The Silver and Gold
BooksGoSocial Quality Mark
For added credibility for my soon to be published medical thriller, Heads Will Roll, I submitted my manuscript to BooksGoSocial (“BGS”) for evaluation. Their human analysis combined with the automated software program, AutoCrit, promised to improve and tighten my writing. (The quality marks come in Bronze, Silver and Gold and each quality mark is uniquely numbered.)
I received the Silver and Gold. It sounds like I participated in the Olympics. Instead, I received something better: validation that my book is a quality product. Silver Quality Mark and then, with editing and determination, I turned it into a Gold Quality Mark.
For me, it didn’t come easy to get that coveted Gold Quality Mark (the highest mark). When I received a 15-page report awarding my manuscript the Silver Quality Mark, I was proud, yet a bit deflated. Then, I felt a surge of determination. I didn’t spend over year researching and writing my book to not give it my all. I was going to do this!
The AutoCrit’s analysis is “based on studying millions of successful fiction books.” To be in the Silver category amongst top fiction books is something to be proud of and if an author wanted to stay there, that would still validate their book to be among the best.
My report score for the Silver Quality Mark was 77.32. The Gold Quality Mark score begins at 80. I knew that if I didn’t try to aim higher when I was this close to the next achievement level, I would be kicking myself for years.
It took me approx. nine hours of editing to get my manuscript ready for the next round. I went through each point from the report to improve and strengthen my writing. My readers deserve quality and so do I!
The next 16-page report was a shining and proud moment for me. I was awarded the Gold Quality Mark! My score: 80.94. Yes, I made it!
For authors who haven’t sent in their manuscript yet for a quality mark, I encourage you to do so. If fact, do it today! It will be the best $29 you’ll ever spend. I admit, I was nervous awaiting the results but receiving a quality mark comparing your book to thousands out there in Bookland is a humbling experience and one every author needs to go through.
I will now show you comparisons between the Silver report and the Gold report so you can see what to work towards. Don’t wait until publication day. Submit months in advance so you have the time to go through your manuscript and correct the issues. Of course, you may come out on the first try with a Gold Quality Mark and I applaud you if that happens. (I would love to hear your good news!) If you come out with a Bronze or a Silver report, then you have some work to do. Don’t feel ashamed–feel empowered! You can do this!
- Adverbs. Overuse of adverbs can weaken your work.
Silver Score: 232 After improvement: Gold: 119
- Dialogue Tags. When dialogue tags other than ‘said’ or ‘asked’ are used they can detract from the dialogue as they draw attention to themselves.
Number of Dialogue tags said other than ‘said’ or ‘asked’:
Silver Score: 350 After improvement: Gold: 295
- Filler Words. Filler words are often described as fluff.
This is what took most of the editing time. As you can see, I had a number of filler words. Wow! I hadn’t realized this before. Even with editing, hiring a proofreader, beta readers, etc. This just blew my mind.
Silver Score: 676 After improvement: Gold: 162
- Generic Words. Generic descriptions and words can make a book seem dull.
This was my second surprise. I was using boring words!
Silver Score: 293 After improvement: Gold: 92
- Frequented Words/Phrases. Repeated phrases will be noticed by the reader and may become tiresome.
This is the one that took some time to correct. Once I edited the phrases, I had to reword the sentence.
Silver Score: 1364 After Improvement: Gold: 1293
- Show v Tell. Showing uses description and action to allow the reader to experience the story.
This is my extra credit. It was not included in my Silver report and now I’m excited to get busy.
I hope you can use this document to your advantage. And then get busy preparing for your own quality mark. I wish you success in your writing. And never give up!
Joanie Chevalier’s thriller, Heads Will Roll, will be published mid-May and will be FREE May 23, 24 and 25, 2017. Join her launch page and receive an ARC, or connect via twitter or Facebook. For more information on her current projects and to read some free short stories, visit her website.