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[Publisher] Ravenous Romance

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Stacia Kane

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I did notice that the main graphic changed, so I suspect that whatever 'complaints' we have here are getting fed back to the publisher so they can tweak.
:)


Which was my hope in posting my comments here, actually, and I'm sure the others felt the same.

I'm glad it seems someone over there actually cares about making their site clear and easy to use, and appreciates that we're not making these comments simply in order to see our names on the screen but in hopes of actually providing feedback, and is taking our thoughts to heart. As opposed to simply implying that people who don't immediately grasp all the details of the publisher and their release schedules are blind morons.

It's actually quite a point in their favor. Seeing things like that always makes me feel more comfortable with a publisher; they're interested in what people think and want to make their site more user-friendly.
 
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Sniper

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I've been following this thread and this publisher's launch with great interest. After having read the excerpts from their first four featured offerings, I'm afraid I'm not impressed with the editing. There are glaring errors in the first few pages of every excerpt I've read, which are all first chapter excerpts.

Some examples:

"Hip Hop Heat" by Tricia Tucker
She sighed, tried Kenneth’s number one last time, then — as his voicemail answered yet again - resisted the urge to throw the cell phone at the wall. (Two distinctly different dashes are used in the same sentence to bracket the parenthetical phrase. This is the third sentence in Chapter 1, which did not encourage me to read further.)


"Appetite For Passion" by Jesse Blair Kensington
“Hello,” She turned to face him. (There should be a period, not a comma, before the closing quotation mark.)

“I guess you’d have to get rid of something or maybe move. You can afford a house. I know what you earn,” he said, taking a slurp of soup. “Hmmm,” he moaned. “I think it needs something. What do you think?” (Two consecutive sentences in the same paragraph. Poor dialog tag usage.)

These are just two examples. This does not give me the warm fuzzies, particularly in light of the excessive pre-launch hype regarding manuscript quality and the many years of combined publishing experience of the staff. If these sorts of obvious, elementary errors are appearing in the first few pages of these published books, it doesn't bode well for the remaining pages.
 

JanDarby

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I remain a skeptic, mostly relating to business-plan/model issues, but I was encouraged to see the change of the opening graphic for the same reasons mentioned by DQ, and I didn't find the editing particularly bad (although there's always room for improvement, in any writer's or editor's work, with this or any other publisher).

JD
 

Sniper

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<snipped for brevity> and I didn't find the editing particularly bad (although there's always room for improvement, in any writer's or editor's work, with this or any other publisher).

JD

Yes, there is always room for improvement, but when a new customer clicks on an excerpt for the first chapter of a novel they are interested in and sees typos right off the bat, what message does that convey? If anything should be spotlessly edited and proofread beyond reproach it should be the excerpt posted on the "Buy Me" page. Just like I don't buy multi-packs of oatmeal if the box is dented, I'm not going to buy a book that has errors on the opening page.
 

para

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I haven't noticed the same level of typo's & frankly poor editing in books put out by major publishing houses as I have in ebooks. I am not willing to put up with poor editing, if I find poorly edited books it tends to put me off the house. If I buy a book I expect the standard of editing to be higher than something I could find on fanfiction.net
 

AnneMarble

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She sighed, tried Kenneth’s number one last time, then — as his voicemail answered yet again - resisted the urge to throw the cell phone at the wall. (Two distinctly different dashes are used in the same sentence to bracket the parenthetical phrase. This is the third sentence in Chapter 1, which did not encourage me to read further.)
I see that as a formatting error. Distracting, yes, but I don't consider it in the same vein as a typo. However, I do wish on-line publishers would learn that a dash and a hyphen are not the same blasted thing. There is one e-publisher that supposedly changes all dashes to hyphens to decrease the size of manuscripts. :eek: I hope Ravenous Romance isn't one of them.

"Appetite For Passion" by Jesse Blair Kensington
“Hello,” She turned to face him. (There should be a period, not a comma, before the closing quotation mark.)
That one does suck.

“I guess you’d have to get rid of something or maybe move. You can afford a house. I know what you earn,” he said, taking a slurp of soup. “Hmmm,” he moaned. “I think it needs something. What do you think?” (Two consecutive sentences in the same paragraph. Poor dialog tag usage.)
That still generates controversy. Even among writers on this site, there is confusion about when you should break a single character's dialogue into a new paragraph and when you should keep them together. For example, there's a thread about it here. One person (an aspiring author) saw some of my chapters and told me to break the dialogue into a new paragraph. But when I did that, another reader told me that now, the paragraphs came across as too short.

I find plenty of typos in print works from major publishers, FWIW. I still buy them.
They do generally avoid them in excerpts, though. :) (Unless the excerpts come from chapters that haven't been through editing yet, such as sample chapters at Baen's web site.)

No matter what side everyone takes, these discussions about typos go in circles. E-book proponents will say that they see lots of errors in print books put out by major publishers. Then people who haven't read an e-book since 1999 (if ever) will complain that e-books have lots of errors. Then everyone gets into a big fight, and nothing is resolved. Sigh. BTW from my experience, most e-book publishers I read have gotten much better about errors, typos, etc. (Except HTML errors, don't get me started on bad HTML!)
 

Chumplet

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My novel will be a serial, but I don't know the release date yet. I'm still writing it!

That being said, I've been through edits with two different e-pubs and have noticed a variety of mistakes that were not made by me (or is it I?). They try to change stuff and other stuff gets changed with it. Perhaps it has something to do with computerized editing. I'll bet a good old fashioned red pencil in the margins worked a lot better in the old days of editing.

I'm a chronic self-editor, even in the first draft. I trust my editors to find the mistakes and point them out to me. If I can't trust my editor, I won't submit again.

So... when The Toast Bitches are finally submitted, I'll be inspecting RR's editing as carefully as they inspect my writing.

We're all in this together, after all.
 

Deb Kinnard

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when a new customer clicks on an excerpt for the first chapter of a novel they are interested in and sees typos right off the bat, what message does that convey?

You're right, of course. And all those typos and ?huh? moments of bad editing we see in Great Big Horking NY Publisher's books are not our first encounter with that house. We already KNOW there'll be typos, so why worry?

It's a shame if RR can't pull off the first impression a bit better than this. When Limp Sword Press's web site first went up a while back, I was put off to the extent that I never went back. You only get one chance at a first impression.

I can't comment on RR's page specifically, though, 'cause I don't read erotica. It would seem, though, that a good business plan would insist on spotless copy for these opening salvos into readers' imaginations. And pocketbooks.
 

Deb Kinnard

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PS, I'm currently reading a Harlequin Christmas-themed title. I'm not very far in, but in the first ten pages there are six -- typos; missed paragraph indents; missing quotes; wrong punctuation (glaringly wrong); homonymous word choices where the wrong guess was made.

FWIW.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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From a webdesigner's pov, it's a pretty good looking website. Very uniform, not a multitude of colours all over the place, clean setup. Initial load time isn't too bad, slowness on account of the flash graphic but it's not unbearable (and I have little patience for load times lol). The 'You May Also Like' and 'a-book-a-day' boxes on the side creates huge blank spaces on the right side of the text box which is a little annoying. That may be a personal thing though. Personally I would eliminate the browse author and browse bookstore lists from the left side of the pages since you can just as easily find those above on every page, and shorten some of the scrolling you have to do on some of these book pages. I'd leave it on the browse bookstore front page though. All in all not really do-or-die things, but to me it would help clean up the site a little more. Just my .02 cents.
 

Jersey Chick

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When I did the line edits for Eden's Pass - at least four different sets of eyes looked at the ms. Me, my editor, the FLE, and my husband. He caught things the three of us had already missed (Good ol' EagleEyes.) It's almost scary, the things that are so easily overlooked.
 

IceCreamEmpress

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It would seem, though, that a good business plan would insist on spotless copy for these opening salvos into readers' imaginations. And pocketbooks.

Yes, this.

And, Jill/Jamaica? It's really not a good PR intervention to answer critiques of your employers with "Other people do it too" and "It's all on the website; you're just too stupid to see it."

The right answer to "Your company did {this} wrong" is "Thanks for your comment; we'll look into it."

Seriously, you've identified yourself so strongly with Ravenous Romance that this kind of response is a liability for the company. Stop doing it. If you see critiques that you think are unfair or misleading, let your employers' actual PR people deal with the issue.
 
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IceCreamEmpress

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I never said this. Please stop twisting my words.

You're absolutely right. That was my characterization of of what I perceived as your tone in several comments up threat: your actual words were actually "it's blaringly obvious what the descriptions of each line are" and "This is all clearly listed on the site".

If that characterization was an inaccurate representation of your intention in writing those words, my apologies.

That said, PR is a business for diplomats. Writing what may seem like snippy retorts to critiques, even if they're not meant as such, is something you do at your peril, and that of your employers.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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I think though you're missing a bit of what others are saying. Yeah, RR may have good sales so far and that's fantastic, but it doesn't mark the success of a business. I'm sure there are many businesses that started great right out of the gate, but eventually floundered. Not saying that's what's going to happen to RR, but that's likely why so many folks are hesitant to call RR a successful publisher just yet. The greater test of any business is to whether it's still around six months from now, a year from now, two years, etc. Big sales out the gate means relatively little as to whether it has survivability. All folks here seem to be doing is cautioning people and adopting a wait-and-see attitude. If in 6 months they're still going strong that's great.
 

Dave.C.Robinson

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I've read the thread, and I haven't seen much if anything in the way of posts from people with an axe to grind against Ravenous Romance.

The implicit question in most threads in this forum is not whether a given publisher or agent is a scam, but whether it would be in a given writer's best interest to seek publication through them.

Sometimes the correct answer to that question is "No," regardless of whether a company is a scam or not. Answering that question honestly is not grinding an axe, and in today's publicity conscious world the appearance of impropriety can be as damning as impropriety itself.

As to the website, what's clear to one browser may not be to another, and the more feedback you get the better.
 

Jersey Chick

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There is no way to claim now how successful RR will be in a year. If it were possible, we'd be able to do it with any new enterprise. They came out of the gate strong, but... well, that means nothing for future success.

My only complaint about the site is the bright shocking pink covers on the Latest Releases portion. I'd rather see the book covers themselves, and I wish the icons (or whatever they are called) were a little bigger. I haven't gone through the entire site, but that's my only concern.
 

emlynley

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My only complaint about the site is the bright shocking pink covers on the Latest Releases portion. I'd rather see the book covers themselves, and I wish the icons (or whatever they are called) were a little bigger. I haven't gone through the entire site, but that's my only concern.

The short stories have the pink stock covers... and all the novels have regular covers with images on them. It just looks a bit out of balance on the home page as most of the titles showing up with covers there are the short stories which they are calling "Ravenous Rendezvous."
 

IceCreamEmpress

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Which makes me think that I should just shut the hell up and watch the sales roll in.

Since Ravenous Romance has professional PR representation, it might be a better move for you to flag statements that seem erroneous or malicious and let them deal with that stuff. I know that you're very active in the blogosphere and online writers' communities, and I appreciate that it's hard not to argue the case as you see it.

But I think this is a general principle that is true from the tiniest micropress to the biggest international publisher: authors and editors really aren't the people best suited to manage the public relations of the house(s) they work for.

As for myself, I want to make clear that I have no "axe to grind" with Ravenous Romance or with you personally. I don't write erotic romance, I have no plans to pursue e-publishing at the moment, and I've never had or pursued any business relationship with any of the partners in Ravenous Romance.

I do confess to an unhealthy fascination with how other people manage their small start-up businesses--as a former communications consultant whose practice focused on start-up organizations, I have a rampant noodge reflex in that regard.
 
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Jersey Chick

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The short stories have the pink stock covers... and all the novels have regular covers with images on them. It just looks a bit out of balance on the home page as most of the titles showing up with covers there are the short stories which they are calling "Ravenous Rendezvous."

Ahhh... I see... well, the pink still kind of hurts my eyes. :)
 

BenPanced

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:Shrug: Looks like a clip regarding how they've just opened, who's running the business, and how many items they're selling out of the gate. Still doesn't give any indication how successful they'll be tomorrow, next week, or next year.
 

Soccer Mom

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Hmmm, shocking pink aside, I don't find the website that hard to navigate (unlike the brand new Ellora's Cave site which I HATE!!! Nothing was wrong with the old site, why did they change? Gah)

Back OT, I did find it a bit difficult to figure out which lines were which and I was a bit stunned the first time I opened it and saw the naked couple doing the happy. (NSFW!) When a site says "romance" I don't expect to see something that graphic unless I click on the more erotic lines. But now I know better than to open it with the kids in the room.