Amanda Hocking's Hollowalnd

Speeling iz imprtunt

Let me get this out of the way; I gave up on reading Amanda Hocking’s Hollowland. I stopped reading because I wasn’t enjoying it. I found the plot pedestrian, the characters flat and forgettable, and the story entirely lacking in heart. But that’s okay. I don’t have to be a Hocking fan.

Having said that, and based on my experience of Hollowland, I think Hocking is very harmful for self-publishing.

I’m a tyrant when it comes to spelling and grammar. I can’t overemphasise how important they are. And, as tyrannical as I am, I am even more embarrassed and mortified if I make a mistake in my own writing. I think this reaction is completely justified. Writing, after all, is what I do. Hell, I’m paid to do it, and so I expect myself to do it well. How can I be taken seriously as a writer if my writing contains simple spelling or grammatical errors?

See where I’m going with this?

Self-publishing is still new and readers are asking themselves why they should take an indie author seriously. Why should they read a book that wasn’t good enough for a publisher? Indie authors are still having to prove that their worth is as good as their traditionally published cousins.

Amanda Hocking is touted as the self-publishing success story. She is the cream of the crop, a big name. And yet Hollowland is riddled with spelling errors. Not just one or two, but dozens.

That is unacceptable from someone who makes their living from writing. And if Hollowland is a reader’s first experience of self-publishing, what will they think? That indie authors can’t take the time, or don’t have the care or professionalism, to check their work before publishing it? Instant turn-off. Indie authors lose a reader.

Hocking doesn’t have to write the kind of books I like to read, and I wish her all the success in the world with her career. But I will not sugarcoat the truth; she needs to proofread her work. Because it hurts the burgeoning industry that she, however unwillingly, has become a figurehead to.

7 thoughts on “Speeling iz imprtunt

  1. Tasha Carway

    Well you should be embarrassed and mortified as you have made spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes yourself. In your article you wrote “can’t time the time” perhaps you mean can’t take the time. Also the very last word should be too not to. Perhaps you should have proof-read your own article…

    Reply
    1. James T Kelly

      Hi Tasha, thanks for commenting. When I read your comment, I was indeed embarrassed and mortified. In fact I went bright! Strangely the “time to time” error was only online, not in my local copy. I’ve republished it which seems to have fixed it. Now I know I also need to proofread the online copy! Thank you for pointing it out.

      I have used the correct “to”, though. She’s a figurehead to self-publishing, not too it.

      Thanks again for your comment, I hope you enjoyed the post.

      Reply
  2. Tasha Carway

    Thanks for the comment back. My mistake regarding the last word but it’s not usual to end a sentence with a preposition. Perhaps the paragraph/sentence should have read “Hocking doesn’t have to write the kind of books I like to read, and I wish her all the success in the world with her career, but I will not sugarcoat the truth; she needs to proof-read her work as it hurts the burgeoning industry to which she has become a figurehead.”

    I think english is interesting as writing is as much about preference as it is to be grammatically correct.

    Reply
    1. James T Kelly

      Absolutely. There are definitely rules and “rules”, and everyone’s definition as to which counts as which is different. Too many hard and fast rules would make English staid and stagnant, but too many and no-one would know what anyone meant!

      Reply
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