But most of the intriguing-sounding independently published e-books I take a look at on Amazon.com I don't buy...even when they're free. I don't want to waste my time downloading or starting to read a bad book. So I take a careful look at the e-book's page first. And I often find warning signs that a book is poorly written, poorly edited (and thus unreadable for me, although I know people who don't notice poor editing), or both.
These are the clues I use to decide whether a book is badly written or edited:
- The title contains a misspelling or a grammar error.
- The title is stupid or a cliché. (Word play on a cliché is okay.)
- The descriptive paragraph contains more than two misspellings or grammar errors.
- Most or all of the sentences in the descriptive paragraph are confusing or awkward.
- The descriptive paragraph contains so many vague words I have no idea what the book is about.
- The descriptive paragraph makes the book sound just like 2,000 other Tolkien take-offs.
- The described plot contains standard-issue vampires, werewolves, fairies, or other stock fantasy characters with no apparent original twist.
- Most of the good reviews read as if they were written by people who don't usually read books or who have never written a review before. (Family member alert!)
- Most of the reviews are full of grammar errors, bad sentences, and misspellings, making me skeptical of the reviewers' ability to recognize a good book if they saw one.
- The bad reviews mention poor editing or formatting.
- The bad reviews discuss at length the lack of plot, poor plotting, paper-thin characters, unbelievable actions, or other evidence of poor writing.
Do you care about poor editing or formatting in the e-books you read? If a book is free, are you willing to read it even if the story bores or irritates you? Or are you fussy, like me, in what books you choose to purchase, download, and read?
I'm glad you stopped by my post today. I'll be blogging again on May 21. Hope to see you then!