Sunday, 2 November 2008

Tiberius Steele And The Golden Leopard: Adam Britten

The Golden Leopard...the relic of an ancient religion with the power to decide the fate of a nation. In a fight against gods and men, Steele must confront age-old superstition and long-forgotten horrors to protect an innocent girl. But he can do neither until he overcomes the demons of his past..."

I reached page fourteen before finding my fifteenth error: but it's worth noting that the main text doesn't start until page five, so it's fairer to say that I read nine pages of text before stopping. I found a few cases of obvious exposition, many cliches, some confusing sentence constructions and a few very odd layout choices, one of which has placed the copyright page after the book's prologue.

The text was, however, pretty clean: I found no spelling errors and although there were many punctuation errors they were consistent (hyphens are routinely used in place of dashes, for example), which implies a misunderstanding of the rules on the writer's part, rather than a purely slapdash approach.


Speed Reader said...

I think the idea for this blog is really great! I am not a writer, just a reader who appreciates a good story told well. And I am fascinated as I learn more about what it takes to get published. Self-publishing is an area that especially intrigues me because I think there are a lot of good stories that aren't given a chance through the traditional route and so they go through the self-publishing route. Unfortunately for them, they don't have the same resources available to them such as editors, copyeditors, publicists, etc. So I think you offering to read these manuscripts and give feedback is a great idea!

However, I would be most interested in hearing how a self-published story compares to other books published commericially, overlooking the minor errors. ie: If the author fixed the minor technical errors (assuming they are truly minor things that would have been caught by an editor, etc), how does the story and the way it is told stack up against the competition? Was the story really not given a fair chance or is it really just not that good?

And what options are available to people who want to self-publish a GOOD book (ie: without all those errors that keep you from finishing these books you've been sent)?

Jane Smith said...

Speed, thanks for the positive comments.

How do self-published books compare to commercially-published ones? Well, of the 15 or so I've received since starting this there's only one absolute gem, which I'm finishing now--a review should go up in a few days.

The rest have all been in need of more revision to the text--and I don't mean just to correct the punctuation and spelling, but to imrpove the structure and flow of the story, or to strengthen the plot. So far, there's a really wide gap between the self-published books I've seen and commercially-published titles. Which disappoints me: I had hoped that the gap would be narrower, and easier to close.

As for your last question: well, anyone can self-publish, and I don't think that anyone intentionally publishes a bad book. As for what the best route is, that depends what you want out of your publishing journey. If it's readership or income, then commercial publication generally remains the best option.

Jane Smith said...

(PS: you might want to have a look at my other blog, which is about publishing--I've got a few posts about self-publishing due, and there should be quite a lot there to interest you.)