ljgoldstein (ljgoldstein) wrote in theinferior4,

Malice vs. Stupidity

Over at normanspinradatlarge.blogspot.com/2010/08/publishing-death-spiral-part-two-my-own.html Norman Spinrad is talking about his depressing experiences with Knopf and editor Sonny Mehta.  Spinrad's book The Druid King was apparently subjected to poor editing, a bad cover, and a bad release month, and Spinrad himself had problems communicating with the editors at Knopf.  Up until then  I was with him all the way -- yeah, brother, preach it, I feel your pain!  Then he gets into a psychoanalyzing Sonny Mehta, trying to figure out why Mehta wanted to sabotage his book, and that's where he loses me.

The thing is, we've all been there.  Bad editing, bad covers, blurbs almost calculated to repel the reader ...  But I've never heard of a case where an editor did this consciously, out of dislike for an author.  Editors have to at least try with every book -- after all, their job depends on it.  The trouble is, there are smart editors and stupid editors, hard-working editors and lazy editors, and sometimes what they come up with doesn't look all that great.  Knopf probably thought the cover was terrific.  Their editors there didn't seem to know a whole lot about editing.  Someone has to get published during a bad release month.  And so on.

I've been thinking about taking some of my books and putting them on Kindle, to bypass this whole process.  (These would be previously published books, ones that got lost somewhere in the publishing process.)  Has anyone out there done this?  What kind of responses have you had?
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