?331736-Another-self-published-vs-traditionally-published-question)

Thanks to you too.

I think I'm beginning to catch on a little...

Will hang low for a bit though anyhow. Skin maybe not as thick as it could be yet :).

cornflake
09-22-2017, 09:40 AM
Also (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?331901-Some-forum-questions&p=10264447).

Old Hack
09-22-2017, 10:40 AM
I appreciate your honesty, and response. And while I don't want to argue my book in an open forum and I do appreciate your opinion, I also want want to point out that I think you may have been skimming what I wrote. Or somehow missed something.

I made my living for nearly two decades by editing non-fiction books. I don't skim. I don't miss things. I notice when things aren't working in a book, and I find reasons and solutions for those problems. It's what I do.

I also have a lot of experience with depression, and have worked on self-help books and more academic works which focus on depression and anxiety.

I understand that it's hard to hear that your book needs work. But you asked me to explain what problems I found in it, I did, and now you're telling me I skimmed or missed things? That's not good.


I AM one of those people who is both horrified of doctors, and while in the throes of depression - was completely unable to make or keep an appointment. I make quick mention of that in "My Story." My "How To Do It" in the first section addresses exactly what you're saying I don't address. I speak from experience telling someone suffering that it's OK to have someone else make the appointment FOR you, that there's no shame in that. I suggest if it's truly overwhelming to break it up into little, more do-able steps. I offer other alternatives also, for people who have nobody to help them. I'll add that I'm intentionally brief in my suggestions because I'm respecting that the reader will use these tools as a springboard toward their recovery. Not assuming I know best, nor that I can fix anybody. Just offering suggestions that work for me and I know have worked for others.

I agree there's no shame in asking someone else to help; and I agree that it can sometimes be helpful to break tasks down into smaller, more manageable tasks. I didn't suggest otherwise. I think you missed my point.

What I saw in your book was you telling people what worked for you. That's fine. But you don't seem to recognise that other people might find even those things impossible, that your tactics might not work for other people, and that other people live in different ways to you. And I suspect that those issues are rooted in your lack of real expertise in the subject. You only know the things you know. You don't know what you don't know, and so you don't know what you're missing and getting wrong. (That's not the most elegant of phrasings--sorry.)


I may be too thin skinned for this place. I may not be a writer - I'm actually a musician who just likes to write. I'm happy I got this book out there and I hope it helps the people I intended it for. So far it seems like it is.

I have the deepest respect and admiration for the people who are truly writers and spend their lives honing their craft. Not just blowin sunshine either. A lot I'd like to say regarding my fitting or not fitting into that world, but I'll leave it this for now. I know I still have much to learn.

I think you might be a writer. But I think that this probably wasn't the right book for you to write. It's not your field.

When I was small my mother--who was a musician--sent me to piano lessons and I hated it. I hated the lessons, I couldn't do the practise, I didn't understand what was being asked from me, my hands were too small to span more than a few notes. I was miserable. I consequently am in awe of people who can play music, and understand some of what they have to go through to get any level of expertise. I would not even think about writing a book about how to learn to play the piano, because I understand that I don't have the knowledge or expertise to do it. Think about how you'd feel if a non-musician like me wrote a book about how to be a better musician. You'd see all the holes in it. All the things I didn't know to include. All it would contain are the things I've seen, from my very limited experience of the issue.

Do you see what I'm getting at?

But don't worry. All is not lost. Read on!


I'm taking into consideration all that's been said to me yesterday and today from people here, and now want to express myself.

As mentioned earlier, I'm a musician. I'm a fairly successful one too. I've gotten to play with some well known people, tour around the world, and live out some of my childhood fantasies. I currently earn my living doing what I love most, and I can't even begin to tell how grateful I am regarding that. I'm not bragging about any of this as I don't believe my success is based on my talent. It's based on my hard work, commitment, and good attitude.

There you go. That's your platform, your expertise. Couple your huge musical experience and talent and reputation with your experience of depression and the ways you worked your way out of it and you've got a potentially wonderful, beautiful book. That could make a fantastic memoir. One that I can see agents fighting over.


I never, EVER took a person's creative efforts and did anything in an attempt to discourage or belittle them. As I also said in an earlier post, I'm there (and here) to help whenever I can - not hurt.


I am not trying to discourage or belittle you, and I don't think anyone else is, either. We're just trying to help you improve.


After saying in my OP that I'm already enjoying some success with my book, I've been told in a very short thread: I've got a whole bunch of problems in the first 2 pages alone, I need lots more editing, there's repetition, confusion, there's stuff in my book that was downright patronizing - and now, that if I'm not a licensed professional, psychologist or psychiatrist it's going to weigh heavily on my sales.

Some truths are hard to hear. But that doesn't make them wrong. Those problems ARE in your book, and your lack of expertise in this area is going to have a negative impact on your sales. We could offer you empty encouragement and not help you much, or we could help you make your book the best that it can be, and you'll reap the rewards of that. Having seen the results people have enjoyed from both approaches, I think the latter is better.


Skin maybe not as thick as it could be yet :).

Don't worry. If you keep at this, and get proper feedback and work with good editors, it does get easier. Sleep on it, remind yourself we're trying to help, and take several deep breaths.

Meanwhile, think about what I've said regarding the memoir.

Polenth
09-22-2017, 10:55 AM
This isn't the same as telling someone who has just started the violin that their playing is terrible and they should give up. This is like telling someone who has a job as a professional violin player that their playing needs improvement.

When you publish a book, you become a professional author, and your book will be judged on that basis. A lot of people write just for personal fun, therapy, or other reasons like that. There's no harm in that. No one would expect those personal writings to be professionally written and edited. But the moment it's out there for people to buy, it's gone from something done for personal reasons to a product for sale. Readers will expect the quality to match other books they've bought, and they will review it negatively if it doesn't meet that.

Given all you've said, it doesn't sound like you really want to have a book on sale. Getting a book ready for sale means rounds of edits, and that means you'll get criticisms about your work. It's something that comes with the job.

Curlz
09-22-2017, 11:53 AM
I am also a member of one of the most active musicians forums on the net. ......
.....We encourage them, we find what they do well and try to build on it, and we talk specifically about areas that they might be able to improve. ......
I don't get that vibe on this forum, nor on another writers forum I was a member of. And I think that's sad.


Just to chime in that music and literature are quite different. Any collection of sounds can be music but not any collection of words can be literature. There are much stricter rules about creating literature so the forums that discuss it have a more critical expectations about the submitted material. Sales are a different thing, people buy things for various reasons but that doesn't mean that if something sells it's quality. Snake oil still sell well. But if somebody points mistakes in a work that means they have concerns with the quality of the work. There is a difference between putting baby's first picture on the fridge door and glorifying it as the biggest work of art and actually taking a drawing to an art gallery and discussing sales. A lot of this forum is dedicated to improving the quality of one's writing so that it could achieve commercial success as a work of good quality. There is just as much about encouragement and overcoming problems, including dealing with rejection and lots of threads on uplifting fun topics.

Bongo
09-22-2017, 05:54 PM
.

veinglory
09-22-2017, 06:43 PM
Ultimately if you are forging your way outside of the usual channels the this advice is something you see and consider--you don't have to agree or do what you are told. That is why new members get the description under their username of "New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin". What you are hearing here is preparing you for what you will happen when the books is released and is discovered by different people and readerships--you need to be prepared for that in whatever manner you choose.