Why is there so much garbage out there? (A quick rant)…

I thought I’d left the rantings behind at my last blog. I’m afraid, however, that I’ve now seen too much and can’t but help throw a little wobbler here. Deservedly so, I feel.

First of all, I’d like to apologise if you are one of those I’m about have a pop at, but to be honest, you probably wouldn’t categorise yourself as one of those people anyway. Or maybe not. Maybe you know the crimes you’re guilty of and simply don’t care.

Picture 1

So what’s got me all riled up then? Well, as a new author, I’m naturally curious as to what else is out there and I frequently go and check out the competition. Often I do this for ideas and inspiration (no, not for my book; I can do that on my own), but more for marketing ideas, places to promote, etc.

Did you spot how I cheekily bent the use of grammar to my will just then? If you didn’t, that’s fine because it worked out well, but I definitely broke the rules I think.

Anyway. Where was I…?

Oh yes. So I’m there looking at other people’s work and I cannot believe the amount of tosh that’s out there. I look on Amazon and constantly find badly written, poorly grammarsized and downright silly synopsis’s (yes I know about the ironic mistakes but leave me alone, I’m ranting here).

It’s a synopsis people. It says come and read my book, but it reads like it was written by a five-year-old. Why would I read your book if you can’t even get a couple of paragraphs to look appetising?

Just for the record, I’ve been working my 100-word synopsis for months now, and I’m still not happy with it. I will be one day, but not yet. Why? Because it needs to be BETTER THAN PERFECT, that’s why.

So, occasionally, if I can get past reading the synopsis, and my interest is piqued, I’ll “Look inside”… and quickly wish that I hadn’t.

And it’s not only Amazon.

Just today, I was looking on a blog and I started reading an excerpt from somebody’s book… with a bloody typo in it!

Here’s the part that got my goat:

made her way to adjacent bistro to pick up some…

We need a ‘the’ or a ‘an’ in this,  don’t we?

I mean, come on people. If you’re lucky enough to get an excerpt released on a blog that has a good following, then check, check and CHECK IT AGAIN. Not just for spelling and grammar, but for everything. There should not be a comma out of place. How are people gonna think your book is any good if your excerpt isn’t properly polished? Geez.

Another example I found was a fictional book about the semicolon. I thought this was a brilliant concept and went on to have a “Look inside”. And I was impressed, to begin with. The book was clever and quite well written. But then it all came tumbling down. Within the first few pages I spotted a grammatical mistake. And guess which piece of punctuation was wrong? (There’s a clue just above) That’s right. It was a missing/misused semicolon. Arrrrgh… plants head on desk in dismay. Why, why, why?

(I will just say here that my use of the semicolon is sketchy  at best… but I’m not writing a bloomin’ book on the thing am I?)

Now, I’m blogging and tweeting and facing and commenting and responding and any other ‘ing’ that I can think of to try and connect with other authors and so maybe I shouldn’t be slagging them off. But what’s going on, folks? There’s rubbish everywhere.

Of course, I really should be happy when checking out the competition as a lot of it – not all of it, by any means – but a lot of it, is crap. I should be thinking this is great news: a bit like turning up to run a marathon and seeing every other runner has just the one leg. But I don’t feel like this. I feel that all this nonsense out there is just making it harder for us; you know, those of us who actually want to put out a well-crafted piece of work. Surely we’re just going to get lost among the chaff? How long before people give up looking for books and hire a movie instead because the majority of what they find is twaddle? (Or maybe I worry that I’m actually one of these offenders without even realising it and in future others will look at my work and shout at the screen?) I don’t think so, though, if I’m honest.

Granted, the stuff I’m referring to in this post is mostly self-published, but that’s an avenue I may wish to pursue. I don’t want self-publishing to have such a horrendous reputation by the time that I get there that it becomes unfeasible, so please. Sort it out.

Grammar 1

I didn’t want to name names in this post and if, for some bizarre reason, you are the author of either of the above examples I have used, well, I’m sorry. But please be aware that you are just a few of many.

It’s not just me is it? Perhaps if you’re a new writer (or experienced one) and you feel the same, you could let me know that I’m not alone in this? Thank you.

And thanks for reading.

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20 comments on “Why is there so much garbage out there? (A quick rant)…

  1. Sounds like my rant on Kindle self-publishing from a few months ago. I definitely know where you’re coming from. But maybe we’re both perfectionists, because I’m never quite satisfied with anything I write. 😉

  2. This made me chuckle. Grammar mistakes are annoying, but it is the nonsensical plotlines that does it for me.

    • gpeynon says:

      I’m glad it made you chuckle; it means that it’s not too angry then…

      I can’t bring myself as far as getting immersed in the plot. Getting past the synopsis is a strain.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Dorian says:

    GOSH. I agree to the maximum (and am carefully checking this comment for grammar/spelling mistakes). When I teach–whatever far away day that may be–it will be one of my many, many goals to instruct a generation of text/IM linguists to craft meaningful and grammatically-correct sentences. Thanks for the post! Feel free to rant whenever… I needed a laugh.

    • gpeynon says:

      Well I’m glad I made you laugh. Apart from getting something off my chest, that was part of the point.

      Are you training to be a teacher? Good for you; a noble career choice (my wife is one too).

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. […] as I have mentioned previously, finding a good book amongst all the self-published tripe out there can be hard, and I’m sure […]

  5. Danny James says:

    Thanks for the like on my little blog. I’m afraid to say more. No smiley face here.

    DJ

    • gpeynon says:

      Ha! Please don’t be afraid. I’ve read some of your stuff and you don’t commit any of the crimes that got me so cross. Besides, I’m usually a quite mellow kind of guy 🙂 Smiley face.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • Danny James says:

        Whew! I double and triple check everything but once in a while some things get by me. I keep a copy of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves on my desk as a reminder that the correct use of English is important.

        DJ

      • gpeynon says:

        Glad to hear it. It’s good to know there are still some conscientious writers out there. I have a copy too; it’s a handy book,eh?

        Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  6. M. C. Dulac says:

    I hope I am not one of these grammatically-challenged indie writers of which you speak! (Now that was a fancy sentence). As a reader, how do you come across work on Kindle? Do you search by category and see what you like? I’ve only discovered indie writers through their blogs. That way I get a feel for their writing style and subject matter, and if I see they’ve published a book I check it out. All the stuff I’ve read so far has been really good!

    The only terrible book (in terms of mistakes, badly worded sentences, confusing ideas etc) I’ve read lately was one I bought at a bookshop for $35. (Yes 35 of my hard earned dollars!!!) It had been published by a mainstream publisher and the editing was a shocker! Now I’ll only buy books if (a) I’ve borrowed them from a library and know they are good (b) they have been recommended by a friend) or (c) I’m familiar with the writer’s ability through their blog 🙂

  7. gpeynon says:

    I always check out the links to books from any authors who follow my blog/twitter/&c. or vice-versa. Even now, I’m still shaking my head in shock (yes, shock) at some of the stuff people put out there. Granted, it’s only the blurb or ‘look inside’ that I read and not the whole book, but then again, based on these snippets I wouldn’t waste my time reading the book. Maybe I should; just to test the theory, so to speak.

    It must have been hard spending $35 on any book, let alone one that was rubbish.

    Thanks for your comments. (Now, double checking my spelling and grammar 😉 )

  8. […] the prologue. And the prologue had a bloody typo in it! Now some of you may be aware that I have a real issue with poorly finished books, but the point I’m trying to make is this: if you can’t even write […]

  9. […] I mean typos? Flipppin’ typos? Me? (Some of you may already know how I feel about typos) […]

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