An author submitted a children’s book manuscript to us last week. It was a cute story but it also had several punctuation errors. Since it was so short (and since I just couldn’t help myself!), I edited the story as I went along. I then sent an acceptance note to the author, with this comment:
Hi (name removed),
Your manuscript had numerous punctuation errors so I did some editing for you. The corrected file is below.
I then sent her an acceptance note.
This was her response:
What a very unfortunate first paragraph. It has left me feeling hurt and annoyed.
Some of you may find this offensive but my eyeballs rolled backward into my skull. Oh, if I had a nickel for every time my honest, professional words “hurt” an author’s feelings…
GIMME A BREAK!!!
Here’s my counter-response:
Hi (name removed),
I’m sorry I hurt and annoyed you. I edited the punctuation for you free-of-charge. I don’t give false praise to authors, nor do I offer disingenuous soothing words. It’s a tough business. If you can’t accept honesty, you should work with a different publisher, or avoid publishing a book altogether. If you think publishers and editors are tough, wait until you see comments from actual book-buying readers.
Our competitors in the publishing industry will be very happy to give you lots of false praise while upselling you on thousands of dollars in worthless services. They also won’t care if your book has errors or not nor do they care about your reputation (or their own!). They only care how deep your pockets are.
I went on to tell her that we’d still be happy to help her if she wanted our assistance.
Needless to say, she didn’t sign up for our publishing service, which is unfortunate because our competitors are going to charge her an arm and a leg for essentially the same service (most of us use the same printer).
It’s sad that she let her ego override her professionalism, which then led to unnecessary “hurt” feelings on her end…and, of course, unnecessary spending as well.
Had she simply been professional, and thanked me for the free labor I performed, she’d have been a much happier author.
Many authors (not all!) have large egos that need soothing.
Book publishing is a business. Authors want as many people as possible to read their books. I want as many readers as possible to BUY my authors’ books (so I can then pay my authors.) A little humility in the interest of this mutual goal goes a long way toward achieving it.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE