Protesting a Book, In My Own Subtle Way

Bad editing of a promising book is like finding out your favorite food

Just in case you were hungry, now you're not

is made of dog crap.

I’d expect a few mistakes on a debut author, particularly if it was self-published or an e-book. Sometimes the formatting on E-Books can be the Devil, no matter how many times you proofread it before you hit ‘Submit.’

But this was a Hard-Back book from a major publishing house, written by a New York Times Bestselling Author. (I won’t name the book or author, but its a name every romance reader knows). I read it several months ago and vowed never to pick up another one from them. Then I walked thru the bookstore the other day and found a new release from her. And I scowled. In the middle of the aisle, in a brick-and-mortor bookstore, with other people around me. Actually scowled.

I could have written a better manuscript than what she submitted, but this woman keeps getting more and more contracts, and clearly doesn’t care about the quality she submits. And what’s even worse, the editors don’t even care to call her out on the mistakes. Maybe they don’t even bother reading it. It’s so frustrating. Particularly for someone who’s trying to break into the publishing world.

The book I ended throwing across the room had serious mistakes. Entire paragraphs repeated. What newbie editor doesn’t catch that??? Repetitive phrasing throughout every chapter. I wanted to puke every time I read the words ‘pleasure.’ She used it 3 or 4 times in a single paragraph. Imagine that, EVERY OTHER PARAGRAPH throughout half the story.

Personally, I think that editor should have been fired. If she isn’t going to take the time to respect her job and the publishing industry, then I don’t want to take the time to read anything that crosses her desk. And as for the author, it was clear she didn’t care about the story at all. She was probably so pressed on a deadline and was so far behind, she just vomited words on the page and clicked ‘Send’ in her email. She stopped respecting her own profession. Thereby, I’ve stopped respecting her books.

I guess that’s how I protest things I disagree with. I don’t purchase their products. Just like I don’t buy gas from Exxon Mobile or Citgo (7/11’s). (Exxon Mobile is a horribly unethical company and Citgo is a Venezuelan company and supports Hugo Chavez. Just in case you care to join in my protest.) I don’t buy Lady Gaga music, and anytime Chris Brown songs come on the radio, I change the station.

Before you click away from this posting claiming here’s another liberal, sign-toting, picket-line enthusiast, I’m actually not that liberal. I’m a conservative. Personally, picket lines are pointless. You should be spending that time at your job, or protesting in a more productive way, like donating money to the cause, or even better, taking money away from the target. Nothing is more effective than hurting the pockets of a controversy.

But alas, that means I must add another person/company to the list of stores/products that I will not purchase in my own subtle protest. This one just hurts a little more because someone is succeeding with crap in a business that’s close to my heart.

How about you? How do you react to a bad book? And take it a step further: how to show your disapproval for companies or products that disappoint you?

6 responses to “Protesting a Book, In My Own Subtle Way

  1. I’ve actually seen this quite a bit. I hang my head in shame. That’s about it. Oh yeah.. and I recommend everybody look for their books at Half-Priced Books or other notorious literary pawn establishments that insure no royalties come their way while at the same time subliminally spreading secretes of their staleness.

  2. When I hear stuff like this, I am w/ you. It plain old TICKS me OFF. I, too, have read some self-pub books that ranged from badly edited to exceptionally edited, and like you said, I would have to agree you almost expect the mistakes in this category, and are pleasantly surprised when there are none. But to have a MAJOR house MAJOR author have them in print? That is more than disappointing. Sometimes I wonder HOW ppl have gotten published. I bought a trilogy once from half-price that looked really promising. It was a new author for me, but I thought I would give it a shot. UGH it was so bad. I made it thru the first book…barely, and didn’t pick up the other two. I wasted my $. I thought “AND I CAN’T get into the industry?” This was also a NY house. It wasn’t the editing as much as filled w/ the “don’t’s” So disappointing.

  3. Also, an author I LOVE, ADORE, one of my faves…also a NY biggie, I was reading the sixth book in her series in nookbook e-format, and it was loaded w/ typos. I HOPED that it was just the e-book that that happened w/ but I don’t have the series in paperback to compare.

  4. I’ve read some major stinkers out there that give me hope that one day I’ll get published. I read one book by a major author in which one paragraph slipped from 3rd person POV to 1st – threw me for a huge loop and I couldn’t get into it again after that.

  5. I react in exactly the same way you’ve described – if I don’t like the book, then they don’t get any future sales from me. It’s a silent protest, as you say, because everyone has their own opinion and you have to respect that even if you disagree :)

  6. Pingback: 'Editing' – It's Not A Dirty Word | Screaming InkScreaming Ink

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