Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Before you give advice about publishing, please learn how to write

Text copied from http://www.aaymca.com.

Borat's English is better.

Almost everyone who write any books or even ebook are need a copyright. Moreover, you’ll recommended to obtained an ISBN as soon as possible. If you have considered all your choices and have decided that “self-publishing” makes the most fit for you. Please get ISBN to your as soon as possible. You may know that there is an extra in the need to “self-market” your eBook or books, but you must know that it’s also have correlation to boost your profits.

Do you Know about ISBN ?
Yeah..!! ISBN is stands for: “International Standard Book Number”. Most people aren’t know and understand what is an ISBN. ISBN is a number (commonly 10 digit)that would helps to recognize your book, ebook or even brand. The ISBN is commonly placed on the back of the book or product. This is look like a bar-code in a supermarket, wholesale and retail store. It’s capable to identify any products. It’s typically used to identify a book by the author or publisher. It’s so useful for any instance like booksellers, universities, libraries, wholesalers and many more as it’s capable to identify book or products easily and rapidly. Furthermore, it’s also applied on internet, I have seen ISBN search on valorebooks.com. That’s means you’re enabled to get books and any product rapidly and simply online.

Is it Important For Me ?
The answer of this question is depending on your needed. You would really really need ISBN if you are wanna sell or distribute your products like ebook or even book on major websites. However, it would be useless if you just purposed to distribute your ebook or books on your own sites. In a few case, this is needed to be one point of products qualification, some retailers and store won’t accept any products that doesn’t contain an ISBN. So, do you know whether or not it’s important for you ?

How To Obtaining an ISBN Number?
If you decide you’ll like to get an ISBN for your eBook or books, you could easily get it. There are various ISBN agencies in the worldwide that could aid you to joining your ebook or books to ISBN. If you’re published your book by a book publishing deal, you’ll most likely obtain the ISBN. You could also get the ISBN by self publishing agency especially through internet, if you wanna sale book yourself. Typically ISBN already provided for the publisher.

The cost
The price to buy an ISBN may seem to expensive for most people. The cost of getting an ISBN is about $80 to $ 500 or even more, it’s depending on the amount that you’ll purchase. In the worldwide, there are plenty resellers that provide and sell a single ISBN for about $50 to $ 65. Other way for the buy of an ISBN is by your book printer. The printing company usually give this as a service to the customers because they understand that you may not require a lot of ISBN numbers.

Self-publishing may looked so daunting, but if you know and understand about the strategies needed, it’s potentially could be successfully done. Furthermore, an ISBN is needed, you’ll also require to manage copyright issues.

In other words, you actually need to get an ISBN if you have a goal to market and sell your eBook on major sites, in store and many more. But, if you just wanna sell books on your sites, you could ignore this on your consideration. Firstly on your publishing, please ensure that you have already deciding your goal, so that you could prioritize the budgets for your publishing like the budget for getting ISBN.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Whistle while you work -- or have a device that whistles, hums or sings to you

Music can make life -- even work -- more pleasant.

I thought that "Whistle While You Work" came from the 1946 Disney movie Song of the South, but it was actually part of the 1937 animated Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The song shows Snow White and a bunch of cute animals happily whistling while cleaning house.

This song even generated an anti-Nazi parody:

Whistle while you work.
Hitler was a jerk.
Mussolini kicked him in the peenie.
Now it doesn't work.

Snow White is the source of another popular work song. "Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go" is sung by the seven dwarfs.

When I was a kid, we sang this parody:

Hi-ho, hi-ho
It's off to school I go.
I heard the bell
And ran like hell.
Hi-ho, hi-ho.

In 1957, The Bridge on the River Kwai, showed Allied POWs whistling the "Colonel Bogey March" to maintain morale and dignity while building a bridge for their Japanese captors under horrid conditions. That song was written in 1914, but it, too, was the source of an anti-Nazi parody in the Second World War.

Göring has only got one ball
Hitler's [are] so very small
Himmler's so very similar
And Goebbels has no balls at all

Slaves may have sung since ancient times to mitigate their misery. In the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles, Lyle (played by Burton Gilliam) taunted the mostly black railroad workers: "When you was slaves, you sang like birds. Come on! Let's hear a good, old nigger work song!"

Around 1980, I was writing about 20 hours a day to complete a book with a very tight deadline. I discovered an NPR radio show hosted by Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes. Ed played great jazz after midnight, and the music kept me awake enough to keep writing.

Although I enjoy many kinds of music, and my home is filled with radios and recordings and the equipment to play them, I somehow got out of the habit of playing music while I write. I recently rearranged my home office, and rediscovered the great Tivoli radio that had been on my desk for over a decade. While I'm in the car, I love talk radio, but when I'm writing I find that voiceless music is less distracting, very comforting, and sometimes even stimulating.

So, turn on some music -- or whistle while you work. It was good for Snow White and the prisoners.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Keep these two meaningless words off your book covers and websites

I recently encountered the website of author, artist, athlete and entrepreneur Angela Lam Turpin. The title of the site, strangely, is "The official website of Angela Lam Turpin." If this is the official site, I have to wonder if there are unofficial Angela Lam Turpin websites.

Angela is a wonderful, accomplished person worthy of admiration; but is Angela important enough to inspire fakers to produce websites not certified by Angela?

I think not.

Bing shows
one-hundred-and-sixty-five-million links for the term "official website." Google lags, with under forty-million links for the term.

This is ridiculous and pathetic.

  • Some O-sites, appropriately, are government-sanctioned websites -- but this trend has grown ridiculously. Does the Missouri Lottery really need an "official" website? Does the Vatican? Bureaucrats (some called "officials") love the word "official." 
  • Many O-sites belong to movies like Spider-Man 2, teams like the Atlanta Falcons and performers such as KISS, Madonna and Cher -- who apparently don't want fans to think that websites published by other fans are actually sanctioned. 
  • But, does The Association, now nearly 50 years old, still merit an official site? Are there pretenders?
  • Is Angela Lam Turpin as big a star as Madonna? I think not.
  • Many O-sites belong to egomaniacal businesses. Does AT&T really need an "official" website? Does Louis Vuitton? Do Orkin Pest Control and its rival Terminix? Does Greenwich Pizza, in the Philippines, really need an O-site?
  • In some cases where the actual website doesn't scream "OFFICIAL," the paid online ads for the sites do use the O-word.
  • Of course, even an unofficial site can claim to be official.

Most things that claim to be 'official something' are not official anything. Use of the label is evidence of unchecked ego, or maybe just ignorance.
  • Amazon.com shows nearly 145,000 links to books with "official" in the title or subtitle.That total is about 5,000 more than 18 months ago. The virus is spreading.

Some O-books, such as a book for diabetics produced by the American Diabetes Association, can logically claim to be "official." Others, like a book of instructions for speaking Spanish like a Costa Rican, is official nothing.

Unless your book, blog or website is officially blessed by some important person or institution, restrain your ego and don't claim that your work is official.

If you are important enough to attract copycats, then you can claim your work to be officially yours -- but copycats can claim that you approved their work too. Fame is not all fun.

"SECRET" is another extremely popular word. It's an exciting and meaningless word. Keep it o
ff your book covers.

Apparently, lots of authors and publishers think that lots of readers want to know secrets, especially "dirty little secrets."

Amazon.com (which pays for an ad for its "official" site) lists more than 217,000 books with "secret" in the title (up from a mere 150,000 or so about three years ago). Some are fiction, and many are nonfiction. "Secrets of success" is a very popular book title cliche. Thousands of books use the phrase in their titles.

Here's a dirty little secret: none of the books promising secrets actually reveal secrets because no secrets are secret after even one person reads the secret.

The author of Secrets of Self Publishing 2 is so proud of his secrecy that he put the title TWICE on the cover of the horrible book. The slim volume is badly written, badly formatted and apparently unedited. I found exactly one alleged secret in the book: "The secrets of self-publishing are the same as the secrets of success. One must be willing to research all outlets, and find a method which fits your program."

That's not much of a secret.

Find some way to attract readers to your book without putting "SECRETS" in the title. Avoid "OFFICIAL," too.

Monday, August 8, 2016

When should an author's face go on the front book cover?

A while ago I was speaking to a "book shepherd," a woman who guides wannabe authors through the publishing process. She works with writers with a wide range of ability, experience, expectation and ego. She said that many writers have such strong egos that they expect their portraits to be on their front covers. 

Some authors deserve this super-star treatment but not many, and certainly not many newbies.
  • If you are writing your first novel or a book of poems, it's highly likely that very few people have ever heard of you and that neither your portrait nor your name will provide a good reason for anyone to invest money and time in reading your precious words. It's much more important to have a great title and cover design.
  • If you're writing nonfiction, whether about the Korean War, cooking pizza or climbing mountains, unless you are famous for achievements in the subject you are writing about, neither your name nor face are likely to convince anyone to invest money and time in reading your precious words. It's much more important to have a great title and cover design.

(above) If you are as famous as Martha Stewart or Suze Orman, and an expert in the field you are writing about, by all means put your portrait on the cover.

(above) If you're famous mainly for being famous, it's critical that your smiling face be on the cover of your books.

(above) If you have a lot of fame or a bit of fame and your physical image will enhance the mood of the book, put your pic on the cover.

(above) If you're famous for your written or spoken words, your face belongs on your book covers -- even if you're dead.

(above) If you're well-known for politics, your image gets to smile at book shoppers.

(above) Everyone who wants to be president of the USA -- or to be remembered for what was accomplished while president -- is assumed to be a professional writer. Fortunately ghostwriters are readily available to aid the inept. The photo on the cover shows the politician, not the actual writer, and sometimes serves as a campaign poster.

(above) Sometimes, not often, books by presidential hopefuls do not have faces facing readers.

(above) If your main claim to fame is that you impregnated a relative of a politician, sure, put your photo on the cover.

(above) If you're not famous, but your appearance adds credibility and implies expertise, sure, put yourself on the cover.

(above) If you're not famous and the presumed audience for your memoir consists of people you know, your portrait certainly won't hurt sales. This is a very interesting book, by the way. I recommend it.

If you're not famous and your face does not closely relate to your book's topic or genre, keep it off the front cover until your third book, or sixth.

(above) Unfortunately, many authors use amateur photos with bad poses, bad lighting, bad focus and distracting backgrounds -- on a bad hair day. The book shown above may be the worst book ever published, so the horrid author photo is sadly appropriate.

(above) Even a well-done photo may be inappropriate if the person has no known connection to the subject of the book. This cover has another, bigger problem -- the text is extremely difficult to read. Also, the circular necklace ornament right in the center is distracting.

(left) My recent book shows my highly modified face on the front cover. It's a very personal book, so it's appropriate for my face to be there. If I was writing about Richard Nixon, chocolate cake or the Peloponnesian Wars, my face would be on the back.

Here's some advice from Hobie Hobart of Bowker (the ISBN and book research company): Many authors think that putting their picture on the front cover will make them famous. This is not necessarily so. Unless you are well known in the media, bookstore buyers will not accept your book which pictures you on the front cover. However, if you are selling exclusively to a tight niche where you are well known, or your intention is to start branding yourself to a specific market, your photo on the front cover or the spine can be an advantage. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

When responding to readers, an author's attitude makes a big diffference

I read lots of books.

I particularly read lots of books about publishing, both to learn and to check on possible competition for my own books about publishing.

In one week I read two unsatisfying books which try to instruct self-publishers. They both have useful information, but the presentations are badly flawed. Typography, cover design and editing are deficient. Both books have factual errors, reveal bad decisions (and ignorance), and include inappropriate material.

I often email authors with questions, comments and corrections. I like to be helpful, and I'm an unabashed know-it-all.

I don't identify myself as a blogger, writer, publisher or reviewer -- but I don't hide my identity, either. Any author could instantly find out about me with Google or Bing.

My communication with "#1" was as unpleasant as reading her book. She made ridiculous attempts to justify bad decisions, ignored some questions, and seemed downright resentful (e.g., "Why are you asking these questions?"). Her snotty attitude killed any chance of getting a positive review from me.

The response from "#2" was completely different. He was appreciative of my comments, said that he knew about some of the errors and regretted them, and tried to courteously justify the decisions I disagreed with. He even said he might thank me publicly in the next edition of his book.

I was not looking for public gratitude or ass-kissing, and I did not like his book any better after the email -- but I did like the author much better. And that affected my review.

Attitude means a lot.

(smileys from http://robwall.ca/2009/05/22/smileys-in-online-courses/)

Monday, August 1, 2016

That backwards “P” can help you edit better

The ribbon bar at the top of the Microsoft Word screen is very crowded. There’s a good chance that you’ve clicked only on a small percentage of the symbols and words up there.

Many of them won’t help you, but the backwards “P” can be very useful. It’s called a pilcrow, and normally indicates the beginning of a paragraph. 

If you click on the pilcrow icon, the text on your screen will change greatly, revealing formatting indicators for such items as spaces between words and section breaks as shown below.
The sample reveals an extra space before the word “spaces” that might not be visible on a normal page.

The pilcrow icon’s “show/hide” function will probably reveal problems every few pages that you would not have otherwise noticed and will help you make a better book.

While editing, you should take advantage of Pilcrow Power. However, the extra indications can be annoying and fatiguing during regular reading—so tap the icon to shut off Pilcrow Power when you don’t need it. Also, when PIlcrow Power is in effect, your document will expand and the page numbering will temporarily change.

(from my book, Self-Editing for Self-Publishers (What to do before the real editor starts editing -- or if you're the only editor). It's an Amazon Kindle ebook, readable on many e-reading devices, including computers. You don't need to own a Kindle to read it.)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Authors: keep your ego off your book covers until you are famous or have written ten books

Unless you are known for writing, con­ning people out of billions or winning Olympic medals, keep your name and portrait a lot smaller than the book’s title.

Later on, if you become famous, you can revise the covers of your earlier books.

[above] This is my approximate 35th book, and it's very personal, so it's fine for my face to grace the cover.
More about book covers, The Look of a Book: what makes a book cover good or bad and how to design a good onehttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BAPV724 

Monday, July 25, 2016

NOT over my dead body

My siblings and I were just asked to approve a bronze grave marker for our mother, who died last year. Most people probably think the submitted design is fine. I think the typography is ghastly!
  1. Some "A" letters look too small.
  2. Some seem to extend too low.
  3. Some spacing between letters is too large.
  4. There is no kerning.
I'm merely an amateur typographer but could have done a much better job.

I long ago decided on the inscription for my own grave stone ("OK, What's Next?") but now I think I'll have to do the actual design to be sure of competent typography.

Humans seldom hang around for more than a century but graves can last for millennia. They should be done right.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Save words. Save energy. Save time. Save space. Reduce stupidity.

Since the end of the last century, many words have been written and said about minimizing the use of vehicles, fuel, heat, power, water, food, packaging, building materials and more. We are supposed to SAVE vital resources.

I think it's time to say a few words about using fewer words.

The archaic phrase "Inquire Within" has been pissing me off since I was a teenager. The sign shown above does not display a phone number or a web address. If the sign did not say "Inquire Within," and you wanted to get hired, exactly what the hell would you do but open the door, walk in and inquire?

I bought gas from a pump that said, "Product Contains Up to 15% Ethanol." If the first two words were deleted from the sign, would the message be less clear?

The same principle applies to writing. Almost any page can easily shed a word or ten -- and be improved by the pruning.

I tend to be pedantic (a trait I inherited from my father). I naturally give lots of examples to prove a point. I recently self-imposed a rule to limit examples to THREE -- and my arguments are no less forceful.

Print-on-demand and ebooks are certainly efficient. But if every writer would eliminate two, three or ten pages out of every 100 pages, book printers would use less paper, ink, toner, glue, energy and time; and the trucks that move the books would save fuel, and the UPS driver might last longer.

AND... the books would probably be better if they were briefer.

In an electronic medium like a blog or ebook, writers have unlimited space to spew all of the words they want to -- and the lack of limits encourages sloppiness.

Advertising is very different.

If a copywriter writes too many words to fit in a one-page ad, he shouldn't use tiny type and can't assume that the client will pay $30,000 extra to run a two-page ad. If she writes too many words to fit into a 30-second commercial, she can't decree that the actors must speak faster, or that the client must pay for more air time.

Impose some limits on yourself. It won't hurt, and will probably help. People are busy and don't have endless time to read. When you think you've finished a book, try to chop out 10%. Briefer is often better.

Help Wanted photo from http://www.newstimes.com/. I forgot where the gas pump photo came from.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Writers must be aware of possible copyright infringement. Melania Trump's speech was a federal crime.

If you read this, maybe you'll understand plagiarism better than Paul Manafort, Katrina Pierson and the other lying, ignorant sycophants who are paid by Donny Trump.
(1) A lot of outrage has been directed toward journalists who criticized Melania's speech and labeled it plagiarism. They've been accused of 'making a big deal' out of nothing. It's much more than nothing. Journalists and other writers are particularly sensitive to plagiarism. The unique sequences of words that we devise are as personal as our homes, cars, furniture, recipes, art and children. They are our "intellectual property" and no on_ has the right to grab them, modify them and use them without our permission.
(2) A unique sequence of words is covered by copyright -- a Federal protection -- from the moment those words leave the mouth or fingertips and are attached to paper, plastic, cardboard, a hard drive or anything. A literary work (even a three-word slogan) gets immediate protection. It does not have to registered to be protection, but copyright registration does provide additional benefits if there is a copyright violation.
(3) The copyright (i.e., the right to copy) belongs to the creator of the work. The copyright may be transferred to another person or entity. The transfer may be explicit (with a contract and possibly a payment) or implicit as when a writer works for a magazine, TV station, political campaign or advertising agency.
(4) Copyright protection is part of American federal law and is common in other countries.
(5) In the USA, criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to FIVE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON and a $250,000 fine.
(6) Sadly, despite its warning, the FBI seldom gets involved in copyright cases. Any time I've reported infringement I was told to hire a lawyer.
(7) The Internet makes it very easy to plagiarize and to detect plagiarism. Some word sequences, such as "I ate lunch" and cliches like "fat ass" show up millions of times online. It's unlikely that any writer would sue if someone else used those word sequences.
(8) However, a search for the sequence "Early on a Saturday morning in the summer of 2010, I received an alarming call from an old friend" shows only a book I wrote.
(9) My words have been ripped off more than 100 times that I know of (I stopped counting). A word search makes it so easy to catch plagiarists and a thief of intellectual property has to be extra-stupid to try it. I used to send this to thieves of my work: "It take a big balls to steal other people's words. It takes a small brain to display the stolen property where millions can see it." Plagiarizing in the 21st century is analogous to stealing your next-door neighbor's car and then moronically parking it in your driveway.
(10) Confession Time: I plagiarized once. In my first semester as a journalism major at Lehigh back in 1965 I had to write an article about a baseball game. I was not then and am not now a baseball fan. I knew very few of the traditional synonyms to describe what a batter does to a ball. In an effort to improve my sports report, I read a published article about the game and copied a few phrases. My professor caught me and justifiable gave me an "F" for the assignment.
(11) In an earlier version of this posting I said that "Melania does not deserve an "F" for the speech she delivered last night. I don't think she should be fired, imprisoned or fined. The speechwriter, however, did violate a federal law and should be dealt with severely. The Trump campaign is constantly attacking Hillary for being "untrustworthy." Clearly the Trump staff should not be trusted, either. UPDATE: NBC News and the New York Times reported that the plagiarized text was not in the speech produced by Matthew Scully and John McConnell, writers hired by the campaign. So it's possible that Melania or someone else is the crook. ANOTHER UPDATE: The Washington Post reported: "Meredith McIver, an employee valued by Donald Trump for her discretion and writing, took responsibility Wednesday for the plagiarized portions of Melania’s Trump’s speech to the Republican National Convention, thrusting a little-known loyalist into the spotlight she had long avoided. But she wasn’t fired."
(12) Finally, there is something fundamentally dishonest about paying a speechwriter. If a politician, religious leader or business person is not articulate enough to write a speech, she or he should not make a speech. It's fine to hire someone to edit and fine-tune a speech (or a book) but the bulk of the work should come from the mind of the person speaking.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Heteronyms are dangerous. Keep them out of book titles, blog posts and website names.

Does the team drink polish?

In an online group for authors, Jessica Bell announced that she is writing a book called Polish Your Fiction: A Quick & Easy Self-Editing Guide.

I started reading her post twice and each time -- for an instant -- I thought that "Polish" was referring to someone from Poland. 

Polish and polish are heteronyms -- words written identically (or identically except for uppercasing the first letter) but having different pronunciations and meanings

The meaning of a heteronym usually becomes apparent because of its context, but if you can avoid ambiguity and delay -- do so.
  • Try to keep heteronyms out of the titles of your books, blog posts and websites. If you cause a reader to hesitate, you may lose her.
  • Heteronyms can cause problems even within text. Does "I read a lot of books" take place in the present tense or in the past? A 'helper' like "did" or "do" or "last year" can remove the ambiguity, as can rewriting the sentence.
  • Even the position of a word in a line of text can cause a stumble. If the last two words in a line of text are "A sewer," "The bass" or "I read," the pronunciation and meaning might not be apparent until the reader reads the words on the next line.
  • Uppercasing and lowercasing can clarify the difference between Polish and polish, but not between Bass and bass.
Wikipedia provides many examples of heteronyms, including:
  1.    A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  2.    Do you know what a buck does to does?
  3.    They were too close to the door to close it.
  4.    The buck does funny things when does are present.
  5.    Don't desert me here in the desert!
  6.    When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  7.    The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  8.    How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
  9.    With every number I read, my mind gets number and number.
  10.    He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  11.    After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  12.    I did not object to the object.
  13.    We must polish the Polish furniture.
  14.    He thought it was time to present the present.
  15.    The farm was used to produce produce.
  16.    The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  17.    There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  18.    A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  19.    To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  20.    I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  21.    Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  22.    The weather was beginning to affect his affect
  23.    The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  24.    The bandage was wound around the wound.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Listen to Aretha Franklin. Readers deserve R-E-S-P-E-C-T from authors and publishers. A $6.99 book should be edited, dammit!

Aretha Franklin's 1967 hit recording of Otis Redding's Respect won two Grammy awards. It's in the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry, Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and the Recording Industry of America's Songs of the Century.

Although Aretha's version of Otis's work became a feminist theme song and her words tell about a woman's demands from a man, some lyrics perfectly demonstrate the relationship between reader and author and publisher:

"All I'm askin' is for a little respect . . . . I'm about to give you all of my money"

The reader is entitled to a properly produced book. That's literary respect.

The cover shown is from a disrespectful book.

The publisher is named in a strange bit of Hollywood-style text at the top of the book: "La' Femme Fatale' Publishing Presents." Maybe the two unnecessary apostrophes are intended to imply exoticism to ignorant readers.

The author ("Minx") says this on her Facebook page: "Minx is Miami. I’m the glamour of South Beach and the struggle of the hood. That’s why I’m representing so hard for Miami. The 305 made me who I am." (305 is the telephone area code in Miami.)

In a sad preview of sloppiness to come, Minx typed the title in three different ways on Facebook: "...the 305," "...tha 305" and "da 305."

Here's how Minx promotes the book: "Money can’t buy you happiness, and beauty damn sure can’t either. Only In Da 305, introduces Eileen and Chayil. Two of the baddest bitches in Dade County. Different circumstances leave them in fucked up situations. Chayil and Eileen have two things in common. Their both dead gorgeous and they love their thugs. They’ll do anything for the thugs in their life. Cook, clean, fuck, suck and of course even carry their drugs. All in the name of love. The only thing is, the only thing their thugs got love for is the game.

Kirk and Dwayne reinvent the word vicious. After all their ride or die chicks do for them they repay them with abuse, prostitution, and disrespect in the most profound ways. They show Eileen and Chayil the only thing a thug can truly love is his money and the almighty pursuit of it. But like a dog every thug has his day. Who will have the last laugh or shall I say, bullet. In this it’s a thin line between love and hate urban tale."

I've heard that some black teenagers dismiss good grammar as "acting white."

  • Bad grammar, misspelling and defective typography on a publisher's website, a book cover, in a promotional paragraph or in book text is not white or black.
  • It is simply sloppy, unnecessary, unforgivable, unprofessional -- and disrespectful to readers.
Below is the horrid first page. You can left-click to enlarge the image -- but don't show it to children.

The abundant red arrowheads show just how pathetically unprofessional this book is. It would receive a grade of "F" in junior high school, and its $6.99 price is literary fraud.

I've seen books selling for 99 cents -- and even books being offered for free -- that are much better prepared for publication than this is.

Ironically, Minx mentions that two men in the book "disrespect in the most profound ways." Minx may not be profound, but she and her publisher are certainly disrespectful. Sadly, Minx is a good storyteller. It's a shame that her publisher didn't care enough to hire an editor, and that Minx didn't care enough to insist on editing. If the author and publisher show so little respect for readers, readers should spend their money elsewhere.

In case you think that I'm being too picky, readers noted the deficiencies, too:

  • "A LOT of grammatical errors. Very poorly edited." 
  • "The editing needed work. I had to go over sentences a couple of time to understand what was being said."
  • "the errors really killed me I had to almost guess a word or go back and reread the sentence."
Aretha photo from http://www.blacktoptens.com. Thanks.