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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A new author says his book is perfect.
I say "BULLSHIT!"

On SPANnet, newbie Leon Terrell Ash confessed to making a stupid and expensive mistake (probably paying over $2,000 to print and send 300 copies of his book to "bookstores, and agents and famous people.") He wrote, "I have excepted the fact that this was a major insult to intelligence."

I responded, ". . . the proper word is 'accepted' -- not 'excepted.' If your book has errors like this one, marketing won't help it."

The noob came back with: "the books dont have errors. Perfect is how I would describe the writing."

Even this brief defense has a missing apostrophe in "don't" and the second sentence is strangely Yoda-ish.

Since I'm cynical enough to know that no book is perfect -- not even the "Good Book" --  I had to take a look.


I visited the author's website, and was not really surprised to find errors mixed with egomania and bad writing.
  • ". . .  I realized that I had created a masterpiece and did not want to share the credits with a publishing company that did not help in any type manner. I authored, edited, typeset and did the graph design. Terrell Ash Publishing seeks excellence in all avenues we pursue that deal with the advancement. Progress, a true word that I promote. This company believes that in order to get to your desired successes a person must learn to give away freely what God has given them."
  • The site shows the covers of two books the author proudly designed. They are ugly and amateurish.
  • One book is a 58-page paperback selling for $20! How many did he sell? Probably somewhere between zero and none. Is he out of his fucking mind?
  • The e-book version is priced at $10. That confirms it. He is out of his fucking mind. What happened to "give away freely?"
  • Here's the horrid book description: "The Goal of this autobiography was to inspire and help reinvigorate the belief people once had in themselves. It is an autobiographical guide to living a better life." Do we really need to be told it's an autobiography in two consecutive sentences?
  • Surprisingly, there was no online preview for the e-book. Is Leon hiding something?
  • Not surprisingly, I found just one review: "Excellent book! Everyone should have a copy." The author wrote the review! He was not even smart enough to use a fake name.
  • I had to see this book. In the interest of serving my loyal blog followers, I decided to invest (i.e., throw away) ten bucks. I may be the only one who ever buys this book.
  • I downloaded the PDF e-book from Lulu. I actually paid ten bucks for 58 pages. Oops -- there are only about 40 pages of text. The book is grotesquely padded, perhaps in a futile effort to hide how little the purchasers receive for their money.
  • The book is ugly and mostly uninteresting.
  • It is a collection of the worst errors that new self-publishers make.
  • The text is double-spaced, flush-left, very-ragged-right. It has no hyphens, but does have orphans. Type that is supposed to be centered, is off-center. Some punctuation is ancient typewriter-style, not proper curlies. The typeface is, of course, Times New Roman (a major faux pas). No sans serif type is used anywhere, not even in chapter names or subheads. Words that should be capitalized, are not -- and vice-versa. Some words, like "grandmother," appear with and without initial caps. Blank pages have numbers. So do pages with nothing but section names. There are many grammatical errors which would not be tolerated in fourth grade. Some chapters start on the tops of pages. Some start half-way down. One paragraph fills a page and a half. There are extra spaces between many sentences -- but not all sentences. Some sentences just don't make sense. Neither do the author's poems. (E.g.,"When Ten Commandments are given from you.")
  • The book makes a stupendously stupid error which I had heard of, but never seen before. I thought this fuckup exists only in theory, but Leon did it for real. Pathetically ignorant, he put the odd-numbered folios on verso pages (i.e., odd page numbers on left-hand pages).
  • This author who seeks excellence did not want to risk his book being messed up by an editor -- so he messed it up himself. (E.g., he wrote "breathe" instead of "breath.") The book needs editing, or maybe euthanasia.
  • In a chapter about money, Leon says, "I have purchased enough books on money that I no longer have any money. Maybe I should ask the authors of those money books how to get the money back that I wasted on their book."
I understand Leon's disappointment. I have purchased a great many books in my life, but have never asked for a refund. I will ask for a refund on this one.
    Leon is a nurse. In a promo for his book about nursing, he spells "spell bound" as two words. If I was his patient, I'd want someone else to verify the drugs he was giving me.  He is definitely guilty of literary malpractice.


    ...

    7 comments:

    1. Well, I guess you have an entry for the next Bad Book Week.

      Maybe authors should be licensed in the USA, like in Albania.

      ReplyDelete
    2. How do you keep finding this garbage? Why do these idiots think anyone wants to read what they write?

      ReplyDelete
    3. This country doesn't need any more racism. You're obviously picking on Mr. Ash because he's black, and this blog has attacked other black writers in the past. There's a black man in the White House, and he and we are watching you.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Well you did it, I want to know where you get these books, and know I need an editor yet again for my book-- heaven help me if you find a mistake. You'll let everyone know about it....

      ReplyDelete
    5. Oh so that's how you call attention to your blogs and get people to respond by puttting down others who have at least TRIED!
      Go wash your mouth with some lye soap please. Oh and I am not worried about grammatical errors Mr. Self Made Grammatical Error Cop. They may not have all that they need but if you have the answers then show them a better way. Why not help those you so blatantly criticize for doing what they can.
      I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Ash's book and it is inspiring and funny, and he does just what his book promotes and that is to not allow naysayers to dictate his destiny. Bravo and hats off to "I Hate It When They Say It Can't Be Done." I hate it too. Everyone deserves a lift and some encouragement even you.

      ReplyDelete
    6. To Anonymous:

      Since you don't have enough confidence in your comments to use your real name, why should anyone pay attention to you?

      Not everyone deserves encouragement.

      ReplyDelete
    7. I find it morally and ethically wrong for someone to attempt to make a name for himself to the detriment of others. I think this world will benefit more from Mr. Ash who is attempting to better himself and express a positive message to others rather than Michael’s pathetic attempt at blogging. Unlike the the want to be critique Michael, I actually read the book for what it was a positive message expressing hope to all. If I wanted and English lesson I would pick up an English grammar book. A true critic would extrapolate on the chapters of the book and their meaning. Thus, Michael’s desperate attempt to gain attention for himself and his books are only a feeble and shameful attempt to uplift him while degrading others. Michael should attempt to attract interest to himself the old fashion way and write a book that people would want to read.

      ReplyDelete