A book publisher once asked, “Why are school textbooks so boring”?
Answer: Facts tell, but stories sell.
If you want a book that sells because people enjoy it, not because the government is paying for it to be in schools, then tell the best story you can. This includes editing it ruthlessly.
A Book Publisher Story
We sat down with one author to review his manuscript. For six solid hours, we covered each page. The author instructed us to bold, italicize and underline words on just about every page.
About an hour into the process the author stated, “We are doing this process because I know the content is boring and by changing the inflection of the words it will keep the readers’ interest.”
Izzard Ink Publishing does not recommend this method. Later we found out that two very qualified editors from a well-known book publisher had read the manuscript but the author decided not to make any of their changes.
Since the quality of the content was inadequate the author released the book for free across all eBook platforms. Over the next six months, reviews came back and they were not favorable even for a free book.
Book Publisher Conversation
Your book really is a 7 to 12-hour conversation with a reader. The editor is there to help you not lose focus and keep the readers’ attention with quality content. A good professional editor with a stellar track record will want you to be as successful as possible. After all, if you are successful they are successful. It is always difficult to get constructive criticism about a literary work that you have poured our heart and soul into. Sometimes it feels like a hard punch to the face.
So take a few days to really digest the feedback from the editor, then make the necessary changes to your manuscript.
Please do not just BOLD, italicize and or underline the parts of your manuscript that you consider boring.
Think of your book as having a conversation with a friend.
- What makes your friend want to listen to you?
- What keeps the attention of your friend?
- What makes your friend stick around until you are done talking or call you back if the story is not finished?
We can answer all these questions with the same response. It is content that is relevant to the person it is speaking to. The content of the conversion will keep their interest and keep them coming back.
Have you ever had a “friend” who re-hashes the same old story over and over again?
Our mom is getting up in age and we find it’s getting more difficult to have a good conversation with her. She repeats herself often. Then just a few days later we start with the same thing she just told us as if she had just thought of it.
For us, the listener, it is very frustrating. For her, telling the story is fun and exciting. When the same thing is said over and over again, the person at the other end of the conversation just wants to end it.
For an author, that means your book is put down and never picked up again. Even worse, a reader finishes it only to give it a horrible review.
Listen to the Editor.