Friday, March 1, 2013

Inept writer has strange definition of "perfect"

On SPANnet, newbie Leon Terrell Ash confessed to making a stupid and expensive mistake (apparently 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 responded: "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 ebook 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?
  • After a year and a half, the book has no reviews on Amazon, and sales too low to be shown.
  • Amazon previously showed 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. Amazon eventually deleted the review.
  • The bogus review is still on, with this barely literate promo text: "A cross between an Autobiography mixed with comedy that inspires the reader; truly a must have for all. A book about not giving up! A book about continuing when you are weary! A book about YOU! A lighthearted play on words. A comedy perhaps. None philosophical."
  • 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. (UPDATE: the paperback's price is now just $5.94 on Lulu and $6.99 on Amazon. The Kindle ebook sells for $2.99.)
  • 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.


    1 comment:

    1. This article is funny and sad at the same time,plus more than that it makes me exhale that the author is not me. Whew! But more than anything I want to know Mr. Marcus do you preview the first 50 pages of a novel? I need what you have, the knowledge, the experience, and the honesty that is just not possible to get from people colored with an emotional connection to the writer.
      Just asking other people is not enough. You have a sense of humor and brutally honest at the same time and it 'those eyes' I need.