Back in the days when I was trying to sell Speak Its Name to any number of overworked and bewildered publishers and agents, I was a bit wary of self-publishing, because I assumed that it was going to be a huge amount of work to ensure that you were left with a decent product. (This was, in fact, true. I did the work.)

And I’d read some advice from another author that suggested that traditional publishing was the best route to ensure quality. Once you had a publisher, they would set you up with an editor, and a cover designer, and you wouldn’t have to worry about any of that peripheral stuff.

I’ve since learned that this, as the old song says, ain’t necessarily so. For example, take a look at this:


I’m not going to name the title or the author, because I suspect they have better things to do than basic quality checking on foreign editions of their books. The publisher should be paying someone to, you know, check there are spaces in between words. The publisher is Mira Books of Chatswood, Australia, and they do deserve naming and shaming. However or whoever you’re publishing, there’s no excuse for letting a book out looking like that.

5 thoughts on ““Quality””

  1. How embarrassing. I can’t imagine how the author must feel.
    I once read a book (given to me as free to review) with typos like this and worse on almost every page. It was excruciating to read. The writing was also very poor. In the end I wrote a post on how awkward the situation was, rather than an actual review.
    xx Katie


    1. Oh, wow, that does sound awkward! I don’t think I could have thought of a better way to deal with that situation.

      The thing with the book in the picture was that there was nothing wrong with the plot or the prose – it wasn’t anything special, but it certainly didn’t deserve such terrible typesetting.


  2. I’ve always seen mistakes in mainstream publishing – tenses, spelling, grammar – as well as typesetting. So much of the process is taken away from the author. As long as mistakes don’t interrupt the flow of the story I can continue but if there are too many …

    I’ve seen attitudes towards self published books change (from a readers perspective) and in my mind I think the shift came when a few brave souls who were traditionally published authors became hybrid authors and then some following their own path entirely 🙂

    Thank you for sharing with us on #TalkoftheTown

    Liked by 1 person

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