Here's the deal. I have an extremely limited, disability income, and I'm very choosy about what I buy from month to month. As a writer, publisher, and editor I have become acquainted with many, many writer friends, most of whom self-publish their work as I do, or they publish via small presses.
I congratulate them on their fortitude, and am excited for them whenever their books come out, because I know that every word is a dream realized for them.
But I also know that some of their realized dreams came true because they took shortcuts and that their paper and ink, and electronic products are flawed. Some of their dreams have become nightmares to read.
They depend on technology to edit their books, which comes up short because nothing replaces human eyes reading a book, word by word to eliminate errors and awkward sentences and paragraphs.
This is not the first time I've written about editing one's manuscript. In fact I've harped on it quite a lot in this blog. Letting a sloppy-ass manuscript get into print, either electronic print or ink print is disrespectful to your readers. If you expect them to spend their hard-earned money on your book, then you need to get off your lazy ass and make it clean.
I have reached the point where I'm disgusted enough with what I've read in the past couple of months, to begin book shopping much, much more discriminately. Here's what I mean:
- I will thoroughly read the cover, front and back, of the book. If there is even one error there, I will not purchase it. Any author that allows an error to show up on their cover can't possibly care about or respect the reader's investment of time or money.
- I will read the sample pages on Amazon or read the first twenty pages in the book store. If there are errors in those first few pages, I will just assume that the book is poorly edited and the author is too lazy or inept to fix problems, and move on to a book where the author gives a damn.
It's that simple. You either care or you don't. You either have a passion to tell stories and engage readers and give them a polished book worthy of their time and money, or you're pumping out crap as fast as you can that isn't worth the reader's effort to turn the pages.
This reader is disgusted with the crap out there on the market. I will no longer buy it. I will, if I consider you a friend, tell you why I didn't buy your book. Because friends tell friends, in a polite way, when they are screwing up. But I won't buy crap. Not anymore.
TD – 2/22/2016