A good book will be read over and over again. Not all books have the same appeal. How can one book be so different from another in reading appeal? Why do some books we read make us not want to never put it down, and other books we put down after the first chapter? What distinguishes a good book from an okay book? There are several things.
- A good book has an interesting story. The genre that is one you love to read, and the story weaves through the pages. We all have a favorite genre that we go to immediately.
- You do not have to be a famous author to write a good book. Many new authors have written very good books that sell well.
- Limit certain words in your manuscript such as ly words, weasel words, and words that are fillers.
- Ellipses, em dashes, and exclamation points should be used at a minimum.
- Never ever start a sentence with “so.” That’s one of the weasel words we have to watch.
- Be aware of the timeline of the book.
- Don’t drop something in the book that has not been introduced before. Don’t neglect to tell the reader of an important event, even if it is second hand information to the character.
- Introduce all of the characters. If it is a series, we sometimes forget from one book to the other who the person is. Readers want to know.
These are things that bug me when I’m editing a book.
When you read popular authors, especially in Christian fiction, learn from their writing. A mature writer does not do the things listed above. Notice how they write. Watch their flow of words. See how they connect everything. Nothing is going to pop out at you that should have been told in the first chapter.
A well-written book sells better than a sloppy one. Have a paid editor edit your book. Beta readers are fine, but most of them will not find grammar and punctuation errors. I rarely read a self-published book because of the errors the author makes. I’d rather read one from a reputable publishing company that has edited the book.
Study the craft daily. Learn to be a better writer, and a writer who will sell books.