Do people actually understand what they read? – Situation # 1

Edwin StarkI’m getting a little frustrated about not being always able to get my point across. This mostly due because people just want to blind themselves with their personal viewpoints about how life should be.

What follows is the first of a series of situations I generally come across, and whenever I tell people about the issues that arise because of living in the jungle, they always seem to get it all wrong. (*sigh*)

I’m planning a series of blog posts relating to the subject.
Situation # 1:  Just got another mail from someone that tells me that she loved my book… but admonished me to get an editor.
What I did: I tried to explain this person the whole enchilada with a “thank-you” e-mail. Excerpt of the text follows.

“I’d love to have my books professionallly edited, but you must realize that I live in Venezuela. My home country is subject to a series of draconian laws that prevents locals from performing currency exchange operations (you can check for these regulations at but this place is only in Spanish).  This same law precludes me from hiring an editor, for I’d be unable to pay for his/her services. Now, if you know of some editor that’s willing to work for free or accepts Venezuelan currency…”

Result: she snapped back that I was making things up, I was just being careless about my writing and that I was being facetious.

People: What’s so hard to understand of the  statement above?  Wasn’t I clear enough? I told her a) I can’t hire an editor because b) I can’t pay him/her due to c) my home country’s laws are severely restricting my rights of exchanging the toilet paper we use as money down here for a more acceptable currency, therefore it’s something beyond my control.

Ok, then some people try to reason things out by asking: Can’t you pay for the editing with the accumulated earnings of your books? Well, that would be swell… if I had any earnings. You see, people don’t buy poorly edited books, so sales are the pits. And to be able to pull this trick I’d have to sell about, let’s say 1500 copies of each one of my books (Uncle Sam and the Merchant sites want their pound of flesh too, you know)… and my top seller is Cuentos, which only sold 50 copies during the two years it has been out.

Let’s do the math: 1500 copies divided by 25 copies per year (average) = 60 years. So it would take me nearly 60 years to raise the money to edit one book. And to make this whole thing better, the sales would have to be done through Smashwords, who uses Paypal (so I can use the money to pay the editor); Amazon checks are impossible to cash here in Venezuela without losing half the ammount to bank fees, and then they would automatically convert to the local currency, which would take me back to square one… Quite a nice Catch-22 situation, isn’t it?

Now… I’m wondering what are you thinking about all this… surely I failed to get my point across… AGAIN… LOL…

Now, if you can excuse me, I must go and catch some Zs… been up for the past 36 hours or so…

Edwin Stark

Signing off

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Do people actually understand what they read? – Situation # 1

  1. Margaret Radisich Sleasman

    Some people don’t get it, Edwin; you have to ignore them. Speaking of Amazon, I wonder why they don’t use paypal, you would think they would at least make it available for those who want to use it. Keep on writing, it is easy to see that you love what you do and that is all that matters.

  2. This really answered my drawback, thank you!

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