An impossible problem?
Apologies for the long post. I've landed myself in a bit of a pickle. Some may comment that I ought not to complain, but I am genuinely concerned. I have about twenty novels on the Kindle (and equally in paperback). Recently, I looked at the numbers for those sold on the Kindle, and June's figures took my breath away. Particularly for one title. (I'm still waiting for the money though!)
Anyway, that's not my point. What's happening is a great deal of the reviews, although praise is being given for the story etc, people are concentrating on the writing. Specifically writing sentences such as:
'is it just the kindle edition that has soooooo many spelling and grammatical mistakes?'
'I have never read a book with so many syntax and grammar mistakes'
'Punctuation and grammar very poor making the book a bit of a chore.'
'I can't believe any author would write this with so many mistakes ? These errors spoilt the whole book and make me reluctant to read another by this author'
'Punctuation and grammar very poor making the book a bit of a chore. Will not be back for more.'
'I was seriously irritated by the constant grammatical or spelling errors which seemed to turn up on almost every page of my Kindle. I was prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt but for me it completely ruined the book as a potentially good read.'
As you can imagine, I suspect this could have a detrimental effect on future sales. My point is, I am confused. Before each novel is published, I run it through five spelling and three grammar checkers. My neighbour reads them and she used to be a proof-reader and she has helped me a great deal. I go through each novel at least three times as well, checking for things such as homonyms.
So troubled am I, I even went so far as to purchase a copy of one of my own books in the Kindle format and read the first fifty pages on my iPad.
I have to say, I could not find any problems except one; which is that the chapter headings do not appear on a new page. (Yes, I always use insert page break in Word-the final program I use to compile) (That is not to say that I believe myself such an egoist that no errors exist-I often find mistakes in best sellers published by major publishing houses)
But I believe that that particular issue is the fault of the conversion process from a Word document to Kindle. This fault also seems random. In one or two of my novels, I have been unable to provide chapters at all. I have informed Amazon Kindle about this but received no reply.
In reading my novel, I found no spelling errors, speech quotes are correct, the indents are fine, and therefore, overall, I am confused and bothered; something must be wrong because so many readers have commented on the same issues. I really have no idea what's going on.
But to the heart of the matter. A professional proof-reader would charge me about $300 (£200) to look through one of my scripts, and my novels do not make that much money to justify using one. I'd come out at a loss. So, here I am, asking if this situation rings a bell with anyone? And has anybody solved the problem?
Best wishes to you all,