Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Level of Expectation

I like self-published books.  Undiscovered talent. Fresh material. The excitement of witnessing someone who will be a major talent, and possibly already is. What does irk me a bit is when self-published novels purport to be from a publishing house, but don’t meet the expectations.Probably a lot of good reasons exist for attaching a publisher’s name, but my impression is someone trying to convince me of a level of professionalism that’s not there. 

Here is an example of style/grammatical error I keep running across in a current book I am reading which has some publishers name attached to it. 

John met Mary at the restaurant. Said, “How’ve you been?”

Okay who “said” it?   Probably John, but that construction is missing in my Chicago Style manual. Sounds like street talk. “Hey, bro.  Saw my cousin last week. Said whazup?”

Here some other nuances I found in books that are obviously self-published but have a publisher’s moniker attached to them.  Sentence fragments that read like riding a skiff in heavy break waters. The use of commas is non-existent. Missing text. Gibberish sentences that stop me dead and make think: how did this get by an editor?

My point here is not to knock self-publishing. I’ve got books out there. My point is when I see a publisher name attached to a book I expect a higher level of professionalism.

Am I being too picky?

1 comment:

  1. Whether they have a publisher's name or not, they should follow basic grammar/style rules. Conversations punctuated wrong are one thing that irk me because while I am the comma have an uneasy truce, speech punctuation is so, so easy - it never changes! It isn't up to interpretation, it isn't a matter of style or choice, it is concrete. Funnily, it seems to be the thing I see the most errors in.... and I don't mean period/comma typos (I have some of those myself, I bet) but stuff like you mentioned.