As many of you know, I like to review books. I'm willing to read almost any genre and this is one of the reasons I enjoy being a tour host for Innovative Online Book Tours.
A message to all authors who choose to pursue their dream of being a published author and self publish their work: hire an editor.
Suck it up and pay the money to have someone who knows what they're doing look over your manuscript. Nothing is more annoying than seeing beginning writing mistakes in a book you've paid for. It's one thing to have a crappy story line, but a whole other thing to have sloppy writing, too. While both can be fixed, the easiest to work on is the basics.
Cut the word "that."
Don't argue with me. Just do it.
Stick with "she said" versus "she said loudly."
Let your dialogue explain how loud it is. Make your reader work their imagination a little bit.
Watch out for things like, "he stood up." Drop the up. The only way you can stand is up so it's implied.
I guarantee if you start with those three things, you'll clean up a lot of things and make your writing tight.
Then hire an editor. An editor's job is to catch the pesky mistakes like the ones I just mentioned and to make sure your story is going in a believable, solid direction. The story shouldn't wander around like the muddy back roads of the Texas Hill Country, nor should your characters switch emotions every two paragraphs.
Indie authors get a bad name when they don't take care of the basics.