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eldragon
04-23-2005, 08:50 PM
This is the vent thread, right? I am stewing about a book I purchased this week. It's - "This Old Dump - renovating without decking your mate."

This book caught my eye because I am always renovating and remodeling. Here's what the back cover says: "If you're an eager and beleagured remodeler who's scared of tacking the challenges of turning a fixer-upper into a cozy home....don't lose heart!

Laura Jensen knows the trials and triumphs of do-it-yourself redecorating." Blah blah blah.

Now - this is the perfect example of how someone who has had books in the past gets more work, unearned.

I was amazed to read that the author hadn't really done any renovations herself. Nor had she really known anyone who had. I couldn't believe reading this paragraph, on page 36 of the book:

"In fact, when I first received the contract to write this book, I thought we could use the advance money to pay for my long-awaited kitchen makeover - which I could then detail at length here for you, my reader. Instead, the check went to a broken air conditioner, some unexpected car repairs, and sundry bills.
Fortunately, my publisher decided to hold off on the publication date for another year because they wanted me to write another book first. Fine by me. By then we would have enough money saved to do the kitchen remodel, which I could joyously recount here.
Not quite."

And she goes on to talk about taking a vacation to England.

"Thankfully, my publisher rode to the rescue a second time. Once again, they delayed publication of This Old Dump for me to write another book instead. Whew. Another several months reprieve. Certainly for my new deadline we'd have ample money set aside to at long last tackle our kitchen renovation so I could write aobut it for you here."

She goes on a few boring paragraphs ... then says
"Consequently, we still don't have our remodeled kitchen. I finally realized that the only way I'm ever going to get my kitchen renovated is for this book to sell beaucoup copies so I can get a nice fat royalty check. And, you can help me out if you would please. Spread the word and tell all your friends to buy a copy of this book."


HUH? So - she is in hot demand to write these hilarious books. Here is an example of how hilarious her stories are:

"Deborah, my former co-worker who moved to Florida, said her husband, Gene, told her he'd be glad to paint the bathroom for her. After all, he loves to paint. And so he began.
"Honey, would you please get me a drop cloth?"
"hey, babe, this would go faster if you could mask the trim off for me. Won't take you ten minutes."
"Oh, I've got all the trim cut in. Could you just wash this brush out for me?"
"I'm finished. How does it look? I need to put the ladder away - how about rinsing the roller out?"
"When friends come over, " Deborah said, "he's right there with, "How do you like the bathroom? I painted it myself!"



That's hilarious? Informational? So unusual that we need a book about it?

This makes my blood boil.

brinkett
04-23-2005, 09:13 PM
I read a book recently that had dialogue like this, and I'm not kidding or exaggerating in any way:

"Mark, would you fetch my glasses for me?"
"Yes, I will, Betsy. I'll fetch them right now."
Mark hands Betsy her glasses.
"Thank you, Mark. You're so helpful."
"Aw, Betsy, I can't resist doing something that'll put a smile on your face."
"I know, Mark, that's why I love you."
There's a knock at the door.
Betsy opens it. "Why, Mark, it's our daughter, Patricia Smith!"

That wasn't the dialogue, but I think you get the point. This was in a novel published by a traditional publisher. In the acknowledgements, the author thanks her editor. Frankly, I'd be kicking the editor in the teeth.

maestrowork
04-23-2005, 09:19 PM
I read a book recently that had dialogue like this, and I'm not kidding or exaggerating in any way:


What book and what publisher?

eldragon
04-23-2005, 09:24 PM
"Look, Honey! It's our daughter, Patricia Smith!"

Incredible.

brinkett
04-23-2005, 10:21 PM
What book and what publisher?
I don't want to post that info publicly. All I'll say is that it was a small press.

stormie
04-24-2005, 12:02 AM
Small presses, though traditional, might be one-man/woman operation. The publisher is the editor and the promotions person and .... So maybe they pick up the mss., read it through, like it, see that it has great potential, but somehow don't get around to sending it back to the writer to make revisions.

brinkett
04-24-2005, 12:40 AM
That's true, though in this case I'm fairly certain it isn't a one man/woman operation. And being published by a traditional press is supposed to mean that one is writing at a professional level, and with dialogue like that, one isn't. I hope, anyway. :)

maestrowork
04-24-2005, 12:55 AM
Have you read Patterson's "Sam's Letter To Jennifer"? Some of the cheesiest dialogue. But then again, it's Patterson!

Lauri B
04-26-2005, 04:22 AM
Every editor misses something in every book that's out there, but Brinkett's dialogue sounds pretty awful. In the nonfiction world, the books that get published are the books publishers think they can sell: in our case, we have to be really careful to acquire books that fit the niches we've decided to pursue (because they are markets we think we understand and sell to--and get some shelf space in the bookstores). Larger publishers with much larger budgets can take far more risks--you'll find that they'll buy books by celebrities because the celebrities are guaranteed to get publicity for what they write, no matter how awful or irrelevant, and sometimes an editor will just take a shine to a book and push it through and hope for the best.

But the best books are never necessarily the best-selling books. I've read some that have sold huge numbers and thought, "ick--I definitely could have done better than that," but talked to a friend about it and learned that she loved it. Go figure.

I think everyone reads books that make them wonder why on earth a publisher picked that lousy manuscript to publish, and part of it is personal preference, part of it is the market, and part could just be that the publisher wanted to take a chance on someone. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.

stormie
04-26-2005, 04:42 AM
Have you read Patterson's "Sam's Letter To Jennifer"? Some of the cheesiest dialogue. But then again, it's Patterson!

Glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about some of his writing.

Jamesaritchie
04-26-2005, 05:20 PM
This is the vent thread, right? I am stewing about a book I purchased this week. It's - "This Old Dump - renovating without decking your mate."

This book caught my eye because I am always renovating and remodeling. Here's what the back cover says: "If you're an eager and beleagured remodeler who's scared of tacking the challenges of turning a fixer-upper into a cozy home....don't lose heart!

Laura Jensen knows the trials and triumphs of do-it-yourself redecorating." Blah blah blah.

Now - this is the perfect example of how someone who has had books in the past gets more work, unearned.

I was amazed to read that the author hadn't really done any renovations herself. Nor had she really known anyone who had. I couldn't believe reading this paragraph, on page 36 of the book:

"In fact, when I first received the contract to write this book, I thought we could use the advance money to pay for my long-awaited kitchen makeover - which I could then detail at length here for you, my reader. Instead, the check went to a broken air conditioner, some unexpected car repairs, and sundry bills.
Fortunately, my publisher decided to hold off on the publication date for another year because they wanted me to write another book first. Fine by me. By then we would have enough money saved to do the kitchen remodel, which I could joyously recount here.
Not quite."

And she goes on to talk about taking a vacation to England.

"Thankfully, my publisher rode to the rescue a second time. Once again, they delayed publication of This Old Dump for me to write another book instead. Whew. Another several months reprieve. Certainly for my new deadline we'd have ample money set aside to at long last tackle our kitchen renovation so I could write aobut it for you here."

She goes on a few boring paragraphs ... then says
"Consequently, we still don't have our remodeled kitchen. I finally realized that the only way I'm ever going to get my kitchen renovated is for this book to sell beaucoup copies so I can get a nice fat royalty check. And, you can help me out if you would please. Spread the word and tell all your friends to buy a copy of this book."


HUH? So - she is in hot demand to write these hilarious books. Here is an example of how hilarious her stories are:

"Deborah, my former co-worker who moved to Florida, said her husband, Gene, told her he'd be glad to paint the bathroom for her. After all, he loves to paint. And so he began.
"Honey, would you please get me a drop cloth?"
"hey, babe, this would go faster if you could mask the trim off for me. Won't take you ten minutes."
"Oh, I've got all the trim cut in. Could you just wash this brush out for me?"
"I'm finished. How does it look? I need to put the ladder away - how about rinsing the roller out?"
"When friends come over, " Deborah said, "he's right there with, "How do you like the bathroom? I painted it myself!"



That's hilarious? Informational? So unusual that we need a book about it?

This makes my blood boil.

Well, I thought it was funny. I guess you either like Walker's sense of humor, or you don't.

But no one EVER has a book published unearned. She earned this book because of the previous book, and she'll earn the next book if this one sells well. It's a matter of taste, but I like her books, and the way she writes them.

stace001
04-27-2005, 10:39 AM
There is nothing more frustrating for a writer than reading a book that's badly written, boring storyline, and just downright awful. Especially when that writer might be fighting tooth and nail to get their well written, sensational storyline and downright masterful work of literature published. I feel for them all.

eldragon
05-09-2005, 02:13 AM
Well, I thought it was funny. I guess you either like Walker's sense of humor, or you don't.

But no one EVER has a book published unearned. She earned this book because of the previous book, and she'll earn the next book if this one sells well. It's a matter of taste, but I like her books, and the way she writes them.


Yes, but I paid for the book. I bought it because of the title "Renovate without decking your mate," thinking it might actually have something to do with renovating houses.

It was my fault, because I didn't realize that its a humorous book, not a helpful book. Everytime I have paid for a humorous book, I usually regret it. Its mostly blank pages with a few paragraphs on each page, funny or not, not usually worth the price paid for the book.


But, I'm a heavy reader. I'd rather have a 300+ page book than a 100 page book. And, at todays prices, I want some value to come with the high price I paid.

Jamesaritchie
05-09-2005, 07:33 AM
Yes, but I paid for the book. I bought it because of the title "Renovate without decking your mate," thinking it might actually have something to do with renovating houses.

It was my fault, because I didn't realize that its a humorous book, not a helpful book. Everytime I have paid for a humorous book, I usually regret it. Its mostly blank pages with a few paragraphs on each page, funny or not, not usually worth the price paid for the book.


But, I'm a heavy reader. I'd rather have a 300+ page book than a 100 page book. And, at todays prices, I want some value to come with the high price I paid.

One man's trash, and all that. I think Walker's books are worth far more than the cover price. I don't care if a book has three pages or 3,000 pages, good is good. Sometimes less really is more. I'd rather pay thirty bucks for a ten page book I like than a dollar for a 500 page book I don't. And I'm not sure humor works terribly well at longer lengths.

Sounds like you need to check out new writers at the library before buying them.

maestrowork
05-09-2005, 10:00 AM
Next time, go through the book and make sure you're buying what you think you're buying.

If you get a latte and you expected chai tea, don't blame Starbucks. I'm sure many people LOVE latte. Make sure you order something you really want.

:)

eldragon
05-12-2005, 12:42 AM
"Deborah, my former co-worker who moved to Florida, said her husband, Gene, told her he'd be glad to paint the bathroom for her. After all, he loves to paint. And so he began.
"Honey, would you please get me a drop cloth?"
"hey, babe, this would go faster if you could mask the trim off for me. Won't take you ten minutes."
"Oh, I've got all the trim cut in. Could you just wash this brush out for me?"
"I'm finished. How does it look? I need to put the ladder away - how about rinsing the roller out?"
"When friends come over, " Deborah said, "he's right there with, "How do you like the bathroom? I painted it myself!"

You find this funny?

triceretops
05-12-2005, 04:10 PM
Well, it was a little funny, I have to admit. But her preocupation with her earnings (big fat royalty check), bragging, bloviating about all her contracts and (in demand) personification was soooo way over-the-top, that I would have thrown the book against the wall. I write non-fic humor books, and I have yet to thow myself in there as a lead with a yuk-yuk about how much in demand I am. Yeah, I'll match scripts with this one--take her on ANY day!

Tri