Friday, 2 August 2013

Running on the gerbil wheel, pass me another, and the barf bag, Please!

Running on the gerbil wheel . . .

Have you ever felt like this?  That run, run, run and never get done feeling?  I think more realistic is the one below, in the life of a writer, reader, and editor anyway.

How do I put this?  Well, there are not enough hours in a day for all the books in the world that I would like to read.  It seems like every time I look at Amazon, or walk by a book rack at the store, that there is another title, by an author I like, beckoning me to read it.  Err, listen to it, or get it for my Kindle so that I can make large enough to read.

More, and more and more, while I try to read some books for reviews, and others for my job as an editor, and beta read or alpha read.  And of course there are more and more and more, never ending, free book weekend, buy my 99 cent book!  And look-look, it has 10, 5 star reviews.

Who knew so many people had a story to tell? And who knew there were so many 5 star books out there! Add another to my wheel.  Whip out my Kindle and let's pick up some of these 5 star books up, they're FREE, they are a only a buck!

I've watched this trend unfold, it used ot be if you self published, you paid to have it done, and there were arguments among writers, that self published meant stupid published, along came a company that allowed you to place your books for sale on their site for free, and since then the book industry is buried under an avalanche of book  . . . Well, frankly, book vomit, and many of the books smell the same and deserve the same place vomit goes. 

I've heard authors say, well, getting an agent or publisher is a lot of work, I want to be rich now.  Better yet, the mantra of grammar doesn't matter, or grammar is outdated, or the publishers just want to keep good books down, or you don't need an editor--or I want all the money myself.

Say what?  I've now read 20 self published books, and out of all 20, I have found ONE, yes 1, that was worth the virtual paper it was virtually printed on.

My grammar is perfect, one author insisted after I left a review--his grammar looked like this, "I done did it before." He said. And even in narrative his grammar was the same, third person.  

Another, after a review told me he had sent me the wrong file, and it was an early draft before he hired an editor. So I asked for an updated copy, I didn't hear from him, then saw his book on Amazon for Free, so I downloaded it.  Guess what, it was the same version I had gotten in the first place, that was full of inconsistencies, the author couldn't remember what job a MC had, and didn't know if it should be your or you're . . .

Another was so full of spelling errors that I couldn't even read past the first few pages.  Did this person not even think to use spell check? Yes, I asked them, they said oh all those wiggly lines drive me nuts so I shut it off.

Somehow, I think the word vomit is here to stay, because as soon as one author figures out that they have no idea what they are doing another one comes along and spews some more word vomit.

I just wish these clueless word carpenters would figure out that writing isn't a get rich quick scheme and at least pick up a book and read something!  A roofer wouldn't pick up a hammer and try to put a roof on a house, without learning the basics, and expect to be paid for it, and to become a well known roofer.  

Wait, maybe that's why they try to give their books away, while those of us who really do care about the craft, get buried under the pile of word vomit working its way into every corner of the industry. My apologies to those self publishing authors who have put the time and love and work into their book that every story deserves!  You are not counted among these word vomit books.  


Anthology Authors said...

Yes, yes, yes! I have recently been trying to find some good books via the iTunes store. It is the same. When I read for recreation, I enjoy a good romance. Unfortunately, there is little that passes for "good" anymore. Even passable. I "picked up" one that sounded good from the blurb. It was a medieval romance. By page two, I was ready to throw my eBook reader across the room. The heroine was that inane type you'd read from the 80s bodice rippers who was into riding "hell bent for leather" (a phrase first seen in use in around 1897, a good 400-500 years later). If there is one thing I can't stand is poorly researched historical fiction.


Jaime Samms said...

I don't even have time to try this word vomit. I have so little time to read I stick to tried and true, publishers and authors I know will give me a good read.

Anthology Authors said...

I try to read, Jaime, to stay on top of what's out there. With the iPad, you can get a good size sample. Usually, I'll know if I want to download it from that sample. Only once or twice have I been mistaken. Once, the person floated a three-chapter sample as a "free" read. Not only did I consider that false advertising, but the writing was atrocious and progressively deteriorated with each successive page, if you can imagine that. The author is self-published, by the way. She has several historical romances available. I download only samples even from free reads. Many I delete after a few pages. it's frustrating.

What happened to well-written stories? ARGH!