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Monday, March 28, 2011

What Not To Do

There are some basic rules to follow when you want to publish a book.

1- Spell check your work, and consider asking someone else to read for clarity.

2- Reread to make sure it makes sense.

3- Find a suitable format for publication (traditional or self-published).

4- Edit again.

5- Format, re-edit, and double-check the formatting.

6- Ignore the bad reviews. Regardless of how well you edited, how beautiful your cover is, and the praise on your Amazon page you will get negative reviews. Do not attack. Do not respond. Do not react.

Or you will be THIS PERSON.

Guess who won't be making millions and signing a deal with anyone any time soon?


  1. The sad thing is there'll be people who buy it just to see the errors and such. So she'll still make money.

  2. She'll make money, but in the end it's going to hurt her. I feel bad for her. This is a completely preventable incident.

    With a good crit group, she wouldn't have the spelling errors.

    With a good editor or mentor or friend, she wouldn't have formatting errors.

    With a basic understanding of social networking, she wouldn't have commented.

    She could have avoided the entire fiasco with a little effort and thought. It makes me worry that she didn't.

  3. I agree, Liana, this was entirely preventable. My jaw hung lower and lower as I skimmed the comments, especially the more extreme responses from Jacqueline Howett.

    She could have avoided this from the start, but she clearly never heard of "When you're in a hole, stop digging."

  4. Holy Moly that was insane! I also had the jaw dropping!

  5. Jacqueline Howett said...

    Fuck off!

    WOW, yes she did... more than once!

    We've all felt like it, but I don't know whether to applaud or cry for her.

    There will always be the 'spelling and grammar police,' people seem to delight in finding an error in published work, but you just can't react like that.

    I have to say I also didn’t quite understand the example sentence that was given, and I would definitely have picked up on that if I were critiquing the piece.

    You have to understand that when you let your baby go it’s out there, and that’s that.
    I’ve had stuff rejected that editors have said they personally liked, and was well written, but didn’t have an opening for… now that’s lip-biting time. But you just have to take it as praise where you can get it, and deal with the bad and the rejection.

    Maybe she released it too soon, for her, as well as for the technical quality of the writing. It did sound like he liked the story, That was a good thing that completely ignored. I would have thanked him for that (but perhaps not on a public forum) and left it.

  6. I've seen a few cases of this recently. It's quite disturbing. #6 is very important! Thanks for posting so we remember what NOT to do.

  7. Garry - I didn't think the review was that bad either. The reviewer tried to be polite, in my opinion. I've had much harsher critiques from my writing group (which I fully deserved).

    No one likes a bad review. It hurts. I'm sure every author wants to yell and fume at bad reviews.

    But you can't.

    This went viral in a matter of hours. It's a review site I've never seen before, but I was on there six or seven times yesterday just watching the slow train wreck of a career (this probably makes me a bad person). There are mugs with some of the better quotes from Ms. H.

    It's sad, and it's scary because it happened so fast.

  8. Wow. Wow...
    I think I'm going to be saying this to myself all day long. Mind boggling...

  9. Well she may have generated some sales from her argument, but with the number of spelling and grammar mistakes just in her first two comments I see no need to waste my money on her book. When in the
    Army we used to say "Profanity is not the mark of a good soldier, but a crutch for a poor vocabulary." I think this poor girl just broke her crutch. She may sell some books, but I doubt she will make a decent living from it. This writer just self destructed.

  10. The author's reaction will not only hurt her, but it also hurts the indie community. We already face the stigma of having poorly produced work, and because of temper tantrums like hers, we (as a whole) are looked at as spoiled and entitled brats.

    You get a bad review... you learn from it.