Writing Excellence #AdminProfessionalsDay

Hello SErs! Happy Wednesday. Harmony here πŸ™‚ … Well, not quite … I’m away until May 2nd, which I’ll tell you about at the bottom of this post. Right now, I’m just pretending to be here!Β  πŸ™‚

In America, today is Administrative Professional’s Day. The vision of the IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) is: ‘to inspire and equip all administrative professionals to attain excellence’. For me, this also translates well into writing life and attaining excellence in what we write.

As a new author, I had so much to learn, and what a steep learning curve that was. One of the saddest things I can see these days is a review that trashes a book and goes on to say something like, ‘With an indie book, what can you expect?’ etc., etc., ad infinitum.

This annoys me on so many levels. And while some self-published writers do put out some drivel that just should never get published and desperately needs an editor, I have to say that a lot of traditionally published books have raised my ire of late due to appalling basic errors. It seems as if they haven’t gone anywhere near an editor or proofreader, and the price tag on trad pub ebooks tends to be quite high in comparison to indie or smaller presses.

I know that higher price tag includes expenses such as a big advertising budget, but surely our money is good enough to at least have an editor and/or proofreader take a cursory look? Recently, I finished reading The Son by Jo Nesbo. A translator wrote the book into English from Norwegian. I lost count of the number of times one of the characters turned round. I can’t tell you how many times I rolled my eyes as I read that, lols. But, seriously, it is such a basic thing to correct. That one little ‘A’ would make all the difference. Instead of implying that the person adopts a spherical shape, we could show that the person turns around.

Whether indie or trad pub or published with a small press, a book needs proper care and attention. I have seen so many fantastic stories let down for want of a professional eye giving it the once over.

When I realised how much I had to learn, I got busy learning. If we don’t know something, or see that we have a weak area, we have two choices: get someone who has the know-how to look at it or learn how to do it and do it well ourselves.

As with modern Admin, which demands so much more than simple typing, writing demands so much more of us than just putting words on the page.

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I had to learn about book cover design, am still learning about marketing (my biggest headache, lols), and had to seriously brush-up and update my knowledge of grammar and punctuation. Book blurbs gave me a whole other area that I had to get to grips with too.

How about you? What annoys you most with books you read, in whatever arena? What have been your greatest challenges? Your greatest successes?

Even though I am away until May 2nd, I would love to hear your thoughts. My fellow SE authors will jump in and respond on my behalf, and whenever I do get internet access, I shall be sure to take a look in and say ‘Hi’ to you all, it just might be a bit delayed–sorry about that. Despite being somewhere in the middle of the Med, hopefully catching some sun, I’m sure I’ll miss you all loads! All the best and see you soon πŸ™‚

Harmony Kent

 

21 thoughts on “Writing Excellence #AdminProfessionalsDay

  1. I agree with you, Harmony, many of the traditionally published books recently have not been of a good quality and some of the stories for children are absolutely horrible and encourage rudeness and disrespect towards teachers and parents. I have learned a lot about editing and proofing over the past 18 months and am very happy with the progress I see in my own work. It is vital.

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  2. I hope you are enjoying the warm rays of the Med sun, Harmony! As Indie authors, our feet are held to the fire and for ANYONE to believe it is acceptable for books written by Indie Authors to have mistakes in them is ludicrous! We all owe it to the beautiful craft of writing to put out error-free work. And, I want us to prove to the world that Indie Authors are not second rate sloppy writers. Great post!

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  3. Thanks everyone for all your wonderful comments! Apologies for writing a generic reply but the internet connection is terrible, lols … it will take about ten minutes just to get this one posted! πŸ˜‚. I appreciate all the reblogs too. The sun is shining, and today I’ve just visited Giardini Naxos. See you all soon! πŸ˜€

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  4. I was so disappointed in the care that a traditional publisher took with my first book that I waited out the three contract years and then republished the book myself. Professionally edited for sure. I had to laugh (politely) when Harmony wrote she would miss us in the Med taking in sun. We miss her but she has no obligation to miss us.

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    • Great observation about Harmony and the Med, John, and so true. πŸ™‚
      And I’m glad the experience you had with a traditional publisher didn’t turn you away from pursuing other avenues for releasing your work. Not all traditional publishers have what it takes, and many indie authors do. I think it’s great that the new world of publishing allows authors so many options from which to choose. In the end, no matter what avenue we take, it’s all about producing quality work while achieving what so many of us have desired for so long—to share our work with others!

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  5. I’m a stickler for POV so that tends to be a pet peeve of mine. I find it frustrating when “big name” authors ignore POV and head hop. For indie authors, I think it’s important to make sure your work has a professional edit before publishing. Even a great story can be killed by grammatical, typographical, or stylistic errors.

    Happy Administrative Professionals day to all U.S. readers working in that field. And Harmony, I hope the sun is shining and the sea is vivid blue. Enjoy your trip!

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  6. I always feel a bit relieved when I find a typo in a Big 5 published book. I figure if it can happen there, with so many sets of eyes looking over it and with such a big support team, then it can happen anywhere. πŸ˜„

    Enjoy your sunshine! Sounds wonderful.

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  7. I agree with you completely. I have read some traditionally published books with so many errors that I’ve had to question whether that publishing company is legit. I’ve also read perfectly written indie books that put some traditionally published books to shame. I know I am always perfecting my craft. Recently, I’ve begun revisiting my series and polishing my writing. I don’t have many blatant errors, but I have stylish issues that I want to make stronger (active vs. passive, cutting out unnecessary words, etc.). I know the two books that I’ve completed are much stronger now, even though the story hasn’t changed at all. I chalk it up to having pride in my craft and in my works. Marketing is, and probably always will be, my weakest area, but I will continue to learn in that area as well. πŸ™‚

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