Someone emailed me earlier this week in regards to how difficult it was to read my books because of a few grammatical errors she found in some of my books. I admitted I wasn’t happy to hear there were issues that serious that would prevent someone to be able to understand my work. What author would be happy to hear this? From the tone of the email, I am assuming she thought I never bothered to have anyone else help me polish up my books, and this is not true. So I informed her I do have others go over my books to check for proofing and any other errors they can find. I really do, people. I know it’s hard to believe, but I have a couple of people go through every book before I publish it. They’re not always the same people, but I do have a fresh pair of eyes check my work.
This is why I’m not happy to receive such emails. If I was slapping up a first draft or something I only read through once (and that’s it) before I published a book, I would think it’s only logical that some people would have difficulty with my books. But since I take such painstaking work in everything I publish, it’s disheartening to learn that my best and the best of those who’ve helped me is aren’t good enough for someone. I know it’s part of the process. Not everyone will like my books. I get that. I guess it’s frustrating because I work hard to produce the very best book I can and it falls short.
So I finally have someone who is emailing me, and I do want to know what the problems are. I asked for more information. I need specifics. The broad “grammar problems” doesn’t help me. It’s much too vague. Grammar and editing issues could mean anything. This is why the reviews on Amazon, etc are a total waste of time. People complain about my grammar and editing, but there’s nothing I can do to improve because that could mean anything.
I’m trying to think of a good analogy. Okay. I think I got it. Your teacher sends home a note that says your kid needs improvement. But she never says in what subject or, even better, what aspect of the particular subject is your kid weak in? Instead, all she says is, “Your kid needs improvement.” That is what I’m talking about.
People leave reviews about how my books need better editing and grammar. So please, if you are going to email me about a complaint regarding my grammar or editing, tell me specifically what you mean (nicely, of course :D). Otherwise, I have absolutely no idea what in the world you’re talking about, and I have no desire to play “read so-and-so’s mind”. So if you don’t take the time to be specific, I won’t be able to change anything. Then you’ll just end up with the same complaints with all of my future books.
*By the way, I do reserve the right to decide whether or not your issue is something that I agree needs changing or not. For example, if you tell me something like, “You shouldn’t use adverbs. Ever.”, I don’t agree and will politely say so. Then I’ll keep using them. Ultimately, the decision is mine, but the point is, you might actually find something that I agree could be done differently. (Wow. Three adverbs in one sentence. That was not planned, but it’s how I talk so I’m keeping them in.)