Old Moon

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Frustration and Judging a Book by Its Cover

Now that my second novel is out, the comments are beginning to come in. I was so discouraged by the errors in my galleys, I couldn't face reading the print copy when it arrived, after I saw two pages with blank spots and letters left out of the headings. Now a friend has called to say how much she's enjoying the book, but how amazed she is at the number of typos. Two reviewers of the e-book version commented on the same thing. I had re-proofed and redone (at the publisher's request)  the entire ms. before sending it again for the print version, corrected two sets of galleys, and still...

The publisher offered three versions of a cover (for which I had to submit the photos) and I picked the one I liked best. The book was printed with one different from any of the others, the color is distorted and made incredibly ugly, and the layout is now unbalanced and as amateurish as the text.

I'm so embarrassed I'd like to scream. I guess I have no recourse, since I paid nothing to have the book published, but I feel betrayed since nothing but publication is included in the contract, and it's hard enough to promote for oneself without a big budget and connections, and now I'm not even able to be proud of the product. 

Now the question is, how many readers (if I get any more with this cover) will overlook the things over which I seem to have had no control? I'm now spending money I can ill afford to have a detailed edit done of my next book in the hope (doubtless vain) that some agent or publisher might take me seriously. Forgive my venting on this site, but maybe another writer will at least relate.

Or maybe it's the unrelenting downpour that's affecting my perspective. At least, I have one reader who is enjoying the book in spite of its problems, and another who is "delighted" with my language. I guess it could be worse.


Glenda said...

I think it is shameful for a publisher to print your book and make all those mistakes, Joan. I wonder if, in your next contract you can have something written that will correct that problem. Maybe have an attorney look over the contract and help.
I wonder if other published authors have had this problem.

JLC said...

I hoped to hear from someone else who might have had a similar experience. It just goes to show how much at the mercy of careless or unscrupulous publishers we are. If only we knew attorneys we could afford who know about publishing. If, like me, you've decided to use a "non-traditional POD" because of an inability to entice an agent or traditional publisher,you have only yourself to blame. However, it's terribly embarrassing!
I'm having a signing in a couple of weeks, and have already ordered copies of the book. Now I intend to give any audience a disclaimer and a huge discount on any books they might be willing to buy.