Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Friday, December 14, 2007

How Writers Delude Themselves About Failure

In my opinion, about two-thirds of conventionally published books are poor to mediocre writing; self-published books are a bit larger poor-to-mediocre fraction, but not much. I've worked in publishing (scientific primarily at Plenum):that most self-published books are poorly edited or aren't edited at all is the primary quality difference between self-published works and conventionally published. In my opinion and experience, publishers routinely accept crap sometimes rife-with-errors work. With self-published books, readers are seeing what some conventionally published books probably looked like before they were accepted, before they were edited...

Tmain difference betwen traditionally published ans self-published books has very little to do with suprficial problems with spelling, punctuation, etc.; although, since these are the easiest things to fix, a manuscript replete with them sigals danger ahad to a readr. Most self-published books are unreadably bad, which is why agents rejected them. SP books come from the 98% of manuscripts submittd to agents and editors that fail to meet minimum standards. They are worse than the average traditionally published book, otherwise some of them would also be on bookstore shelves. The selection process is not purely arbitrary, as so many rejected writers believe to comfort themselves. In fiction, SP books lack a compelling plot, pleasing style, good characterization, etc. In nnfiction, some books may be competntly written but rejected fr what I call extra-literary causes: the authior has no publicity platform, the market for the bok s too small, the subject’s been done to death and the new bok offers nothing truly significant. Other self-published nonfiction is comprised of horribly written, interminable rants about someone’s nutball obsession, some contrrian, self-taught crank’s exegesis on his theory of cosmology, etc.

I could take the first chapter from one of Raymond Chandler’s novels and run it through some program that introduces random errors in spelling, punctuation and even drop a few words, and it would still be a good read. The brain filters out minor textual errors. As a demonstration, I’m posting his as I wrote it, before running my spell checker to clean up typos. Its riddled with errors, but still comprehensible.

Rejected writers delude themselves abut why they can’t get a deal. They blame their failure on everything except their writing.

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