Life in The Jungle: Reader’s Hypocrisy

Edwin StarkAs you may have noticed by now, this blog has absolutely no followers… and it won’t get any. It will never be popular due to my tell-it-like-it-is attitude, which is something that hasn’t been very popular in the past… and it won’t be in the near future.

Today, I will address an issue that has been bugging me for the past few days. Reader’s everywhere are bashing the heads of Indie writers because of typos or formatting issues in their e-books. They claim they want a professional product. That “indies” ought to put out a “polished” book in the hands of the readers out there. And the same readers want it at 99 cents or even less.

Of course, everyone wants to tell what to do, to a poor guy who has poured his heart and soul in his latest book, that has to work completely on his own in the tasks of cooking up the tale, writing it down, making sure there are no plot discontinuities, and then editing… and proofreading the damn thing until he’s sick of it, up to the point of seeing little green men that start peeing gasoline at the corners of his house.

Recently, a copy of certain gentleman landed on my lap. It was a paperback coming from one of the most celebrated writers in recent history (the blurb extols the virtues of his books “having sold more than three hundred thousand gazillion copies”) and published by one of the much-deservedly-maligned Big Six’s publishing companies.

To have fun, I grabbed my trusted red felt pen and began to circle the typos I found in this particular paperback. In the end, I encountered three hundred, seventy four typos. It was practically a typo in every three pages. Boys and girls, this is a paperback. The book in question was a big hit in hardcover. Supposedly (supposedly!), a paperback should always be a revised version in the first sales run. At least this was the custom when I began writing, thirty years ago. Seems it no longer is. And this book is coming from a famed writer , who has at his disposal an army of editors and proofreaders to clean up his messes. Curiously, his reviews, an avalanche of 4 and 5-star ones, make no mention of the 374 typos.

Now, out of curiosity, I grabbed the book of a “indie” writer fellow, whose book’s reviews (2 and 3 stars) always tell him “nice book but too many typos”, “too many grammar issues”, “I’d give this book an extra star if it wasn’t an “indie”, “I’m not paying 99 cents for such a flawed product”, etc. My trusty red friend only marked twenty-two typos in the entire text, nearly a typo every fifteen pages ratio or so.

This, folks, is reader’s hypocrisy at its most abject cusp.

BTW, the “big time author’s book” was priced at $18.99 the moment I made this little experiment. If we measured typos as if they were nuts or mushrooms, it’s readers did pay $ 0.07 per typo. The “indie” book, priced at 99 cents and with only 22 typos…

Ah, give it a miss… you do the math…

Did you enjoy this silly rambling? Go out there and buy yourselves a copy of my second novel, Eco Station One, and you’ll get 260 pages of stuff like this.

Edwin Stark
Signing off.

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Life in The Jungle: Reader’s Hypocrisy

  1. There are readers like that, and different readers too. There will be those who go after an Indie writer, not buying the book and giving it a one-star just because. But glee on the 374 typos of the famed author.

    I am happy when the other kind of readers send me a “thank you” email or write a review saying why they liked it and what they liked.

    Yes, it is sad the amount of prejudice against Indie writers. But I think with time things will change… Hopefully in our life time, Edwin 🙂

  2. I think you make a very good point. I try to keep all typos at bay from my books, to the point where I now submit pretty much anything I care about to Awesome Indies. They apply strict standards so if I meet those anyone else can get stuffed I say.

    Good luck with the second novel!



  3. I then have been able to apply to be listed in their catalogue. Awaiting response with trepidation.

  4. I finally managed to get the “follow” to work. Apparently, it is through wordpress (downloaded a couple of years ago, but never figured out how to install on my computer). Anyway I love your blog (as well as your writing), thought you should know that. :O)

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