How To Use Reviews To Self Edit

Julie L.

Simply from the title you can see this is going to be rather interesting. So, tighten your seat belt and know that I’ve blocked off the emergency exits. Sorrynotsorry.

The concept of reading reviews should not be a new thing to anyone. If you don’t read reviews, you probably are not a reader. The three things most looked at when looking to purchase any e-book is the cover, the blurb, and the reviews. Do people auto-buy some authors? Of course. They don’t care about covers or blurbs or reviews because they know the author will never let them down. However, when browsing the e-book universe for...something…reviews say a lot about the book.
All five-star reviews?  Hmm, someone got their families and friends to join forces. Not even the best- selling, most well-known worldwide authors have nothing but five stars. Nothing but one stars? Hmm, that could mean that trolls hit before the poor thing got off the ground. That two to four star range could mean a host of things, and we readers are sometimes more interested in the train wreck that review reading can become than in the book itself.
So how can this help anyone learn to self-edit?
*rolling up sleeves*  Pick two or three of your favorite books by your most favoritest authors. These books, whether on purpose or inadvertently, are absorbed into our writer’s brain and often merge with our own voice and become part of us. There is a reason they are your favorites, and often we find ourselves including pieces of that amazingness in our own stories. OR, we may love the book but believe things need to be the exact opposite. I love a particular paranormal/shifter series and author. The stories are so, so good, but I literally had a handful of moments where I went, “That’s not right. That isn’t how it is,” which is how my own characters began to emerge.
Your favorite books are literally your roadmap on what to look for in your own self-editing process.
List exactly why those books are your favorites. Character growth? Storyline? Lessons learned? Beautiful arcs? Depth of emotions? Relationships? Adventure? Nearly all authors are also readers, and have absorbed good story-writing as we read - even if it’s non-fiction. Beginning, middle, end, plot, conflict, resolution, climax…only a story of facts, research and logic. But still a story.
This list is where you think about why you love the books that you love, at the conscious level. Be specific in listing exactly why you love the books, because this is what you are aiming for. Also keep track of the things you do not love, as well.

Read the entire article in the June 2019 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

Subscriptions are free!

You can just click on the magazine image on the left hand side of our home page to open and enjoy!


If you would like to receive the magazine every month (for FREE!) , just sign up on our home page. Once you do, an e-mail validation notice will be sent directly to you. Just open and click the link and you're in - forever!  Each month the magazine will be delivered directly to your inbox to downlad and read!