Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reading glut, eye-strain alert, AKA why doesn’t an indie author’s spell check or punctuation check work any longer?

Coming soon
with perfect spelling and punctuation!

Yes, I am an addict. I read till my eyeballs scream, but ignore their protests and continue to read with my fingertips, anything to finish a good book.

So why do I allow some authors to abuse my precious time, my precious body and my pocketbook by posting books with BAD (really, really BAD) punctuation and horrible (OMG!) spelling? And why oh, why do these folks make it to the best seller lists?

I am stumped. Stupified. Flummoxed.

I am outraged at their sloppiness and disregard for my reading experience, which by all means should focus on their story NOT their hideous lack of professionalism! (And their rush to collect my money in their bank account for what is a sloppy product!)

Last week, I bought a book on the NYT list by an indie author.  (Really, she is a HYBRID author who has been pubbed by a traditional publisher. Therefore, her punctuation and spelling “feet” have been held to the proverbial fire and she should know better than to do this to her readers.) I was curious as to the reason for her success. (Topic? Plot? Unique conflict? What, what?) I had to know!

Dear Reader, I read this book, and cursed each page, sometimes 10 or more lines per page for the hideous punctuation and spelling! No, it was not that she failed to provide proper formatting for her indie book. She did not understand the use of any of the following:
M dash (and lack thereof)
N dash
Quotation marks (Please, shoot me.)
Scene breaks

Why did I endure this to THE END?

After 20 or so pages of this insult, l should have stopped. Shouldn’t I? I should have said, no more, you are killing me softly. I should have thrown it across the room (or deleted it from iPad) and asked why I take my precious time to turn in perfectly spelled and punctuated pieces (even those I have self-pubbed) and I read this???

But I will never do so again.


My iPad, darling creature, has so much on it that is luscious, transportive reading. Courtesy of all those wonderful authors, many of them good friends of mine, I have wonderful hours awaiting me. Furthermore, because pricing in the industry is so competitive lately, many of them were discounted. Most were not. But I bought each on that wonderful literate whim that comes to us when we see a novel we MUST read. I have stored many for that rainy day when my soul needs to be fed with divine tales that I have neither the time nor the proclivity to create myself.

So this author is no longer on my iPad. Her works—and I had 2 more of them on there—I eliminated.

I called up my best friend and screamed about the audacity to insult me as a consumer, a reader and an author!

I have written of my outrage here.

I feel better.

And the next time, I see this in a book, I hope to god I have the intelligence to end my torture sooner. And may you too end it so that somewhere in the universe, authors who don't learn or don't take time to do it right, hie themselves off to a place we cannot find their works for sale...anywhere.

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