I have decided to unpublish my novella ‘Finale’ for the time being. It wasn’t an easy decision but it had to be done. But why would I want to do that?
Here’s the thing. When I returned from travelling with my family in Sri Lanka this sunday, I was greeted by two very bad reviews of the book. Of course, I have been a writer for more than twenty years and I’ve had my share of bad reviews like everyone else. It comes with the job. I’ve learned to ignore the haters and focus on the readers who enjoy my way of writing. Luckily, there are enough of them to feed me and my family, and that’s more than anyone could hope for. I have been blessed in that way.
However, this was different. Besides hating everything about my book they both agreed that the text was full of typos, misused words and other grammatical errors. To be honest, it shocked me.
English isn’t my native language. I am Danish. I don’t kid myself that my English is anything like perfect or brilliant. But I am a professional writer. Have been making a living writing all kinds of stories for the last 22 years. I have my pride. I am not perfect, I know that, but I do hate typos and errors in my books.
For that reason I have always hired professionals to edit and proofread my work, especially in English. I translated ‘Finale’ from Danish myself, like I’ve done with most of my previous books in English, knowing I needed someone to edit or even translate my imperfect English into real English, and I thought I had a good team doing that. At least I had paid them handsomely.
So, when I read those reviews my first thought was that I must by mistake have published an early unedited and unproofed edition of the text and was really kicking myself for doing that. But it turned out that I hadn’t. The published edition was the rigtht one. Edited and proofread.
Then what? Those angry reviewers did point out a few of the errors in the text and they did seem to have a point. Even though they also appeared to hate everything about me, my book and my writing, and it would be easy to clasify them as internet haters which are never in short surply these days. But I couldn’t. I had to know. And if they were right I had to do something about it.
Yesterday, I asked an English friend to read a few chapters of the book and tell me if it was as bad as claimed. She came back to me with an honest but hard truth: It was.
For that reason I have decided to unpublish ‘Finale’ for the time being while the text is being re-edited and re-proofed.
I am sorry this has happened. I am kicking myself, slamming doors. I screwed up this time. But crying doesn’t help anyone. I have to fix it. And I will.