Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tom Crayder's Page and a Gripe

First thing first: Tom Crayder has his own GoodReads group now:  Ask Tom Crayder.

Drop by and talk to Tom about life's problems and get his unique take.

Now, on to the blog post!

“Typographical errors, plot holes, poor punctuation, and terrible grammar, are all sure signs of an independently published book.”

That’s what I read recently (no, they were not referring to any of my work so this is not personal).

Really?  Really??  Have you read any traditionally published books lately?

I’ll admit (never use a contraction outside of dialogue) that I can’t (Help!  I can’t stop!  Oh, no!  I did it again!) read while I write so it’s been a while since I have finished a full length, traditionally published novel.  However, the last few that I read were FULL of all of the mistakes stereotypically attributed to indie books.

I do not know (ok, getting better, I guess) if the economy has forced cuts to the editing staffs at large publishers.  I do know that in the age of computer programs that find errors and with the ability to transmit the latest versions of a manuscript at the speed of light, books SHOULD be coming out with fewer errors.  They are not.  I could give examples of errors by well known authors but shall refrain from doing so here.

Just trust me when I say that errors are rampant even for authors that have entire “Big Six” departments at their disposal.

I don’t (damnit) pretend to write great literature.  I tell good stories (I think) with interesting characters (I hope) and try to not let my writing get in the way of the reader enjoying my stories.  I know that I have annoying tendencies like leaving punctuation outside of quotations, comma dilemmas, and the occasional malapropism (like calling people “expandable” instead of “expendable”).  Most of those get found and fixed thanks to my beta readers and the editorial process.

I also know that I break some rules on purpose, like I have done in this post by over-using parentheses.  I use contractions in first person narratives at times.  I love my ellipses and detest the em dash.  And I will never, ever, stop using two spaces after the full stop period of the previous sentence.  Sometimes, I even use conjunctions to begin sentences…

All of this is to once again say that indie authors need to be judged by the same standards of traditionally published authors.  We know there are a ton of bad indie books out there and we do not like them either.  We, however, do not hold the poor quality of some traditionally published books against ALL traditionally published authors.  We only ask for the same consideration.

In my next post: I should have written vampires and how Jim Butcher almost killed Tom Crayder.

(Please note that while he is one of my favorite authors now, Mr. Butcher has no clue who I am or who Tom Crayder might be so there was no ill intent on his part.)



  1. I completely agree with your post and it really pisses me off.
    As a reviewer, I find a lot of slush with indie work but I find just as much with "published" work as well.
    Case in point, I recently read a "published" book that was chocked full of fillers, mis spelled words, and mis use of words.
    I was really quite shocked.
    And it was in the first 6 pages!!!!

  2. I totally agree. Even the "best" authors have errors, do to formatting, sloppy editing, or what else we may never know. It shouldn't be the general expectation that all indie writing is bad - some are, some aren't, just like other writers. I can only hope to be one of the well-edited ones.

  3. Hey! Great post full of insight. i think it is very easy to divide publihing into two groups the indie and the traditionally published. To be honest I get tired of the line. In my opinion ALL writers work very hard. They all (unless you are stepphanie myer or John grisham) hhave to work really hard for marketing and sales. NO writer is perect and no publishing company is perfect. I think there are both poorly edited Indie and traditionally published books. In some sense I think it is up to the author to make sure their book is edited really well. Does that mean their book will have no errors? nope. Thats really really hard. As a writer myself, I just hope that any errors that might get looked over will not impeed the story that is being told and the reader can move on from them without being let down.

    Great post Splitter and love the look of your blog!