After reading some eBooks, I have come to a conclusion. Many independent authors don’t edit very well. My guess is that they edit their own books, missing the mistakes that they make.
The simplest mistakes are often confusing similar words, such as their, there, and they’re; elude and allude; affect and effect. I could go on. Having someone who’s decent with spelling and grammar read it would get many of the mistakes.
But sometimes it’s the actual formatting and style. I have read some books in which the authors seem to have no idea how to format dialogue well. One book has improper punctuation and has dialogue of several people in the same paragraph. For example:
“I’m tired of grammar mistakes.” he said.
“I’m tired of grammar mistakes,” he said.
Did you notice the difference? The period inside the quote should be a comma if the sentence continues outside the quotation marks. But it continues on after that with another line of dialogue from another character. This is how it may look:
“I’m not doing dialogue correctly.” said John. “I know.” said Bob. “This is very confusing to read.” he replied. “Sometimes I have no idea if the same person is just continuing to talk or another person is talking.” said Jane.
Please put line breaks at the end of each line of dialogue. It keeps it neat and tidy. You can understand who is speaking, when they finish, and when the next person starts. It’s so much easier to read!
These problems could even be resolved by using a critique group. There are people in those groups who are quite strict. I like Critique Circle, which is an online critiquing group, so you can get a variety of opinions on various aspects, such as style, grammar, formatting, and so on. But it’s really up to you if you want to use a critiquing group. Some don’t. I do. However, they cannot replace a proper editor. Those cost money, and I understand that indie authors may not have the money for it. I know how that feels. But just get someone you know that can be strict to read over your book and do some serious editing. At least until you can afford an actual editor. It may not be perfect, but it can definitely improve your readers’ experience.
Comments or questions are welcome and encouraged.