Their earlier works, while promising, were prematurely released and sales are slow, with few or mostly negative reviews. These authors were often unaware at the time of any weaknesses in their books and just wanted to get them out there, perhaps on time for Christmas sales or for some other self-imposed time deadline.
Fantastic material. All of your comments and recommendations now make sense. With that foundation, I realize what an amateur job my first novel was. Maybe someday we can revisit and do major surgery or a lobotomy on [title of book]. But of course this means all your titles need to be strong, of high quality. What if your earlier books are nowhere near the quality of recent ones? What if your worst, most amateurish production is the first one of your books someone reads? Or, if your muse just took a vacation on your WIP, take a break and use the time to revise an earlier novel. So my advice, as a freelance professional in the business of helping authors turn good stories into stellar ones that garner great reviews, is to take the time to make sure that at least the weakest links in the chain of your backlist are brought up to your current standards.
Writers — what do you think? What if one of your early titles received a bunch of negative reviews on Amazon?
Would you consider taking it down and revising it, then getting it edited by a professional, then republishing? Then you could always consider changing the title so you can lose the old, negative reviews. You can find Jodie at www. Jodie, I have also had people email me and tell me their books—already up on Amazon—were getting bad reviews mentioning editing issues.
I think nothing can take your work up to professional level faster than working with a good, insightful and generous professional editor.
So true, Leslie. Hi Jodie, My short answer: yes! Should you put out an ebook version of that old pbook? I did that with one of my books when I released the sequel. I rarely have to change anything in my ebooks. My sales for my e-books are much higher than for my print books, and most of my reviews come from my e-books. It takes so little effort to make sure the e-book version is as polished as it can be! Sure, I have two short stories on Amazon, neither professionally edited, but they were put up while I was learning how to use the site.
My reviews though not more than a handful I can count on one hand lol are good. Diane, you have the attitude of a writer who takes their writing and their career seriously — kudos to you! I took all six novels off sale a couple of months back. I was mortified when I reread the first chapter of my very first novel. Good for you, Savannah! Good luck with the revisions! Good post and an important one, imho, Jodie. I thought "I can do this" something I had not been able to do before. If a book can make that change in my writing, then it must be very good.
I would recommend this book as required reading for anyone wanting to write a novel and a great medical kit for struggling writers whose novels aren't quite right. Jerry Guarino Author of "Trilogies: 18 sets of short fiction" Nov 23, Philip Dampier rated it it was amazing Shelves: own.
Bell knows what he is talking about and is able to put it in written form that is easily understood. Have enjoyed learning about plot structure from this book. Annette rated it it was amazing Apr 12, Bob rated it it was amazing Feb 14, Michelle rated it really liked it Jun 20, Jillian Kent rated it it was amazing Mar 15, Ernie rated it it was amazing May 25, Donna rated it it was amazing Jul 08, Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez rated it it was amazing Sep 21, Avery rated it it was amazing Aug 15, Kaiyazure rated it really liked it Dec 18, LKbytheBay rated it really liked it Sep 24, Norma Hinkens rated it it was amazing Mar 17, Xghoocc rated it really liked it Aug 20, Donna Caughlin rated it it was amazing Apr 29, Teresa Lopez rated it liked it Aug 28, Joe Robles Jr rated it it was amazing Apr 11, Noelle Clarke rated it really liked it Jun 28, Bill Tillman rated it it was amazing Jun 30, Christine rated it really liked it Jan 31, Helena rated it it was amazing Apr 18, Elle Wonders rated it liked it Jan 02, Andria Buchanan rated it really liked it Jan 01, Nathan Witt rated it it was amazing May 15, Junse rated it really liked it May 26, Megges Holly rated it it was amazing Jan 07, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
About James Scott Bell. James Scott Bell. Jim is a former trial lawyer who now writes and speaks full time. He has written two books in the Writers' Digest serie Jim is a former trial lawyer who now writes and speaks full time. Jim has taught writing at Pepperdine University and numerous writers conferences. After all, only with the fresh eye of forgetfulness can you more effectively spot and tackle the shortcomings in your draft.
If you wait to do your best work, you will faster get an agent or editor. Perform a read-through The read-through is all about reading through your draft at a slow and careful pace. Before you start, draw up a table with two columns, like so: Problems Solutions Jot down any issues or discrepancies you encounter within your draft. Jot down possible paths you could take in order to solve those issues or discrepancies. When well-constructed, a list should give you a clearer sense of purpose and direction, so you know what you need to be looking for before you actually start looking for them.
Start the read-through of your novel with a pen and paper at hand for making notes. As you read through your draft, note down your main plot developments. Are there too many resemblances between your plot and theirs? This inevitably snuffs out the mystery and suspense in your story. Such a problem is known as info-dumping. Too shallow of a plot, however, and you potentially jeopardise the meaning and purpose that underlies your story. The trick is finding a balance between these two ends of the spectrum. To find such a balance as you conduct the read-through, you first need to determine how complexity in a rich, nuanced story differs from that in a cumbersome and overcomplicated one.
Consider the following: Does the complexity add to your story or is it needless? Do those complex elements run along the same theme, or are they arbitrary and therefore pointless? Characters appear in settings or scenes they shouldn't be in. Too slow a pace, however, and you may find the reader falling into a state of boredom very quickly.
The key is to control the pace so that the speed of the story corresponds with its height on the plot diagram.
The rule-of-thumb is: the closer to the climax your story is, the faster its pacing should be. Author K.
Does it make the reader ask questions? Here, you want to avoid long, slow descriptions of the setting. Is trouble already brewing right from the start? Have you established high-enough stakes? As Kurt Vonnegut advises, 'Start as near to the end as possible.
Writing and editing are two separate processes, each stemming from two different parts of the brain. January 1, January 5, This time I'm actually ready to revise and read the whole book. Jodie, I have also had people email me and tell me their books—already up on Amazon—were getting bad reviews mentioning editing issues. It is the wall. There's a great revision checklist in the back. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.
Gradually weaving in the backstory throughout your novel is far better than dumping it all down in the introduction. This is imperative, especially if you find that the direction of your story changes midway through your draft. Economy is crucial. Pay particular attention to the beginning and ending of your novel.