Navarro’s Errors

Navarro's Missing a sex scene? Oh Noes! 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.

I went to Lora Leigh’s website and the news page was last updated in October of 2010. However, with some digging, I found her forum, where there is an entry as of 10 April that reads:


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.

OUCH.

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.

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Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Jenn says:

    This came at a perfect time for me – Navarro’s Promise is on my list to buy, but after hearing all of this, I’ll request the crappy hard copy from my library and MAYBE buy the corrected copy (either hard copy or Kindle) when (if?) the errors are fixed.  I got laid off in March, so spending any money is a big deal for me – and it kills me to not spend money on books. A t-shirt I saw sums my book buying habits up perfectly – “oops, I accidentally bought another pile of books!”

    terms93 – From the sounds of it, there are more than 93 terms that are wrong in Navarro’s Promise

  2. 2
    JenD says:

    I wouldn’t return the paper book or the ebook. It’s not that big of a deal to me for one book to have a mistake. It’d be nice to get a coupon for the next book, a refund or a replacement book but it’s not a deal-breaker if that doesn’t happen.

    If the same mistakes happened in a second book by the same author- then I would most likely stop reading that author and move on.

    Oddly enough I’m more forgiving in regards to errors with print books as opposed to the digital variety. Digital screams “write a program that will take care of this if you can’t be buggered” while print I imagine some overworked bookish human chained to a desk while wearing a smoking jacket. Because everyone who reads a lot wears smoking jackets- cigarettes not required. I tend to give them more leeway than people who are working with data on a computer system.

    I personally believe this is because I feel that I pay too much for digital versions of paper books. Since I’m paying an exorbitant amount, the quality better be good enough to make me slap a donkey and call it mama. When it’s not- I remember the printing house, where I bought it, who it was written by and how much I paid for it. It’s automatic, I don’t even have to work to memorize it.

    Still, it takes more than one mistake-laden book before I walk away. Two though? That’s enough of that.

  3. 3
    JoyK says:

    Well, I guess Leigh can’t do anything about the print copies unless/until the book goes into a second printing.  Once those big presses roll whatever comes out is the book that you get.  BUT, the digital copy CAN and SHOULD be changed—typos corrected and scene added back.  The missing scene(s) should be posted online for the print readers.  From the posting I would guess that Lora Leigh (could that be a real name??) is either a bad typist or a bad speller or both.  Certainly there doesn’t seem to be much pride in the book by either the author or the publisher. 

    Do I sound negative? YES, and I’m a fan.  I’ll follow Jenn’s lead and ask for the book at my library.  Maybe only a drop in sales will get the attention of Lora Leigh and her publisher.  And I’ll seriously consider not even asking for her next book at the library.  The series seems to be winding down a little anyway and I think I’ll drop it from my mental “look for” list.

  4. 4

    It seems Lora Leigh’s fans are loving and forgiving.  The reviews indicate clearly that this is not just a Kindle problem, that it is evident in the printed version.  I have occasionally purchased paper books, even hard covered, where a chapter will be upside down or repeated or missing.  For this to be such a general problem, it has to be the publisher.  Self-published Kindle versions can be edited and re-edited in situ.

  5. 5
    AmberG says:

    Actually, one of my favourite authors released his book with all of the footnotes missing, and due to the content of the book, this made nearly a whole chapter almost completely nonsensical, and a lot of the rest of it was off. His solution was pretty prompt though. He released a note of apology and pages of stickers so you could stick them on in there. Or you could trade in for the fixed version when it was ready.

    So, I guess how the author responds is an important deciding factor for me. Completely ignoring the problem and only leaving one little apology buried somewhere, while the sellers of the book make up excuses? That really does strike me as complete lack of caring, and depending on how invested in the story I was, might only take one time to end up on my NO WAY list. But if the mistake is handled properly, or at least with good humour, it would have to happen quite a lot to really bother me.

  6. 6
    cayenne says:

    I haven’t quite recovered from the recession, so I don’t have the money to waste on things that I won’t enjoy.  Realistically, I know know you can’t expect you’ll love everything, but I know what will drive me nuts, so I try to avoid it.  I’m on the nitpicky side, and I find typos and continuity errors extremely jarring and distracting to my enjoyment of a book, so I’d return it, with a follow-up letter or email to the publisher or retailer to explain why.  I would likely come back to the book at a later (i.e. corrected) edition, and I wouldn’t cross the author off my list immediately; however, if it happened again, I’d probably stop buying that author.  If the publisher or editor or even the author can’t be arsed to do quality control, I don’t know why I should reward them for that lack of effort.

    expected43 – who would have expected 43 errors in the first chapter alone?

  7. 7
    Lori says:

    The fact that the book made it through editing into both print & Kindle with a missing section is really bad. I don’t read Leigh, so I don;t have to be concerned about this book. However, the publisher is also partially responsible so this makes me a little wary of Berkley in general WRT to quality control.

    I’m confused by the complaints about the poor grammar and bad spelling though. Are they worse in this book than in Leigh’s previous work? Because one of (several) reasons I that stopped reading her is that she can’t spell and apparently also can’t operate spell check and her grammar is atrocious. If someone expects to be paid for her writing I expect her to either do better than that or make sure she has good proof readers and editors.

  8. 8
    anna says:

    Wow. Just. Wow.
    I read a LOT. Very few books, if any, have been free of spelling, punctuation, grammar, or content errors. I read a Kleypas book that was the 10th printed version, and it STILL had errors. Really?!
    For a cock up of this magnitude, either there was no copy editor, or the copy editor just suck at his/her job. I would be getting my money back. I’d give the author another chance on their next release, but then I’m out if that sort of thing (massive cluster) happens again. And more wary of the publisher.
    Every time I see an error, I’m tempted to check the job listings at the publisher’s website and see if they’re hiring copy editors and/or email them and tell them I’d be willing to copy edit for books. But then I remember that Kleypas book and realize they must not care about putting out an error-free product, just a product.

  9. 9
    Smokey says:

    I had the experience of reading one perfectly well-formatted paper book I liked, then buying Kindle editions of other series books with awful e-formatting errors. I put in a review at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/ANRFMVRXUZPSX/ref=cm_cr_dp_pdp) might link you to it. 

    Got it so far?  Nothing wrong with print version but big block to reading because of e-version format errors.

    Now the end, for now.  A couple weeks ago Amazon/Kindle folk emailed me to say that they saw my complaint and now had an e-version of the book with e-format errors corrected.  Amazon, at least in this case, did take steps to fix the problem and then gave me the new improved version of the book.

    *Sigh* because I had struggled through the visual challenge with the bad format and that series is done for me. It is good to know that if or when I am in the mood to reread it the version I retrieve from the archives will be readable.

    Oh:  items was “Catch of a Lifetime” from Mermaid series by Judi Fennell.  Made the mistake of getting remaining three in series in e-format all at once after the print book lightened my mood.  All of the e-books had the same format error.  What can I say, fun and lite romance.

  10. 10
    Rebecca says:

    I’ve also stopped purchasing Leigh’s books, for the reasons mentioned by the reader from Ireland. Leigh was an autobuy for me, but after finding numerous editing issues in her recent releases and reading the complaints about this book on the reviews on Amazon, I decided not to buy it.

  11. 11
    Las says:

    “Generaly WTFery” pretty much describes every single Lora Leigh book I’ve ever read. I think she has really excellent ideas, but doesn’t know how to write well. Or maybe she just needs to take her time…she’s written a LOT of books.

    The only thing that would make me return a book is missing scenes. I’m too lazy to bother with anything else unless there are errors in every other sentence.

    How many books before I give up depends on the author. Someone like, say,  Nalini Singh (who’s digital books (don’t know about print) actually have quite a few typos and things like repeated sentences, not enough to make them unreadable, but definitely noticeable) will have to make some pretty huge errors back-to-back for me to stop reading her. A new-to-me author or one I take or leave will get no more than 2 strikes with me.

  12. 12
    Deborah says:

    If this happened to me, I’d send the book back and ask for a refund. And I wouldn’t buy from that author again. In fact, I’d be reluctant to buy from the publisher ever again. I’d give the publisher, with a different author, one more chance, and if it happened in a different author’s book, I’d write to the publisher and explain that they’d lost a customer because they were too cheap to hire a copy-editor or a proofreader.

  13. 13
    slimlove says:

    As someone who works in publishing, I understand that errors happen. Files get mixed up, the printer screws something up, an image gets reversed, a name gets misspelled. Books are made by humans, and even the best copyeditors and proofreaders can’t catch every single mistake.

    That said, if the there are *consistent* errors throughout a book – or even worse, throughout a series of books – then that points to more serious problems with the author and publisher both. Manuscripts generally go through several rounds of editing and proofing, and for a book to have this many flaws, it sounds like that process has been heavily simplified or skipped altogether. It’s all well and good to want to save money on the editorial process, but there’s no excuse for putting out a product that reflects so poorly on both the author and the publisher. And the publisher can’t expect that readers will willingly pay good money for a substandard product.

    And, as an author, if your publisher is cutting back on intensive editing and just supplying proofing (although even that seems to have been skipped here?), then it’s on you to make sure that your writing is properly represented to the world. If you know that you have a history of spelling/typing errors, hire a copyeditor. If you can’t go to that expense, at the very least run spell check and have a friend look over your work. Even someone who’s not a specialist should be able to spot most of these errors – I presume, for instance, that not everyone on this site spends their days editing, and yet plenty of people have noticed these errors.

    Now, admittedly, I am a copyeditor, and so I notice this stuff in books all the time. But I’m capable of reading over the odd missed comma or misspelled word – like I said, we’re human and mistakes happen. But a book full of errors like this? I’d probably not make it all the way through. And while I wouldn’t return it, because I’m lazy, I would definitely throw it on the pile of books to be sold to the used book store, and probably wouldn’t read a book by the same author/from the same press. Like everyone else these days, I don’t have a lot of spare cash and I have to rationalize every dollar I spend on books; why spend it on an obviously flawed product from a company that apparently doesn’t give a damn about quality?

  14. 14
    LG says:

    I’ve never gotten a book with as many errors as I’ve read this one has, although, if I had, I would definitely want the book corrected and I’d want a corrected copy. I suppose I might also accept just returning the book and getting my money back, but that would taste really bitter if it was something I’d been waiting for for a while. The bitter feeling would probably still be there, even if I got a corrected copy, and I’d be super-suspicious of any future books. Whether I’d consider it a bigger blow to the author’s reputation or to the publisher’s would, I guess, depend upon if I heard of any other problems. However flawed this thinking might be, with print books I think I’d be more cautious about the author, while with e-books I’d be more cautious about both the author AND the publisher. I seem to be more publisher-conscious with e-books than print books, for some reason.

    Some of the books I’ve read have had a few typos. That happens, and there are usually such a small number of them that I can overlook them. Missing pages would be a HUGE issue for me, although it sounds like this book had more issues than just a few missing pages.

  15. 15

    In this particular case, yes, I’d ask for my money back. It’s something I never do normally.  But this book is a bad “product” rather than dealing with something I don’t personally like.
    As an example, I dislike books where children play a big part, which is why I tend to avoid the Superromance line. Definitely something I wouldn’t complain about, because it’s a matter of opinion, and personal choice.

    But where the product is wrong, ie multiple typos, grammar errors and errors in logical story progression, then yes, I’d send it back.

    Dealing with it – surely a refund or a replacement with a corrected copy is the only response? The analogy with the bread is spot on, IMO.

  16. 16
    Kristi says:

    I had one print book a couple of years back that sat in my TBR pile for {ahem} months (years?) before I started reading it. There was a huge printing error in the middle where like 50 pages were replaced by 50 pages from later in the book (page numbers and all). The repeated scene was just repeated exactly as printed later on and the missing pages were just missing. But it had been so long since I bought it that I didn’t feel comfortable just calling up and asking for a refund. I never finished it either. So, win for the publisher, loss for me.

    I have never read the author discussed here, but I was surprised that the publisher was a known one. I was expecting to see some low-budget newbie e-house. Wow.

    I wonder if they just expect consumers to do like me, and not bother with returns or complaints. If the publisher puts the onus on the author to produce error-free work and the author depends on editors to clean up after them, then I guess you get poor quality work.

    That’s one way to trim costs in a tough economy.

  17. 17
    Diane V says:

    The problem with Lora Leigh is that she has too many errors in her books – “Navarro’s Promise” problems just built upon the many problems/errors in “Live Wire” so I find it hard to believe that ANYONE even reads these books prior to publishing.

    How many books does it take for me to stop reading an author? It depends. 
    I kept reading Catherine Coulter’s FBI series for several books after she changed the heroine’s eye color after the first book; had the hero’s parents babysitting for them in one book and then had the hero’d dad dead for 8 years in the next; changed a secondary character’s name in the middle of another book; etc.  I stopped reading the series after I emailed Catherine Coulter about what was the correct name of the character and received a totally snarky email in response…sorry, but I’m not going to pay for a hardcover book from an author who’s apparently a total ass in real life.

    There have been quite a few errors in Mary Janice Davidson’s “Betsy” books – including giving Betsy’s sister (step or half?) a birthday of 6-6-66 which made the sister older than the mother who gave birth to her.  The emails were responded to graciously by the author and the errors were fixed in the paperback versions.  So I kept on reading the series for several more books until I decided that the word count wasn’t worth the hardcover cost.

    I loved the way that both Beth Kery and her publisher handled the major page screw ups in her first major publishing house book “Wicked Burn”—where pages were totally out of order like someone had picked them up off the floor and about 30 pages of the book (major love scene) were missing.  The publisher sent me a copy of the book for free since I had already returned my mess of a book to Borders.  If that hadn’t happened, I probably would never have read another book of hers again.

    I’m kind of on the fence about future Lora Leigh books, but am hopeful that the reason her next “Pleasures” book was pushed back from a May 2011 publication date to a July 2011 date was to make sure that they have corrected all the errors this time.

  18. 18

    BTW, I just thought of an example that happened to me.
    I love Tara Janzen’s Steele Street series, and a few years ago, bought the latest one. There was a chunk at the end missing. This was a paper book and it was a publisher error.
    I contacted the vendors, Amazon. But not only did they not wait for me to return the faulty copy, they sent out a corrected copy immediately, with a very nice apology. And yes, I bought the next books in the series. Everyone makes mistakes, so sometimes it’s how it’s corrected that counts.

  19. 19
    LizC says:

    Even minor typos and errors in books drive me nuts even though I know mistakes happen and something can go through rounds of editing and still have mistakes because no one is perfect (heck even my own MA thesis embarrasses me because it was somehow read and edited by 5 people and still the final product has errors that I can’t believe I missed) but this many mistakes would definitely put me off of an author permanently.

    Fortunately, I’ve never bought a book with actual pages or paragraphs missing. If that ever happened I’d probably just blame it on a printing error and request a refund/new copy and would still buy books by that author and from that publisher. Unless it happened more than once.

  20. 20
    Kat says:

    This has never happened to me, and I’m glad of it.  Errors like that are extremely distracting to me, and while I’ll forgive a few in a published book—as in two or three—over about ten, I’d contact the publisher or whoever does the editing and ask for my money back.  If it ever got to the point of Navarro’s Promise bad, I’d try my damndest to get in touch with the author and demand to know why the hell no one proof-read the thing.

    In my mind, there is NO excuse for bad writing of this particular kind.  A bad story, poor characterizations, WTF moments—all of those I can forgive, or at least tolerate.  They just mean I won’t be picking up any more of that particular author’s oeuvre.  Improper grammar, punctuation, etc. is detrimental to my reading experience, and it’s completely avoidable.  Even if an author can’t correct herself, there is someone else who can, guaranteed.  There are MANY someone elses who can.  To write a book in that condition and publish it and expect readers not to care is shameful.

    Maybe this is a touchy issue with me because I work as a writing consultant at a university, helping freshmen on their papers.  I’ll forgive freshmen errors, not least because public school systems can provide very mediocre English instruction.  But a professional author can and should hold herself to a higher standard.  Writing is her trade, and if she can’t perform competently she should find another job.  I’m paying for entertainment in the form of literature, and if something blocks that entertainment, like grammatical errors, I’ll ask for a refund.

  21. 21
    Brian says:

    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 guess the publisher just did a dump from the file provided by the author and skipped that pesky editing process where this would get caught?  Sounds like something that could honestly happen if one were self pubbing the book, but isn’t one of the big things with publishers that they do things like provide you know, editing?

    Do authors not receive proof pages to go over before a book is printed anymore?

    Do publishers not have copyeditors anymore who review for things like grammar & spelling?

    Everyone makes mistakes, so sometimes it’s how it’s corrected that counts.

    It really does.

  22. 22
    cayenne says:

    Do authors not receive proof pages to go over before a book is printed anymore?

    I think so, but I would guess that an author who can’t spell-check or proof her/his own work successfully prior to final m.s. submission isn’t going to be able to catch errors at galley, either.

  23. 23
    Catherine says:

    Aside from the errors, I really didn’t care for this book. Maybe it’s just that this series is too old but it seems like there’s this Breed Book Plot-O-Matic that she uses with the MATING and the KNOTTING and the BLAH BLAH and it just seems to have run its course as far as being interesting.

  24. 24
    Linda S says:

    I read all of this particular Lora Leigh series, and I have to say that this isn’t really a new problem, except for the fact that there is text noticeably missing.  There are always continuity and timeline errors for the series as a whole (and sometimes even for the span of the story being told), as well as grammatical and spelling problems.  An educated fan with an ARC could probably do a much better job with this series than the current editor does.

  25. 25
    JoyK says:

    You know all this talk about the responsibility of the publisher is particularly interesting in light of the really big deal publishers are making about how much all their editing etc. costs so they should be able to charge full price or almost full price for digital copies.  How ironic that just when publishers are using their great editing and publisher service to squeeze more money out of the readers we’re seeing more and more error in print and tolerate terrrible errors in digital.  One digital book was so screwed up that the apostrophe was replaced with another symbol almost all the way through the digital book.  Amazon certainly seems to be taking responsibility for the book products they sell while publishers are demanding Amazon charge their price instead of a discounted price and they’re skimping on their services.  Just saying….

  26. 26
    anna says:

    Why am I not surprised that one of the 5-star ratings for the book is from someone who has never read a book they didn’t just love?
    And yes to JoyK re: the irony.

  27. 27
    TaraL says:

    I haven’t read Navarro’s Promise, but if the errors are as bad as reported, I most certainly would ask for my money back. I’ve read several of Lora Leigh’s kindle freebies, and wasn’t impressed with any of them, so this is just one more thing to add to my mental list of reasons not to buy… ever.

    As for auto-buy lists, one great book will send me scrambling for backlists, and if they are all at least good, (or if at least 2 or 3 are good, depending on the size of the backlist) the author will go on my auto-buy list. Where I auto-buy will depend on how good/great they are. I haven’t counted, but I’d guess there are less than 10 authors whose books I pre-order so I get the new books right away, at full price. There are many others who I automatically buy if I see them discounted someplace or see a copy at the UBS. As prices go up, more are being switched from the full-price auto-buy list to the I’ll-definitely-buy-it-if-I-find-it-cheap list. I feel bad about it at times, but I read so much, I just can’t afford all the books I want to read at $8 a pop.

    And it takes 2 or 3 bad books in a row for authors to drop off of that auto-buy at a discount list. I can think of 2 authors who have been switched from my auto-buy to never-buy list in the last few years because their most recent books seemed to be written by going down a checklist of predictable steps a romance novel must go through to meet minimum standards: Oh, look, he’s hot. Check. He’s a douche so she can’t sleep with him. Check. He’s still hot. Check. He does something nice for a child/dog/her mother. Check. He’s so damn attracted to her that he acts like a douche again. Check. Etc., etc., until the live predictably ever after, with auto-baby in the epilogue.

    As for the usual errors, typos, misspellings and such, I find them annoying, but so long as they aren’t excessive, I can let them slip by without letting them pull me out of the story for long. I have found several eBooks that are just full of errors, enough that I’ve just stopped reading and deleted them (much less satisfying than throwing them against the wall). The worst mistakes seem to be on some of the free pre-orders. I’ve started thinking of them like ARCs, not quite finished yet, and you take your chances and hope for the best.

    I did read one book with interesting mistakes awhile back. It was an older book, re-released in e-format by the author. I assumed it was an OCR scan of a print version because of the nature of the mistakes, but I could be wrong. What was interesting about the mistakes was that they were minimal, nearly non-existent, until the sex scenes. Then it seemed like whoever was helping edit the book was embarrassed by the sex, so they just skipped that part; no error correcting at all. Some of the mistakes were so bad, I couldn’t be entirely sure of what was happening: they did it right? Was it good? Did she enjoy it? Did he screw it up? Should I be pissed at him? I’d have to infer just how it went by their reactions in subsequent scenes. And yet, I kept reading because I had read several other books by this author that I liked and I liked the characters, setting and story. Even if I never was sure if the hero was any good in bed.

    Which, of course, leads to the inevitable question: How many times must a guy be bad in bed before he drops off of your auto-boink list?

    What? That’s not an inevitable question? Must just be me…

  28. 28

    You know, I am not at all surprised by the errors and what appears to be missing scenes from the book.  A while back I won an ARC of this author’s book (not from this series) and was so excited to read it.  But after the few couple of chapters I stopped reading the book because there were so many errors in it that it was confusing and completely ruined the reading experience for me.

    Then I read another book from the same series (which was a final copy) and there were still errors, though not as many and there were a few times that I thought whole paragraphs were missing because the story would stop making sense.

    I used to love love love Lora Leigh. But the quality of her work is just not what it use to be.  And instead of being an auto buy author, now I think twice before even picking it up at the library.  I don’t know if the author is to blame, or the publisher for not providing a quality product to the market…either way it has turned me off of what used to be a favorite author.

    I know that it is impossible to catch every error before it goes to print, and most times a few here and there don’t bother me, but not to the level that I’ve experienced with Lora Leigh’s books within the past few years.

  29. 29
    Donna says:

    I wish I could say I don’t see this ALL THE TIME in print books. I’ve said before how often I’m tempted to get out a red pen & mail the corrected book back to the author.  I finished Jill Shalvis’ “Animal Magnetism” the other day, & it occured to me that perhaps once an author reaches a certain level of popularity & sells X number of books they are relieved of all editing/proofing reading services because people buy the book regardless.

    And in that vein, I read somewhere that JR Ward had hired an assistant to help with that pesky continuity stuff. “Lover Avenged” came out and I just laughed & laughed. Apparently she hired a poodle.

    If I were buying instead of renting from the GBPL, believe me, I’d be first in line at the Borders return desk.

  30. 30
    megalith says:

    Was Berkley the house/imprint that featured on SBTB some months ago for having stiffed authors on fees? Because I seem to remember that that house turned out to only have one person on their entire editorial staff. Which would make this problem un-surprising in the extreme. Maybe someone can set me straight on whether my memory is at fault.

    Meanwhile, I read a well-known author for the first time several months ago and was pretty taken aback at the numerous errors in word usage. The book was the first in a trilogy, and I’m fairly OCD, so I managed to get through the other two books, but I’ll never read another by her. It was just too distracting to read a sentence and end up laughing hysterically at the bizarre substitutions. It became a game of I wonder which word she really meant to use here? (Think lave vs. lathe or demur vs. demure.) I came to the conclusion that her editor either hated her or didn’t give a damn.

    Having worked for a printer, I understand errors that happen in the bindery, because even with good quality control they’re easy to miss. However, editing errors that happen that consistently are sign of at least two people who are completely asleep at the wheel: the author and her line editor.

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