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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Yeah, I know my novel's full of typos and poor grammar. But you still ain't getting a refund.

I was on Facebook yesterday and came across a buddy's blog. He works in a bookstore and is an avid reader. It stands to reason why I wasn't surprised why he was livid after having purchased a poorly edited and formatted novel. It turns out that the author of said novel runs his own publishing company, and has a few authors signed up (Good luck to them). As an writer, I understand exactly where my buddy's coming from. Authors have a responsibility to ensure that their books are up to publication standard before they're released. And by publication standard, I'm referring to books that are free from typographical and grammatical errors. Furthermore, they should be properly edited for contentin that the subject matter be as accurate as possible. Failure for an author to do so will result in them pissing off his or her fanbase, which will eventually result in lost sales.

If an author decides to publish independently and is not a skilled editor, formatter, and graphic designer, then they ought to hire a team of professionals to assist them in each of those tasks. Even if they're skilled editors, it's better that they seek out a professional because it's always best to have a fresh pair of eyes look over one's work. Real publishing houses have in-house editors, formatters, and graphic designers, as they ought to cover these costs and not leave them to the author.

Unfortunately, many first-time authors fall victim to being conned by fake editors. I'm not ashamed to admit it, but I was once a victim of a fake editor when I wanted to publish my first novel. I was new to the game. I had big dreams, big ambitions, and had very little money to invest. And, like most first-time novelistsnaive. I had enough common sense not to trust myself to edit my own novel. After all, tired eyes don't often yield the best results. Following a short period of web surfing, I found an editor (or at the time, I thought she was one) who was willing to work on my first novel while not charging me an arm and a leg for it. I got it back about two weeks later. I read the first few pages and saw the corrections she made, felt confident, and sent it to my eBook and print formatter.

Fast forward to several weeks later, I got some great reviews. Unfortunately among them were complaints about the poor editing. I was surprised, because I put my faith (not to mention paying close to $500 Canadian) in this so-called editor. I was devastated, I felt cheated, but worst of all, I was embarrassed. Was I wrong in trusting this editor? Yes. I should've done more research into this person and the company she represented. Not to mention, I should've re-read my novel (or at least beyond the first few pages). Did I learn from this mistake? Damn right I did. It took me a while, but I came up with the money to pay a professional editor. As time went on, I became friends with bestselling Canadian author, Cheryl K Tardif, who kindly referred me to her editorLisa Martinezwho was kind enough to take the time out of her busy schedule and clean it up. She also edited my second novel. Once the revised edition was back up on Amazon, the complaints about bad editing ceased.

If a reader, regardless of how much they paid for a novel, complains about bad editing, then it's the responsibility of the author to take those complaints seriously and make the necessary corrections as soon as reasonably possible. The same thing goes for a publisher.

It's not uncommon to read reviews or complaints about poor editing and formatting. But when the author, or as in this on my buddy's blogthe publisherresponds with asinine comments, such as "You have to much time on your hands" (and even proving their incompetence by misspelling the word 'too') rather than take the matter seriously, then they deserve to be bashed and exposed. Those kind of people aren't real publishers nor authors, they're con-artists.

The Demeter Code, the upcoming sequel to the spy-thriller, Pandora's Succession, will be out later this year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I nearly died. How dare you send me a sympathy note in English.

It's so sad how the political climate in Quebec brings out the worst in people.

Many of you would've heard about Rich Peverley, who plays for the Dallas Stars, collapsing on the bench during a hockey game due to cardiac issues. The Montreal Canadians sent out a sympathy tweet in both French and English. However, the guy you see below in the picwho's obviously a Separatistreplied to both the Montreal Canadians AND the Dallas Starsby tweeting: "Au Québec le francais en premier. C'est nous respecter." Translation, "In Quebec it's French first. Respect us."

Don't ask me why Mr Filion believes why language takes precedence over someone's health, or why he thinks that Quebec's language laws extend on social mediaor even in the state of Texas. Don't even ask me why he also had the nerve to file harassment complaints with the Sûrété du Québec (Quebec Provincial Police) due to the huge Twitter backlash he got fromwhere I assume to beacross the country.

I politely tweeted him, letting him know that someone nearly died, and that he ought to show some respect. And I did so in French, followed by English. He replied to me, writing:

Translation: "I respect and am sad for Peverly, but show some respect for the French majority. Thank you."

I replied to him, asking him how did I disrespect the French majority. As expected, he didn't reply.

If there's one thing that I hope Mr Filion has learnedand hopefully the PQ government that's in poweris that you cannot politicize everything. There's a time and place for politics, and one of those places where it doesn't belong is during a hockey game. By the same token, it most certainly doesn't belong in a hospital.