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Book Ratings

Normally  whenever I take self-published works, I make the following grades based on the following:

  • Cover Design– the work needs to look catchy and professional, not sloppy and amateurish.
  • Blurb– Seriously, a good review for a self-published book means that the brief 100 word description of your book needs to pique my interest. Even if the book doesn’t fit my genres, they need to look interesting for other readers.
  • Chapter Titles- OK, some authors chose to name their chapters and I’ll tell you what, some of the titles they come up with are crappy, not catchy. If you want something to be well marketed, your book needs to catch the reader’s eye.
  • Format– there are no large fonts, fancy fonts, double spaces, large block paragraphs, unjustified texts, etc. Constantly I keep running into these problems, especially the excessive use of italics and the extra spaces between paragraphs. It’s almost as if I need to know where the thoughts are. I want to read something that doesn’t seem like a high school research paper or a legal contract!
  • Pace– this is the most common ways self-published authors don’t get a good rating from me.  If you want to write well, I suggest you find the right balance between dialogue and narration. The moment you send a book to have it reviewed I will be flipping through the pages to find some dialogue. No dialogue, no story.
  • Dialogue– Here’s another way to piss off a reader. If you’re trying to mimic accents from people of different origins or disabilities, please try to limit spare the reader from mispronounced agony. Not everything needs to be 100% authentic. Develop some verisimilitude.
  • Plot– Although I don’t necessarily judge by this aspect, this is the last thing I keep in mind while I start and finish the book. Is the plot real? Could this happen to me? What if I were in that situation?
  • Character– I should be able to identify myself with the character, not feel like I’m watching a cartoon.

Books with an A rating:

I think your work stuns me; I can’t even tell the difference between the typical self-published and publishing house book. Your work has mesmerized my eyes from the moment I laid eyes on your work. The plot’s great, I’m impressed with the dialogue. The grammar is immaculate. Why didn’t you get yourself an agent? Maybe with my review, someone will read and buy your work.

Books with an B rating:

Your work isn’t so bad. Your cover’s good, but I can still tell it’s like the rest.  The dialogue’s good, but it’s not great or impressive. The overall flow of the dialogue and plot are not as great as I imagined. I think there needs to be tweaking on here and there. Maybe you should go over and review some of the things in your work.

Books with an C rating:

You got some skills to develop, the cover’s average; it doesn’t pique my interest. Your book contains bad formatting, insufficient dialogue, grammar errors, poor plot structure, and crappy blurbs. For goodness sake, I think I’m reading a Simon and Schuster book contract! May I suggest you try picking up a couple of books on how to write?

Books with an D rating:

OK, maybe writing isn’t for you really. I can imagine you wanted the perks of being an author without going through the hard labor like any other writer has to make a quick buck. Perhaps you intended your work to be in the good hands of friends, family, and good neighbors, but somehow a stranger like me has come across your work. I’m not sure what you were thinking when you decided to make your book available through Amazon, but I can tell you one thing: watch out for those who buy your works.

Books with an F rating:

Why did you ever decide to go through the business of becoming an author? Perhaps you should quit dreaming of becoming a novelist and stick to your regular job. Good writing takes skill and you don’t have any.

Note: These grades are based on what I think of the work overall.


4 Comments

  1. Just an FYI, kid, it’s ‘pique my interest’, not ‘peak my interest’.

    “Books with an A rating:

    I think your work stuns me; I can’t even tell the difference between the typical self-published and publishing house book. Your work has mesmerized my eyes from the moment I laid eyes on your work. The plot’s great, I’m impressed with the dialogue. The grammar is immaculate. Why didn’t you get yourself an agent? Maybe with my review, someone will read and buy your work.”

    Your hubris astounds me.

    “You got some skills” should be “You have got some skills” or “You’ve got some skills” since your tone is informal. learn to proofread your own work before you critique others.

    “Books with an D rating:

    OK, maybe writing isn’t for you really. I can imagine you wanted the perks of being an author without going through the hard labor like any other writer has to make a quick buck. Perhaps you intended your work to be in the good hands of friends, family, and good neighbors, but somehow a stranger like me has come across your work. I’m not sure what you were thinking when you decided to make your book available through Amazon, but I can tell you one thing: watch out who you buys your works.”

    Wow – what a completely condescending and un-Christian attitude you have there. Makes me want to rush right out there and buy your “Jurassic Park” ripoff novel just to see if you, too, fall into the “Aww… he tried but failed” category too which, based off of how you write on this page and your own tastes, you do.

    “Books with an F rating:

    Why did you ever decide to go through the business of becoming an author? This work should be featured in the ‘Books that Won’t Sell’ page. Perhaps you should quit dreaming of becoming a novelist and stick to your regular job. Good writing takes skill and you don’t have any.”

    Does it really placate your ego to not only trash the work and feelings of a fellow author, but to put that trashing up on display where EVERYONE can point and laugh as they walk past, giving you a huge pat on the back for doing the world such a great service? That’s what I’ve done here, albeit on a smaller scale…how does that make YOU feel? Odds are that it made you feel so badly that you either won’t approve of this comment or delete it entirely. that’s how you make others feel.

    No worries though – I haven’t wasted keystrokes…I’m going to mirror this “F” review on my blogs as will hundreds of my friends.

    Way to sink your ship right next to the pier, Skippy – good luck with your next career.

    • haparker321 says:

      “Just an FYI, kid, it’s ‘pique my interest’, not ‘peak my interest’.”

      -I think I knew that but forgot to fix that… oops.

      “Wow – what a completely condescending and un-Christian attitude you have there.”

      -It’s an honest assessment of your book; how else do you expect me to critique it?

      “Makes me want to rush right out there and buy your “Jurassic Park” ripoff novel just to see if you, too, fall into the “Aww… he tried but failed” category too which, based off of how you write on this page and your own tastes, you do.”

      -Prove it.

      “Does it really placate your ego to not only trash the work and feelings of a fellow author?”

      -That really depends on what the author intends when he or she writes a book. To be fair, most of the books make it to a C+ rating because their ideas and book covers look great. For someone who hasn’t shared either shared or undergone my critiquing, you sure have a lot of nerve to call me ‘egotistical’.

      “That’s what I’ve done here, albeit on a smaller scale…how does that make YOU feel?”

      -I feel quite fine; I would rather believe it’s you who’s being the arrogant one around here because you want a rating that would promote your own egotistical purposes.

      “Odds are that it made you feel so badly that you either won’t approve of this comment or delete it entirely. that’s how you make others feel.”

      -Not really, I’m at a Camp right now working.

      “No worries though – I haven’t wasted keystrokes…I’m going to mirror this “F” review on my blogs as will hundreds of my friends.”

      -Oh that’s OK, your friends aren’t literary agents or people whose decided to buy the book. Unfortunately, I don’t think any arrogant person such as yourself would dare to buy a copy.

      Parker

      • Your literacy gets worse when you are worked up, doesn’t it? So glad that you think that you know who I’m friends with – I’m sure they will get a chuckle as well.

        I admire the thought that you think that I would seriously want or even need your critique and I really admire your schoolyard ‘dare’ for me to buy your book when I don’t need to – your blurb SCREAMS “Jurassic Park meets the Bible”

        What’s in store for the sequel? “Inception meets the Book of Mormon”?

        Nice job quoting me out of context on the “Does it really placate your ego…” question – a master author such as yourself certainly knows the fine art of taking away half of a sentence without losing meaning.

      • haparker321 says:

        “Your literacy gets worse when you are worked up, doesn’t it?”

        I can read just fine.

        “So glad that you think that you know who I’m friends with – I’m sure they will get a chuckle as well.”

        I’m not the one boasting around here about how good my writings are while saying ‘let me get my friends to look at it’.

        “I admire the thought that you think that I would seriously want or even need your critique and I really admire your schoolyard ‘dare’ for me to buy your book when I don’t need to – your blurb SCREAMS “Jurassic Park meets the Bible”

        I’m glad you’re willing to assault my book without looking at a single page while bemoaning everything to your ‘friends’.

        “What’s in store for the sequel? “Inception meets the Book of Mormon”?”

        If only were I as crazy as those folks were.

        “Nice job quoting me out of context on the “Does it really placate your ego…” question – a master author such as yourself certainly knows the fine art of taking away half of a sentence without losing meaning.”

        You’re certainly welcome and thanks for stopping by.

        Parker

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