I No Longer Care if My Books Sound “Too Modern” or if I Can’t Please People With my Grammar/Editing or Some Other “Flaw” In My Books

I really hope this post reaches the right people, and by that I mean the people who keep emailing me and leaving reviews about how modern my historicals are.  I really feel like I made a mistake in converting An Unlikely Place for Love, The Cold Wife, and An Inconvenient Marriage.  Yes, they were laced with modern stuff, but really, it didn’t change the actual story.  If it was impossible for someone to read the books with the glaring errors, that was because the person didn’t dig the story to begin with.  I’ve done a lot of learning over this past month.  I learned a lot about getting a backbone.  I learned how thick skin develops.  There comes a point in time where an author has to say, “So what?” And I have now reached that point.

I really don’t care what grievance people have in regards to my work.  Yes, I still want to make my readers happy, but these are readers who get my books.  They are able to appreciate the story instead of getting hung up on some obscure thing that has little bearing to the actual book.  So what if someone says something modern?  That doesn’t kill the story.  I aim to be more authentic with every book I write, but it’s a process, and I am always telling authors to allow grace and mercy for themselves.  I will allow myself the same permission.  It’s okay to error.  It’s okay to miss the mark.  It’s okay to be human.  I will strive for improvement, but I will never reach perfection because perfection is only made by the perfect and last time I checked, the only perfect person who ever lived on Earth was Jesus, and they crucified Him.  So the world doesn’t even like perfect people.

So that’s where I’m at now and why.  I still don’t want to write novellas or short stories.  They really aren’t “me”, so to speak.  I’m going to leave all published books as they are.  I will not modify anything but a typo.  I don’t care how many people email me about how difficult my books are to get through for one reason or another.  My thought is they can find another author.  Books are in abundance, and the indie movement has allowed for many people to publish books who never would have published otherwise.  So my response just might be “I’m sorry you didn’t like the book.  Perhaps you’ll find another author more to your liking” or something along those lines.  And when I say “my response”, I really mean my assistant who now handles that headache for me.  I won’t be entertaining rude emails ever again as long as I can help it.  Ignoring said emails is an option my assistant can exercise.  As a friend pointed out, when people email you, they are coming into your “home”, so why would you put up with someone being rude in your own home?  The answer, of course, is I wouldn’t.  Someone comes into my home/inbox/blog, etc, I have the right to not put up with their comments.  They can express their grievances on reviews, their blogs, their forums, etc.  But I have the right to stop them when they come into my personal space.

So all I can say to those of you reading this who have a problem with how “modern” my books are, the editing/grammar flaws in them, or if I don’t do something else “right” is that I am not the right author for you.  Just like when you date people until you find the “right one”, the same is true with authors.  Not every author will be a good fit for you and what you’re looking for.  Some will do something that you won’t like.  My advice is to stop wasting time complaining to them and find the authors that are a better fit for you.  I am not changing the way I do things.  I’ll improve, but it’ll be on my own time frame.  You can’t rush a kid in learning to walk; likewise, progress with my work will be gradual.  But it will be on my time and at my pace.  I can’t force it.

I’m just going to be me and write the best story I can.  When I’m done with a book, it’s done.  I’m never going back to change it ever again.  I’ve learned my lesson.  😀

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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19 Responses to I No Longer Care if My Books Sound “Too Modern” or if I Can’t Please People With my Grammar/Editing or Some Other “Flaw” In My Books

  1. AMEN! for those reading this and u dont like it sorry! find someone else… her work is great and its a headache to change a book!

  2. irishmary24 says:

    The majority loves your work. WhenI’m on Amazon or elsewhere, I never read the one or two star reviews. If you read all of that person’s reviews, you find they’re All a whining mess. You couldn’t please them.

    • That’s true. They tend to leave 1 and 2-star reviews on most of the books they review. The only thing I use reviews for is to find out something about the book that I want to know that isn’t given in the description. Sometimes what upsets one person is the reason I decide to buy the book. 😀

  3. “…It’s okay to be human. I will strive for improvement, but I will never reach perfection because perfection is only made by the perfect and last time I checked, the only perfect person who ever lived on Earth was Jesus, and they crucified Him. So the world doesn’t even like perfect people…”

    Exactly!

    I have been contemplating these things myself, recently, and have come to the conclusion that there is a group who “get ” your stories and then there’s the rest of the people. Those who get it – yay!!- but those who don’t, well, move along folks and thanks for your time.

    😀

  4. Rose Gordon says:

    Are you sure your pen name is Kate Page and not Rose Gordon? LOL

    You know, she gets the same dang complaints. One person kept a running list of all the errors in her book then typed them all out for an Amazon review. Then another gave her a 2-star review because though she enjoyed the story, she got hung up on Gordon’s dangling prepositions–that when counted, came up to less than ten out of a book that had more than 100,000 words!

    After being accused of not using an editor, the language was too modern because of certain phrases in the text, and one of the characters being repeatedly called a brat and unlikable, she revised the book, and you know what? Nobody seems to have taken notice of that.

    In all seriousness, letting it all go like you are is the best (only) thing you can do. I know you didn’t want to change those books to contemporaries. I also know how hard it is to change something you love in an effort to stem complaints and help sales. But you know what, you’ve already done it so now you need move forward and don’t look back. It’s all you can do now. I know it’s hard, believe me, I know.

    Now, I don’t mean to be doom and gloom here, but is it possible the person who e-mailed you (I’m assuming you got another nasty e-mail here) actually bought the book previously and didn’t read it until now? Sadly, one unavoidable downside to updating books is you can’t ensure people are reading, reviewing or commenting on the correct version. If Amazon automatically updated everyone’s Kindle, that would be one thing, but that’s not what’s happening. Unfortunately, that means there’s always going to be a chance of this happening. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

    Funny thing, now that I’ve accepted this and realized my first book will always be tainted this way, it actually became easier to accept it, move on and get somewhere with the book I’m writing. I guess maybe I look at this next series as way to make comeback.

    Keep writing, Ruth. Your books are good, it’s about being entertained by a story NOT being beat over the head with a history tome.

    • LOL I wish my pen name was Rose Gordon. That woman is creating a wildfire in the indie world. 😉

      Actually, what got me to this point was the combination of all the emails and all of the past reviews. Then yesterday when I was checking on tags to see if they were on my paperbacks, I caught a 2-star headline that read something like ‘A Modern Historical’ on Eye of the Beholder, and something in me snapped. It’s like all of May and the crap that came with it exploded into one blinding storm of fury. I decided I had enough of it and wasn’t going to listen to anyone else when they decide to criticize my work. I actually saw myself giving them all a gesture that isn’t so nice while I made the post. I’m better today in that regard. I no longer the urge to use a gesture, but I do feel a ‘who cares’ shrug coming on.

      Some people have already told me they don’t like the contemporary versions, and I’m just like, ‘Well, I’m not changing them again’ but it did prove that while some people get hung up on the stupidest thing (like ten prepositions in one 100,000 page book *eye roll*), others really will not care and will love the book anyway.

      • Rose Gordon says:

        Thank you for the wildfire compliment. Coming from someone who’s been around much longer than me and consistently outsells me, I appreciate your confidence in me and my work.

        I don’t understand why people care so much about the new versions if they’ve read the old versions. They should still have the old version, so they can just delete the modern version and viola, there ya go, they still have the one they like better.

        I read that review. You’ll never be able to please everyone. You just can’t. But think of this: that book still has a 4-star average, and only has six 1 or 2-star reviews. Considering there are 37 reviews, that means less than 1/6 reviews are below three stars. That’s a great percentage of people who loved the book. Plus six bad reviews in thirty seven make it much easier to hide the bad ones, they just kind of blend in.

        Now it’s June and hopefully the tide will turn! Let’s hope for positive reviews, good sales and to finish up our next bestsellers!

    • I’m hoping June will offer a new start for both of us. I am keeping the old versions of The Cold Wife and An Unlikely Place for Love on my Kindle. I did, however, update An Inconvenient Marriage which I liked better as a contemporary. An Inconvenient Marriage was written before I had a grasp of the late 1800s to early 1900s, so I understand why it came off as modern. The more I wrote in the historicals, the easier it was to get into the time period, which is why I probably prefer the other two as historicals. Granted, some stuff was still off, but it felt better as a historical to me. The reason I opted to make them contemporaries was because of Jake Mitchell who was in An Inconvenient Marriage. He’s one of my favorite heroes, and AIM is one of my favorite books. I had Jake show up in The Cold Wife and An Unlikely Place for Love and didn’t want to get rid of him. What a reason to keep change the two books, huh? 😀

      Oh, I’m happy with Eye of the Beholder. It’s got a solid 4-star average and after seeing the 3-star average on a few of my books, it’s nice something is above average. I just need to stop being so sensitive about being too modern. In the end, it doesn’t ruin the book except for people who probably are better off not reading my books. I’m sure I’ll still sound too modern for some, though I won’t try to. Things slip in, I guess.

      • Rose Gordon says:

        Two things:
        1. What do you say we rule June out as our better month and hope for a better July instead?
        2.You can’t win for losing with the modern language. I had the same person tell me: “I always read two or three really good HRs before I write that way I can have a better sense of the time period and how they talked.” Then only a few days later, she said, “I try to write my HRs thinking othete modern ear and using today’s standards of grammar and syntax.” I just blinked at her. It seems she can’t make up her mind if she’s a stickler for the rules or not.

        Like you said somewhere else though, in the end, it really doesn’t matter. The reviews that complain about such really only go to warn off those you wouldn’t want reading your book anyway.

    • I would do July except my husband will be home, and I don’t know if I’ll have time for much else besides going online to see if there’s been another copyright infringement on my books. I expect to be paranoid for quite some time now.

      Why worry about the modern grammar rules if you want to be historically authentic? That only proves that historical books are written for modern people so this issue of avoiding anything modern has no basis.

      It took me writing about three historicals before I felt comfortable with them, and even though I feel comfortable today, I still get complaints about modern usage. I think some people are never happy.

  5. irishmary24 says:

    HaHAA!! LOVED the above comment very much. I agree!

  6. mitchelle says:

    yay for Ruth! some people don’t know how to appreciate a great work when they see one because they don’t know it! ha! i’m just glad you’ll be sticking to your own style.
    love ya ruth! 🙂

    • That was something else I had to consider. If I changed what I’m doing, then those who already like it won’t like my new way of doing things. There are many things I had to think about in May, and knowing that some people already liked what I did gave me a lot of courage to continue the course. 😀

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