"And the general public tends to be a lot less critical than book people, I assure you."
Maybe to the author's face...but if a publisher (and an author) put out garbage, public backlash can be fierce. Take a look at the commentary at Amazon on Clancy's latest, The Teeth of the Tiger...
"But my point (which got missed) is this: forewarning people against PA because of poor editing puts two thoughts into the writer's minds:"
That just happens to be one of the many reasons to forewarn people (there are many others I could delve into, but most have already been mentioned in other threads, this board (and site) and others)...plus, as James mentioned, copy editing isn't the only type of editing that books need.
"I didn't care before and I don't care now."
Funny, isn't this the same person who once touted himself as a "White Knight" going off to defend his publisher against all these attacks on other boards? If I had the time or energy (or cared), I'd go venture off and find that posting...but if you say you don't care, that's your choice.
"Unfortunately, when you say they don't edit you are lying because they do."
That's a lie only by using PA logic...taking apart a sentence and nitpicking the contents. Any person with a decent word processor can run the same type of editing PA does (and thus, by running a spelling or grammar check, voila, we have edited your book). In the past, there have been times when they haven't even been able to step up to that standard (ask a few of the PA authors how many corrections they had to fix on their proofs). Ponder this: last I looked (which I admit has been a while), PA was cranking out new books at over 70 books a week...that's 280 books a month (basically). You're telling me that a staff of editors can sit down and go through 280 books a month, and do a full edit on each?
"They just don't have a very skilled staff doing it and they don't do it in the manner in which most PA authors need."
I have to wholeheartedly agree with you on your second point. I don't believe it's the skill of the staff that's the problem, as much as it is they're being underutilized (I have to assume their editors have degrees or training in English, but can't be certain on that). Unfortunately, with the standard brainwashing package used by most of their supporters, they tend to try and make it seem like decent editing is paramount to ripping your heart out (you wrote those words, and you want an editor to tear them up and rewrite them?). Myself, I would have actually preferred a real editor going over my work, and telling me what worked and what didn't.
"She used to be an editor for a major house, actually."
Okay, and? She still has friends...still refers people to them. When people I know want to get books placed in a chain store here in town, I refer them to a place where I know the manager (and he knows me). I imagine your point here is once again lost on my incompetence.
Big Daddy West
p.s. just for kicks, I went over and checked the "new releases" at PA. 73 new books this week...