Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lit Spam Redux

Warning: This posts contains a rant about spam, grammar, and punctuation.
Thanks to writer buddy Ed Wennerstrom for sending me this jpeg.
In this morning's email, I received yet another book-promo from the vanity publisher that's sent me several others over the last week. Here's the e-mail header:

Would you trust a vanity publisher who can't even spell "author"? Or who puts the book's title in parentheses? I didn't think so. Once again, I clicked the "Remove" link and once again I asked to be removed.

I also contacted the author whose book was advertised in the spam. He needs to know that not only is his vanity publisher turning off potential readers by spamming them but also that this vanity publisher makes punctuation and grammatical errors in the book's synopsis. Do you see them? (To avoid embarrassing the author, I've obliterated identifying info.)

Do you find it odd that "the big fisherman" is "scheduled to hit the streets"? I assume the book is really what is supposed to "hit the streets," though it would be more appropriate if it "hit the bookstore shelves." Someone needs to correct that misplaced modifier.

Did you notice the comma in the first sentence of the second paragraph? A comma doesn't belong between a subject and its verb unless it sets off unnecessary information.

Those hyphens (-) in the sentence fragment aren't correct either. Do you suppose whoever wrote this meant to use em dashes (—)? Neither hyphens nor em dashes should have space on either side. Commas would have worked much better here—but the sentence fragment doesn't work either.

Neither does the synopsis. "All things religious" is awkward and ambiguous. Why use it twice? A synopsis actually tells something about the plot. It doesn't trail off (and if it does there should be four ellipsis points at the end, not three.)

That little ad promoting the vanity publisher is tacky, and it demonstrates the company's disregard for basic rules of capitalization.

But if You want to be an Authror and Publish Your next Book Today. . . .


Blogger CountryDew said...

I fear these kinds of scams will continue to grow, particularly with so many folks out of work and desperate to find a way to make a little money.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

With so many people wanting to get their books published, scams like this will always attract willing victims.

12:34 PM  

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