Someone needs a thicker skin

I haven’t delved much into the burgeoning world of indie literature, but apparently it’s easier than ever to self-publish an electronic book and offer it for sale through Amazon’s Kindle Store or other ebook outlets. Some of the books are apparently quite good, and some self-published authors are doing better than those working through traditional publishers.

But … some self-published authors really don’t know how to handle criticism. That’s not entirely fair. One self-published author really doesn’t know how to handle criticism.

Big Al reviews books available on Kindle, including indie titles. He reviewed The Greek Seaman by Jacqueline Howett, a British self-published author now living in the United States. It was actually a kind review. He praised the compelling story, but complained about pervasive spelling and grammar errors.

Howett decided to comment on the review in the comments section. Big mistake. She went on about a revised copy she had sent the reviewer and claimed he must have read the original, which had apparently gone out with more errors. But the grammar and spelling in her comments quickly made it clear that, well, she’s a lousy writer.

This became even more clear after the reviewer posted two samples of problematic sentences:

“She carried her stocky build carefully back down the stairs.”

“Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance.”

Howett replied that she found no flaws in those sentences. “My writing is fine.” She then insisted he take down the unfair review. Eventually, she resorted to repeatedly telling the reviewer and other commenters on the blog to “F— off!”

Read the review and the comments. They are very entertaining. Which I’m sure is more than can be said for Howett’s book.

(h/t PepperMax on MetaFilter)

3 Responses to Someone needs a thicker skin

  1. Kristen says:

    I know someone whose self-published books are on, and from reading the excerpts I’ve seen, there is no way I could muddle through the rest of its overly flowery language. While I know that “getting published” is often more challenging than writing a novel in the first place, some of this reminds me that there is a reason they are self-published and not snatched up by a literary agent or publisher.

  2. Sandi Saunders says:

    There was an article on HuffPo the other day about a very popular self publisher who now has a multiple book deal…when she could not get noticed before. There are some good books that go wanting and some bad bad books that get published.

  3. I've published two novels through, and I'm here to tell you, editing one's own work is akin to trying to knit a sweater while wearing boxing gloves. But, unless you have the money to hire a professional editor, you have to do it yourself, including formatting for e-book and print versions. I don't have money.

    My first book was edited poorly, and I have withdrawn it for more editing and re-release. My second took forever. I re-wrote is at least ten times if not more. And that is where a problem can arise with many writers: They don't want to re-write. It's an ego thing. They guard what they compose as if it were a baby, which it is to them but will never mature until it is worked with for a long, long time. That unwillingness to re-write separates the amateurs from the professionals, and editing is re-write.

    I'm sorry for Howett. She is not a writer because she just looks for the product, a book, and is not interested in the craft of writing where the canvas is found for the creation.

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