Reviews. Something we all love to have as authors and business people. We need them to show other people’s opinions about our products and services. They are important. The last thing we do is delete them. Especially if you are learning your trade.
My muse, Chloe King is an erotic author who writes on Inkitt. (she left Wattpad in disgust) Inkitt is an on the ball writing app for computers and phones. You can read and comment on stories and you can also REVIEW. There is even a guide to review by. It is really good.
One thing I noticed on Inkitt is there are a lot of English as a second language along with those learning to write. Many have excellent plots though need assistance, hence the reviews to help them move forward. We have all been learners in the art of writing at some stage. I know I was terrible when I started my first fiction which was Regency Romans…
We review honestly and nicely. Not that you’re allowed to be mean, it could get you kicked off the app.
Anyway, you do your review. Giving their grammar three stars. It needs improving, it doesn’t flow and they sure need some research or they will get laughed out of their genre. How do I know? Been there and done that in the same Genre, which is why that particular book is still not published. The author comments…and reviews your story giving you bad grammar and spelling star wise. Two Stars…I laughed. My grammar and spelling aren’t that bad, maybe a four at the least. I can get the different types of English grammar and spelling mixed up due to working internationally. This is not an excuse.
Several days ago I read a new chapter of her story. She obviously wasn’t interested in what I’d said so I decided not to continue reading. I noticed yesterday she had deleted my review of her book.
Why ask if you are going to delete it? I can’t read a story that doesn’t flow and I will mention this in reviews. They didn’t use speech marks and the few I found were in the middle of…well never mind… The historical aspects were due to an obvious lack of knowledge. I mean what Regency woman would slouch on a couch…They wore corsets and many had trouble breathing… Honestly, the list goes on. However, the storyline was really good. I also stated it was and told them to continue writing.
My main point is why ask for a REVIEW if you don’t or won’t listen to others and then turn around and give a bad review of the REVIEWERS story…is just plain odd. (Yes I have left the review up)
They have a lot to learn in this industry as a writer and reviewer. As a publisher, I wouldn’t touch this book. It’s a pity she didn’t know my muse is a Publisher…Though not saying so means you find the real writers who wish to go places.
I never name call anyone. I am always polite and rational with anyone with any discussion. If or when a person earns my ire I tend to grumble a lot, though I do step back and think about the situation which has arisen. I will help as much as I can or as the client will let me…One thing I am clear about is when a client has approved a final file then they will need to pay for extra work, whether the original job was a swap of skills, paid or a package.
2016 was a big year with a lot of changes. It wasn’t a good year on many fronts though I did have a favourite. Needless to say this year was filled with bullying clients and gossip in the local writers group which I didn’t know about for nearly two years. I was devastated by both of these. Luckily for me I have stong family support from my husband and children and some really great friend. Many of those friends were students from my Business Management Course and my Incubate Course.
There was one bully who I worked with. They were like an advisor, going to do marketing for me on a local scale, introduced me to a local reporter for one of the free newspapers. All of this was appreciated. In exchange I formatted their first book, pulled together a book cover – all to the best of my ability at that time – both ebook and print, assisted them set up accounts with createspace and kindle. Now if one thinks about all the time involved the different things I was learning, it was a lot of work. I can’t really put a price on this. They were happy with the result…UNTIL…They suddenly decided I’d not done the book properly(a word I now HATE) Thinking back I did two books for this person. The other was in exchange for a computer (desktop) he put a price of $300 on which strangley was raised to $400 during email discussions. It wasn’t acutally worth anything due to it’s age. Once again I did the second book plus two websites.
What I wonder now is if the second book was better set out than the first due to the growth in my learning…Would you redo a client’s book for free because you’ve learnt more about interior design?
One thing I will advise everyone with a small business…
MAKE SURE YOU KEEP ALL YOUR EMAILS FOR EACH CLIENT SO THEY CAN’T BITE YOU ON THE BUTT/ASS AT A LATER DATE!!
Even in those days, I insisted all clients to proofread their own books for any formatting edits. Bits that need changing or taking out etc. This person approved the final file. Six months later they complained I’d left their home address in the back of the book and I have the synopsis in the back as well. EXCUSE ME…YOU APPROVED IT!! Fed up with the ongoing emails, I redid the formatting which was once again APPROVED. Now we come to the end of 2016. They had decided to sue me…I presume at small claims court. They were going to win and take all my business/money etc.
WOW. Not only this, I had another client who disparaged my name (Yes I can still sue them for defamation of character) They contacted me for a meeting. I went into a deep depression and fog for three weeks…It was one of the worst time in the year for this to happen due to course work for Business Management along with trying to claw my way out of the fog and stabilise once more.
With the bully I was still getting emails. In the end I sent them an offer which most folks wouldn’t refuse. I got a unpleasent email stating I was to re-do the book, and upload it to createspace, and purchase 5 or so copies to be sent to them by a certain date. They had gone a step to far. I was now furious. Offering them one last deal. It took several weeks to prepare and over $500 out of my business…which is still a loss to this day. I printed off all their emails I met with my business admin who I had to pay ($75) to go through them and advise me if I was correct with my assumptions. That was another $300. Yes I was correct. If they sued me I could prove they were in the wrong, not only that, I could re-sue them for defamation of character. The email was sent. It wasn’t accepted. I still don’t understand why. The email was sent via my business admin. Their reply. “All I wanted was to have it edited” If a client has approved a final file then they need to pay for any further formatting edits. They also need to use the final file I sent them. I have about 4 different files with different words counts on my computer…Which is the right one? Why should I continue to edit their work for FREE when they had approved final files.
From this time one I went quiet on Facebook which of course, affected my business badly. This person was still on my friends list and in two groups I ran. It wasn’t until mid 2017 that I finally deleted them, unfriended and blocked them. This was all thanks to another online friend who is like a sister to me. The relief was immense, though with them still living locally I was real nervous going up town. Call it anxiety of thinking they’d verbally attack me in the street. This is also another reason few of my friends online know I went back to England.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU KEEP RECORDS FROM ALL YOUR CLIENTS AND ALSO ALL YOUR REPLIES. IT MAY SAVE YOU ONE DAY.
This same person also emailed saying they had paid for a membership to the Chamber of Commerce…NOPE they didn’t because I have my receipt. However I still wonder today if they paid for a second year – without my permission due to the fact I still received post from this group. I have never been able to find out.
SAVE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS!
As for the second person…They are still in the background, pottering along with life, asking me for coffee…well until they found out I was back in the UK…
The strange thing is that the only clients I’ve ever had issues with were all local males to were I used to live. All my online clients have been amazing and I have loved working and growing with them.
As for the Writers Group. I gave the then chairperson – who is an Editor, a printed out copy of my book to look through and advise. She came back that it wasn’t her style and a bit rude. Ok yes she is an older lady. What I didn’t know was that she’d told the rest of the committee and god knows who else that I wrote Erotica. The book at that time was called Malachy’s Unit – it is now called Hidden Secrets. It is not erotica or even erotic. It is murder, mystery romance with a bit of spice.
Nearly two years later I took my children’s book in to sell and show to the writers group. Girlie and the War of the Wasps. One of the gentlemen who approached me to buy a copy said. “Oh, I thought you only wrote erotica.” to my reply. “I don’t write erotica.” Once again I was as mad as hell. I never went back to the group. The thought they were all looking at me a a nonsense smut writer (yeah they were that bad) was beyond a joke.
The Best Part…
The best part of 2016 was assisting a client with three children’s book. ‘The Pottontots’is a set of three books with wonderful art work by the author. Keith Broad was awesome to work with and his stories are a great read for any child.
If I go back to when I first started writing in 2012 I didn’t know squat about publishing, never mind needing lessons in grammar, and the person’s voice. Like many others out there I tried traditional publishing. You remember the first publisher of Fifty Shades? It was an Australian Publisher – Yeah I tried them and was rejected, though I’ll say even now, my work was no worse than … I also looked for an Agent who thought they were Editors. No…they weren’t or if they were, they didn’t understand the historical genre of my novel. Since that time this same agent sent work to a UK Publisher who was iffy to say the least. In fact they closed down without paying anyone out and their bookstore was still going…probably still is.
Anyway I found out that manuscripts needed setting out a certain way to be accepted by a traditional publisher. While I set out to learn I bumped into self-publishing and decided to go that way instead.
By the time I had learnt enough to make paperbacks and ebooks I had written four books. I bought some copies and was delighted with the results (now I just groan at my obvious need to learn more). I took them to the local writers group which showed little interest. Few of them were authors even less were published. This is where my company came in. “Can you publish my books for me?” said one man. “I can give it a go.” And I did. That journey though, is another story.
This all happened in May 2014. My company Plaisted Publishing House became a Limited Company on 1st August 2014. I filled out all the forms, set up a bank account registered for GST (VAT) etc. After paying or getting a refund on GST over three months I discovered I didn’t need to pay any until my business earned $60K NZD which won’t happen anytime soon due to the fact I have no investment other than what I earn and put back into the company. My aim was to start slowly and build gradually and make sure I wouldn’t fail or should I say close my company. It’s worked too.
Now you’ll note that even though I’ve published my own books, I stated I still had much to learn. My journey was only at the beginning. Over the last four years I’ve developed my business, building my professionalism, sharing what I know with the Indie Author Community. I’ve assisted over Thirty Indie Authors. If I included the Anthologies I could say I’ve assisted over one hundred.
As I’ve improved my learning (which I am still doing today) I have increased my prices, however, they’re still lower than most. You see I work in a different way. The aim of my company is to work with small businesses to contract work out to them and create packages for clients. All clients keep their copyright, all royalties and receive at least four formatted manuscripts for the different distribution websites. A client pays once. There is no profit made from continual book sales. A client could become a best seller…a millionaire…YOU STILL WON’T PAY ME ANYMORE….well unless you want too…LOL.