Saturday, July 14, 2012

Turning into Mrs Brown

I believe I'm turning into Mrs Brown. I have spent yesterday and today in the Show Case gallery-cum-soup-shop (great idea!) in Penrith's Devonshire Arcade. I've sat with laptop and huge TV screen, playing photos and music and poetry for three hours non stop each day, and I've come to the conclusion we'd all have been better off with Radio Cumbria. I could have stopped at home and the patrons would have been none the wiser.

In those two sessions I had one enquiry for the pop-up cinema down the arcade (now closed since the projector carked it, and Eden Arts use this space instead); one question as to what I was doing - heavens, a live adult dared to speak to me! astonishing! - two grins from small children, and one question as to the identity of the wool craftswomen whose work adorned the walls - said enquirers having walked past a six foot by three foot poster in the doorway saying "The Wool Clip, Caldbeck".

I didn't sell a book, a pamphlet, or a single page of poems. I didn't even take a single donation to Walking for Wishes (for the Geoff Brown Charitable Trust).

Hence the Brendan O'Carroll urge to say things like #waste-a-feckin-time and #totallyfeckin-useless.

What I did do, to stave off utter insanity, was to read three books; I finished two, and have mentally chucked the third in the waste skip as another #waste-a-feckin-time and #totallyfeckin-useless item. Reviews, handwritten since the laptop was driving the TV, will be posted here shortly.

What I did notice is that of three published full length novels, there wasn't one without a spelling error, a typo, or a punctuation/printing/layout error.

Inattention to detail is poor workmanship - and in two cases, the story itself was very, very good and didn't deserve such silly mistakes. By far the poorest of the three storywise was also the poorest produced item, both in terms of quality of paper/cover and in terms of layout/typographic errors. So bad, in fact, that I might not review it. It was just awful!

If these had been self-publications, these books would be rightly ticked off for writer ignorance, but all three were "published" by other people making it their business. Has the digital revolution in publishing dragged down standards in proofing? Or have we got so used to missing errors on screen that they are not seen any more when the final product goes out?

You'll say, well, if you can do better, go and do it... So, Dragon Bait is out on Kindle... I'm #puttin-me-book-where-me-feckin-mouth-is. Go and have a look.

Jackdaw E Books

1 comment:

Sue Millard said...

It turns out that the imprint is an Irish company that also offers a range of packages for self publishers. The printing is via Lightning Source. So, this is not a published but a self-published book, which doesn't excuse but does explain the lack of editorial input.