I was contacted over the weekend by a reader from Ireland who was irate about the quality of a book she’d purchased from Amazon for her Kindle. She was horrified to discover that a book which had received many five star reviews, Lora Leigh’s Navarro’s Promise, was full of typos, subject/verb disagreements, errors, and what appeared to this reader to be scenes missing from the story altogether.
I have just finished a book (part of a long series) by an author, published by a big publishing house and was struck by ongoing editing issues, storyline inconsistencies, general WTFery, and a missing section. This has become the norm within this series and in fact it is the only consistency that can be relied upon. This is an insult to readers who have continued to support this author over the years. Who edits these books? Where are the beta readers? Why has this author not demanded better from her publishers? I know that some people become invested in a series and are reluctant to give up on an author (myself included) but this has reached a point were I have to ask is the author just taking the piss(and coin) and exploiting the loyalty of her readers.
Please notice that I have not criticised the book or the series its self, which I love, my criticism is with the utter neglect by the author to provide a statement/reasons for the mistakes/apology and to reach out to her readers who tried using her forum for answers. This smacks of pure arrogance, and has made it abundantly clear that this author does not give a damn about either her readers or the quality of her work, it’s all about the dollar.
And last but by no means least, a number of book review sites have given a glowing review to this book without mentioning any of the above, this stinks to high heaven and makes me question the reliability and independence of these sites.
You know what’s most noted among the missing? A sex scene. And as any reader of Lora Leigh’s books know, she does not fade to black when the characters get busy.
A few reviews online cite the errors, including this customer review from Amazon that Jane from DearAuthor linked to which lists a specific scene that as published is completely confusing.
The five star reviews are what convinced this reader to try the book. Those same reviews have compounded her anger:
…readers deserve to be provided with books that are top quality and edited correctly. I can honesty say that I have never seen the likes of this outside of Ms Leigh’s books.
I probably would have, gobshite that I am, continued to buy these books without complaint except for the lack of any clear statement on Ms Leigh’s website, my suspicions of the glowing reviews and the fact that yet again I’ve paid top dollar for an inferior product.
There appears to be pages/paragraphs missing after page 299 or 300. Lora is aware of the problem and is working on fixing it with the publishers. She’s terribly sorry that this happened. Lora’s readers are very important to her and she’s sick that you’ve been so disappointed.
Then another thread at the Leigh forum confuses the matter with one reader saying that Amazon customer support had contacted her to say there were missing pages and they were working on it, while another reader posted their own Kindle customer support response, which I’ve cut and pasted below:
I’d like to inform you that our Kindle Team already contacted the publisher about this and the publisher has confirmed two times that there is no missing content in this book. This is just how the book was written. This Kindle edition matches the physical book exactly.
If you still have any further concerns regarding this book, you may wish to contact the publisher directly so that he/she can provide more information. You can contact the publisher at http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/aboutus/contactus.html
However, if you want to return this book due to this and have a full refund, I request you to write back to us so that we can issue a full refund for this book.
“This is just how the book was written.”
With errors, missing scenes, and typos that were uncorrected? That’s the way it was published, too.
Quality control, you have many calls on line 1.
Here’s my perspective on poor quality books with errors in them. If I go to Target and buy a loaf of bread and come home to find a mold spot on it, I’m going to take the bread back to the store. I’m not going to want to hear, “Oh, I don’t know what happened, and I’m guessing that it was that guy in stock who sleeps too much or the rain delayed the shipment.” I want new bread. And I want it NOW. I want new bread, or my money back. And it’s not like I’m going to call Sara Lee and be all pissed off at them that the bread was moldy. I want Target to make it right (and I’d probably not buy that bread again, now that I think about it). So while Amazon is stepping up to say, “Ok, you are not satisfied with this subpar product, and you can have your money back,” I haven’t heard what BN, nook, or any other bookstore or the publisher is doing even with all the customer complaints.
Today there’s a post on the Leigh forum stating:
I figured out what happened with Navarro’s Promise, and I am so sorry.
The missing portion of the scene, the sex scene between Navarro and Mica somehow managed to find its way out of the file. I don’t know if I deleted it to fix it, or someone accidently (sic) deleted, or perhaps laid it aside to fix and forgot to put it back in. However it happened, it was inexcusable that I didn’t go over the file again to ensure the parts I was working on had been fixed propertly (sic). I do promise you I will be going through the files more closely in the future, and will be more diligent in ensuring nothing like this happens again.
Within the week, you will be able to find the missing pages at http://www.loraleigh.com They&.#8217;re currently being gone over and should be ready to post this time next week.
Until then, I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the story despite the missing pages.
Thank you, Lora Leigh
What I find curious about this situation is that at RT, in a reader round table session led by Jane and I, we asked readers how many books it takes for an author to get on their auto-buy lists, and most said one stellar book will make an author an auto-buy. But when we asked how many books it takes for an author to fall off your auto-buy list, most readers said more than one, possibly two books.
The reader who contacted me is really disappointed and angry, and is going to take advantage of the Amazon refund offer because she feels that she didn’t get what she paid for. Other readers in the Leigh forum are reassuring the author that mistakes happen and whenever she gets the missing scenes for the book they already purchased up on her website is ok with them.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard complaints of errors in ebooks – only in this case, the paper copy is equally error-full. If this were the case with a book you bought, would you return it? Have you read this book and had the same experience? Would an experience like this take an author off your auto-buy list, or are you ok with errors because, as some readers responded, mistakes happen? I think everyone has a different level of tolerance for errors in published books, and I’m curious where yours is, and how you’d handle this type of situation were you a reader.