Monday, May 21, 2012

Indie Author Spotlight: Oops!

Today is the day I normally post a review of an indie book. Unfortunately, I don't have anything for you this week. May has been a very busy month for me and today's date snuck up on me before I knew it. I did start one book this week with the intention of reviewing it, but it had formatting issues out the wazoo that really bothered me.

Indie authors, please preview your books in every format before you hit the publish button. The desktop apps are free and it only takes a few minutes to flip through the book to see if something appears out of place. Yes, the story is important, and the occasional formatting issue does happen even to the best of them, but having a multitude of wacky indents on every other page is not acceptable.

And even if I had been able to overlook the formatting problems, the author kept jerking me out of the story with jumpy transitions from time and place. One minute the heroine is standing on a deck, the next she's at the bottom of the stairs talking to a friend. How and when did she get there? Did she walk? Slide down the railing? Teleport? And the relationship between the hero and heroine went from 0 to 60 in the span of a few paragraphs, which I had a hard time buying seeing as she thought he might be a killer and all. Plus there was a blatant disregard for proper police procedure in the obvious effort to involve the heroine in the story where she normally wouldn't be. All this was  in the first few chapters of the book. I didn't read any further to see if it got better. Quite frankly, I just don't have the time to waste. Now don't get me wrong. I actually liked the author's voice. I saw a lot of potential reading between the lines. Unfortunately, I think this book was a case of the author needed a good editor to help her take it from okay to stellar.

When I first started reviewing indie books, I made a promise that I would only review ones I could highly recommend. I knew several chapters into this book that this wasn't going to be one of them. I did start another book that seems to have promise so far, but I haven't finished reading it, so no review on that one until next time.

3 comments:

  1. Maybe the formatting issues were caused by the accidentally deleted paragraphs :)

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  2. That wouldn't surprise me, actually!

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  3. Sounds like you're encountering issues with plot/story/character development that unfortunately I see in e-pubbed books a lot as well, not only self-pubbed ones. Editing for content, character consistency and development, as well as story flow seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur with a lot of e-publishers. So has spelling and correct word usage at some of them. *rolls eyes* You bring up great points that apply to all writers. Thanks for this post!

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