It's OK to Say You Did Not Finish a Book (DNF)

I know so many readers (at one point myself included) have a problem saying we did not finish a book. How does a lover of all things book related put down a book while their in the middle of reading it? It takes will power, but it can be done.

And it should be done.

I recently read a newly popular vampire book by a veteran writer. In fairness, I've only liked a few of this author's books but because of the hype I decided to give this one a try. The writing was so pretentious, it became a nightmare to get through the first few pages. What was even more shocking was the fact that all of the characters in the book spoke exactly the same way. For a veteran author, this seems like a ridiculous oversight.
As someone who hates to not finish a book, it was hard for me to do this but I decided to give my book back to the library right away. That was only after 50 pages. I simply could not dredge through the book any longer.

For the first time, I didn't feel guilty about it at all. I felt relief I didn't have to read that dreaded book anymore. There were so many books in my personal collection that were calling for me to be read and here I was wasting my time with this book. I literally put the book back on my shelf and picked up Stephen King's Revival (which I'm hoping is good because his last few books have been almost unbearable as well and the reviews for this book are pretty mixed).

So, the next time you feel like you can't make it through a book. Don't! Put it aside and come back for it  later or never come back to it at all. We're not all going to drool over the same books (thank goodness) so, why suffer through them unnecessarily?

I'm not counting that book as part of my reading challenge, but I am putting it on my DNF shelf. It's certainly not a warning to others, it's just a way to make sure I never go down that road again and carry on to better books.

Are you ok with DNFs or do you have to finish a book once you started it?

Why Indie Authors Deserve a Break on the "Editing" Issue

Any self-published author including yours truly, has heard the "your editing is not up to traditional book standard" argument. It is both tiring, redundant and sometimes unfair.

Should an indie book be well edited? Yes! Should you expect it to be edited as well as a traditionally published book? No.

Now I can already hear the grammar Nazis getting ready to chop my head off, but hear me out first. Many readers who have never published a book have no idea how hard it is to do so. They have no idea how expensive the process can be from getting a great cover to marketing the book well before it comes out. The most expensive part of the project is usually editing.

It's recommended that an author spend $1000-$3000 on editing. This is money many indie authors don't have. I personally spent almost $500 one time and it was a complete waste of hard earned money as the editor did a very lazy job and there were many mistakes left for me to fix.

For the indie author there are usually 2 ways to get your book edited as much as possible for an affordable price:
  1. Pay an editor several hundred dollars to do it.
  2. Grab a manual, brush up on your editing skills and do it yourself.
As a 23 year-old with no car and struggling to find a day job, sometimes it hard just to scrape up the money to just buy the manual let alone pay thousands of dollars for an editing. I've read books by indie authors who edited the book themselves and they maybe had five-fingers worth of mistakes in them. For me, not a big deal.

However, if you read some of the reviews about those same books you would have thought they were the worst books in the world. As if traditional books are squeaky clean  and the author was determined to publish a piece-of-shit book.

I can promise you, no author wants to publish a piece of shit book, ok? They're just trying to write their stories and have it read by someone in this world. They're just trying to follow their dreams.

A book should always be well edited, but if you like an author's book and think they need an editor you have some choices about how to build the author up rather than knock them down:
  1. Pay for them to have an editor because you believe in their story.
  2. Write a publisher and tell them how great the book and author is so they won't only get an editor, but a publisher as well!
  3. Leave them a great review, tell all your friends to buy their book and keep buying this author's books so that they can afford even a few hundred dollars worth of editing.
Many readers (certainly not all) have this idea that self-published and traditionally published authors are just rolling in dough. That's simply not true. Most of them work day jobs and slave away at their book by night. The majority of their money goes toward the families they love and need to care for and if they're lucky they'll have a little left  to put towards developing a book. I mean at most books being priced $5.99 or below, how can we possible be making a ton of money?

When I'm reading a great self-published book I don't take off star off for a few mistakes. Even the "big" books make mistakes. I write this not to ask you to accept low quality reading,  but to be a little kinder when you come across a great read with promise that might lack a little editing polish.

I'm sure someone won't be able to resist the urge of pointing out that this blog post may need an editor, but just don't, I'm already aware. ;)

Book Review: Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga

Blood Of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3)
 Jazz Dent has been shot and left to die in New York City. His girlfriend Connie is in the clutches of Jazz's serial killer father, Billy. And his best friend Howie is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz's own home in tiny Lobo's Nod. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. But then Jazz crosses a line he's never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: "Like father, like son?" Who is the true monster?
The chase is on, and beyond Billy there lurks something much, much worse. Prepare to meet...the Crow King.

My last review  was filled with things that I didn't like about book 2 The Game by Barry Lyga, I talked about how I knew I had to get through it to read book 3 comfortably, but only enjoyed small parts of it.

Well thank goodness I felt completely different about book 3! The book picks up exactly where book 2 left off so, it really hits the ground running  as far as the story and the action. It's going to be really hard to write this without including juicy spoilers so I'm sorry if the review seems sort of bland.

This book even though it was only about 50 pages less then book 2 moved at a better pace. The book had a lot of ground to cover, but it really did do it well. Although I still don't really like the character Howie, he was a little easier to take. The entire"trying to be black" persona he had going was not nearly as annoying this time around.

I never disliked Connie,but thank God she made smarter choices this time around as book 2 made me want to slap that girl.

While Jazz just mostly freaked me out during the entire series, I actually felt really bad for him here. I mean the bat-craziness he's surrounded by is just unbearable. Once again, it was a little annoying how he always outsmarted the police, however, the way the book pulsated I was willing to suspend the relief a little. For this, I have to reduce the book to 4 stars.

The book covers so many taboo topics and gets so dark sometimes it literally took my breath away! Some twists were just crazy. I saw one major twist coming, but even when it made it self known it was so nasty, disturbing and disgusting it was hard to wrap my mind around. I enjoyed the ending-it was dark and brutal! It was fitting for such a raw series. Scary as hell.

Speaking of scary as hell, this book was so visceral at times. I'm still amazed that it's considered YA. That might be only because there are teenage characters within it, because everything about this book is straight up adult. So, just a warning to the parents out there. If you don't let your kid read it, you grab it and read it!

I'm a slow reader and had to read it in 2 days to return to the library. Not to say it wasn't hell for a slow reader like me, but it was better because I was enjoying it. Thank goodness there were no slow spots to slow me down and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

The author totally went there on some crazy taboo topics so kudos to that. 

As a black women, I totally appreciated the open and honest way the author talked about race.

So except for Jazz being a bit TOO smart ALL of the time, I loved this book. The ending, don't want to spoil it, was fitting and satisfying.

This book needs a movie NOW!



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