I wanted the BooksGoSocial Quality Mark because the first hurdle any author must leap is basic credibility. No matter how many times I read my manuscript, (each goes through at least fifteen full edits,) and no matter how many beta readers give me a thumbs up, I am never as certain about publishing on my own as when my agent loved it, my traditional publisher loved it, and the hired editor loved it. In short, having other super-high quality readers enthusiastically saying “jump” makes me more comfortable on the ledge.
With Solomon Bull, I had edited until I couldn’t find an error or another word to cut. I was happy with the product. But I knew the reader who has never heard of me wouldn’t share my confidence.
I wanted a way to still that nagging perfectionist voice in the back of my head, and a way to demonstrate to potential readers that I’m a freak about quality.
When I stumbled across the BooksGoSocial Quality Mark, it took about thirty seconds to decide to proceed. (At the bottom of this post you can download the 14 page report I received on Solomon Bull, to see what you get.)
For $25 they feed your entire manuscript into AutoCrit, a computer that recognizes all the things our brains are wired to do that actually get in the way of communicating. Then a BooksGoSocial editor reviews the manuscript with living eyeballs and tons of talent.
The report tells us where we’re interfering with our reader’s enjoyment.
AutoCrit analyzes hard-to-find style, repetition, and readability issues that directly impact the success of a novel. The analysis is based on studying millions of successful fiction books.
No computer is yet able to tell whether Hamlet is better than Catch 22. Meaning, you could have a terrible plot and a character arc that hangs like a noose around your neck and the program won’t know.
A slightly more glass-is-half-full way to see it: now I can be confident that if my story has merit, my telling of it won’t get in the way.
My book launch plan involves stages–first, creating a launchpad of credibility. Ideally, I would have submitted the novel before publishing. But since I’m going through an elaborate process of gathering reviews and author blurbs and am considering a paid review service such as Blue Ink or Kirkus, it’s going to be no problem, and much to my advantage, to go back and do one more edit.
In fact, if you’ve ever read any reviews at Kirkus, Blue Ink, Clarion, or Indie Reviews, you’ve probably seen a few where the author could have avoided real pain and gained more insight by spending $25 to have BooksGoSocial show them the way. Instead they paid hundreds and hundreds for the privilege of having a human reviewer hem and haw and try to say nice things while pointing out to those with ears to hear, STAY AWAY FROM THIS NOVEL.
My advice? Whether you’re 100% certain of the quality of your manuscript or not, you can only gain by submitting your manuscript.
If you get a Gold seal, you got a Gold seal. Drink a margarita. You have a number that no one else will ever have. Mine is 1023. I just had it tattooed on my lower back, adjacent the Pittsburgh Steelers logo.
If you get something less, drink a margarita. The report will tell you exactly what you need to fix, and your eventual readers will thank you.
On my report for Solomon Bull, you’ll see that even with a Gold Mark there’s plenty of room for improvement. That’s a good thing because the goal is not to publish a book. It’s to plant an idea, an emotion, a thrill, an earthquake of enlightenment in a reader’s head. Any criticism that removes an obstacle between my brain and my reader’s brain is a wanted criticism.
That said, I have a quibble with one tiny aspect of my report. One of the suggested problems in my text has to do with dialog tags. Anything other than “said” or “asked” gets in the way. I agree–in fact, I usually avoid tags except when necessary to keep the reader aware of who is talking.
The problem? Solomon Bull is told in first person present tense, and I used “says” or “say” 412 times. The computer thought that was bad.
Not a big deal, but it just goes to show you have to take the AutoCrit criticism the same as you’d take from any other person, or non sentient entity, offering advice. You have to be willing to learn, but also to arrive at your own conclusion.
Other than that, I was tickled black and gold by the depth of the analysis. Sentence length, paragraph length, readability, repeated words, phrases, etc.
Check it out here. Download
Now, I know what you’re thinking. All of this is meaningless unless you can actually see the novel, the pace, style, etc, that the report refers to. You need context. The good news is Solomon Bull is on Kindle Unlimited so you can browse all of it for free. You can also sample the writing from the Kindle page preview. Also, while I’m in the credibility building phase of launch, I’m offering the mobi file or a Kindle gift link to reviewers.
One thing is certain. When I’m done launching Solomon Bull, I’ll absolutely be seeking the BooksGoSocial Quality Mark for my other novels.
I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section.
All the Best,
PS, Check out this WICKED COOL Trailer, also obtained through BooksGoSocial.