Get Out Your Red Pencils, Folks!
Reading has become a bumpy ride. For me, it started with Dorothea Benton Frank.
Now, let me start by saying RIP and that this is in no way intended as disrespect for the dead, but damn! Talk about some crappy writing.
I found the book—The Hurricane Sisters—in the bargain aisle at Barnes & Noble and picked it up, hoping for a little light reading. Instead, I ended up with hand cramps from marking up the book with my trusty red pencil, fixing all the mistakes someone—you know, the editor at William Morrow who was PAID to do it—was supposed to correct.
Normally, I wouldn’t bother editing some lousy bargain-bin paperback, but I had already told my mom she could read the book next, and by about page 5, when I saw how many errors the book contained, I knew I couldn’t turn this terrible tome over to my mother without making it absolutely clear that I was well aware of each and every mistake. I can only imagine the years of punishing jibes I would have suffered had Mom suspected I didn’t know the correct way to use there, their, and they’re.
So, what’s the point I’m trying to make?
Just this: The publishing industry is in serious trouble.
Sure, we all know self-publishing (a segment of the field that has been doing its best to drag us down below mediocrity for well over a decade) has hurt the market and lowered standards. But these days, even the Big Five—those old-school publishers we readers expect to put out only high-quality, well-developed titles—kind of . . . well, SUCK.
From what I can tell, we here at Blydyn Square Books seem to be the only ones left in the publishing world who still put our books through a lengthy, thorough editorial and production process. Nobody else is bothering to do the work, and I’ve got to tell you, Big Five and self-publishers, it shows!
That’s why we’re inviting you, dear reader, to join us in our crusade to save literature. When you find mistakes in the books you read, let the world—and the publishers—know. (Yes, even if you find mistakes in OUR books—we’re better than the rest but we’re still human!) Tell the publishers you read that you expect better. Demand more! You deserve it. We all do.
Join us: Together, we can make change happen. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Become part of our small group of citizens and let’s change the world together.
Save literature, save the world!
Blydyn Square Book Club
This month in Book Club, we read Normal People by Sally Rooney. In case you missed it, you can check out the video from our meeting here.
Next time, we’re going old school: We’ll be reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, and our meeting will be on April 8, 2021. If you’re not already a member, sign up now (or just show up; everyone is welcome!). We always have a great time!
Blydyn Square Happy Hour
Don’t forget to join us next week on March 18 for our monthly Blydyn Square Happy Hour. Join us to chat about our current and future titles, and whatever else comes to mind—as long as it has to do with books! Get the inside scoop on what it’s like to work for (and be published by) a small press. You bring the drinks and we’ll bring the book talk. Here’s the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/92398435467
Quote of the Month
“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”
Brain Teaser of the Month
Congratulations to last month’s trivia winner, Debbie De Morier, who won an Amazon gift card.
The question was: Charles Dickens considered two other names before settling on “Tiny Tim” for the character of Bob Cratchit’s son in A Christmas Carol. Guess one of them.
The answers were: “Small Sam” and “Puny Pete.”
Here’s this month’s question:
Dorothea Benton Frank made an appearance in this month’s newsletter. What was the title of her first novel?
That’s it for this month. See you next time!
Editor in Chief
Blydyn Square Books