Names changed to protect the rude

Disclaimer: I’m still in a snarky mood. Take everything with a pound of salt.

I got an email this morning, very much like I get about once a year, from a reader who first gushes about the Hollows, usually telling me what they have done to help promote my books, generally trying to make me feel like I owe them a debt of gratitude.

Then they say “however” and I sigh and grit my teeth.  Following the dreaded “however” comes a tirade at my editor for the typos and errors in the text, sometimes pointing out page numbers and corrections.  In closing, they offer to proof my pages, or better yet, tell me to get a new editor.  “seriously…consider it.  lol”  as if the lots-of-laughter should make me feel all warm and cozy again after they just punched me in the mouth.

Sometimes I can find errors in their text, like no spaces between the four pairs of  ellipses, or the over abundance of exclamation points, but these are easily overlooked because only a professional copy editor or someone in the field would know the correct usage.  Besides, I have yet to write the page where I’ve not screwed up on something, and we are all human.

Editors are not there to catch grammatical errors and typos.  That is the job of the copy editor, a faceless person that often changes from book to book.  It is generally not a high paying position, and turnover is fast.  I’m not guaranteed of getting the same person twice, and they don’t even tell me his or her name because some authors will often look them up on the net to try to check their credentials when they start to see inconsistencies.

My editor is the person who loves my work, who gets me the good covers, the money for the tours, the promotion dollars.  She finds my logic issues, fine tunes my characters, and keeps my writing from going astray.  She is my in-house champion in a highly competitive war-zone.  She is not my typist, and that you suggest I get rid of my editor . . . seriously . . . tells me that whoever is writing me with their helpful suggestion to ditch my editor and hire their services might be able to conjugate a verb and find typos, but they don’t know jack about the publishing business.
Yeah.  I’ll get right on that.  lol  Seriously.


Filed under Drama Box

59 responses to “Names changed to protect the rude

  1. Jenn

    I can’t believe someone would say something like that!!! You have every right to be cranky (being polite here) and I’m so happy that you vented to us.
    We all know & love you, Kim. You take the time out of your busy professional life & your personal one to spend time with us & I for one am very appreciative of it.
    Who wants to be perfect? Life would be boring.
    Sending you warm thoughts & hopefully a little peace too.

  2. Maria (Germany)

    thanks for sharing that with us, it made my day so far.
    That’s a really sneaky way to get a copy before everyone else does and really, that person couldn’t care less about any errors..
    I think we all secretly want it but we at least have the decency to wait although its really hard 😉

    Tell your editor she’s doing a great job because she does!

  3. mandy b

    screw the haters. you rock!

  4. Liz

    I’m a cheap date. I don’t notice the odd typo as long as we get the occasional close-up of everyone’s favorite snarky elf. Um though while I’m here… I wouldn’t mind mentioning.. that is to say.. it IS late 2010, ma’am, can we get our first chappie now? oh pls oh pls oh pls…

  5. A.N.

    Ms. Kim,
    You are loved and your work brings joy to people.
    Go Girl!

    Be Happy! A.N.

  6. Hello Mrs. Harrison,

    I’ve skimmed over the comments that were posted in relation to your post, and I would just like to say that I think it is very clear that you are loved by your readers. 🙂 Especially those year and especially me. And, it’s not just you that we love, it’s your whole writing team. The Hollows books aren’t just you. They are your editor, your copy editor and everybody else who has a hand in it, to make the book that we hold in our hands.
    We love your vision, your ideas. We love your characters because you have shown us people who could be loved.

    So, thank you for everything, your books, your time and for sharing it all with us.

    Now, I have a song for you and your Beta can sing it with me:

  7. I’m a technical writer by day and amateur author by night. Everything I write gets run the wringer one way or another. I say send them some tomatos! Or sic Ivy on them! Can’t wait for Pale Demon!

  8. Jessica

    Snarky……I absolutely LOVE that you use that word to describe yourself, I frequently use it also to describe myself. It has so much more depth to it than bitchy doesn’t it? It was brave of you to post this, and shows how true to yourself you’re being by not “editing” your feelings on the subject. I sometimes feel out of sorts because I’m not an uberfan, just a mom who likes to disappear for hours on end in my books. You just happen to be lucky enough to be one of my favorite authors 🙂 I appreciate what you do even though I have no knowledge on what goes into it. When you blog about the writing process, I skip it, it’s kinda like eating something and loving it, then finding out what went into making it. But I think this situation can be summed up in a quote by THE great author of this generation……..Kim Harrison 🙂
    4/30/09 — “I don’t like spicy food. It gives me gas.”

  9. Niko Ramsey

    Wow! The gall of some people. 😦

    As I told you a few days ago, I’m about to graduate with a degree in creative writing. At the beginning of the year, we were asked to define our three writing idols, and why. You were at the top of my three- I adore you, and I will support you 150%. Don’t let dumbasses like that get you down. 🙂

  10. Everett Davenport

    A couple of years ago I got sick. When I woke from the coma, I found out that some will always be around no matter what and the rest are not worth a tinker’s dam. I shall always be here.


  11. Chelsea

    I just had to let you know of the Hallows moment I had today. I was out shopping today and I walked past a car and I glanced at a very pretty stylized bumper sticker that I could have sworn said Vampiric Charms. I actually stopped, walked back, and looked closer. I was a bit bummed that it wasn’t actually a Vampiric Charms sticker. And as for your email that you have every right to be snarky about, I just want to say that I think you are an amazing storyteller and I for one would feel lucky to read your work in any form. Even if the only way I could read it would be hand written scribbles!

  12. Love your books. Love your writing. Love this post. Long time fan.

  13. Newport Girl

    You Go Girl!!!! Some people are rude and nasty to people who try to give them something wonderful. I personally love it when there are little errors here and there because it does show you are human and are entitled to a goof once in a while. If they are true fans then they would figure it out like any normal person who enjoys the world you bring us into. I am proud to say your writing is my get away from reality when my 8, (yes I said 8) children drive me crazy!!!! Thank you for doing such a wonderful job and tell your people they are doing a great job and whoever said all that, in Rachel Morgan’s words…… They suck dishwater!! THANK YOU KIM AND ALL YOUR PEOPLE FOR DOING WHAT YOU DO FOR YOUR TRUE *FANS*

  14. Vampyre

    Howdy ma’am,

    I was wondering what might have upset you. I hope you don’t let it bother you too much. You know I love your work and I rarely if ever notice any mistakes. My mind just skips over them.

    I read for pleasure. If I wanted to be nit picky about mistakes, I’d be an English teacher. However….Just kidding.
    Keep up the good work and Merry Christmas to you and your family.


    • Stephanie

      Even us English teachers aren’t anal like that. Kim’s great. Period. Screw typos because they really don’t matter.

  15. If I ever finish a story and send it off, I pity the poor soul who has to wade through it. I know emphatically it will have errors. Blowing off steam isn’t snarky, it’s healthy.

  16. Good for you for defending your editor and explaining how things are done!! I love your books, their covers, and all the stuff you do for your fans!! I think you are so giving to write this blog and tell us what you are up to! I have loved reading about your new house, daily life, pic of it all (especially your pets) and giving us a look into your writing process.
    Keep letting your light shine and go eat some good chocolate/coffee –you and your team deserve it!!! Flaming bunnies and bright blessings to all!!!

  17. Yasmin

    Geez, and all along I thought we were supposed to be reading for the STORY! Shows you what I know.
    Without the dumb***es could you really appreciate how much the rest of us love you?

  18. Sabrina

    You really are in a bad mood, hmm?
    Love you and your work, Kim!

    Cheers, Sabrina

  19. Jemma

    Just wanted to add my support and say in this case, the snark was truely deserved. No typo has ever ruined my enjoyment of your books.

    It’s a simple human error and it’s not a big deal. As everyone says, this person was obviously just fishing to read your work first.

    Also, I think Diana’s amazing. You’ve mentioned how hard she works for so many years that as a fan I find I’m kind of protective of her too. As you say, what this guy was talking about wasn’t even her job.


    Stay happy.

  20. nazar

    Well, I can’t really agree with your dispatch. The moment someone writes to you and points out your mistakes is also the moment in which you see that he/she cares about your work. If they weren’t your fans they wouldn’t take the time to write you. So even presumptuous mails are good mails. To denunciate fans (yes I call them that) on your website wasn’t the most beautiful move.
    I think there are a lot of people out there, who read your books, feared and laughed with Rachel, anxious to witness her next move.
    Now they can’t stop thinking about it for a while. And because they care about your work so much, they need an outlet. A few of them decide they want to help (<-interesting word, isn't it?) you to make even better work and write you (The reasoning here doesn't matter. Are it tippos, logical mistakes or content on which they don't agree, it still stands that they want to help). Just now, you suckerpunched them.
    I absolutely believe that there are books after which a person says, "hey, I liked everything", but a book were a person says "nothing was wrong" just shows, that he/she didn't really read it. Hopefully you still know how to tell the difference between first and second.
    That the people who write such mails offend you, because they indirectly offend a friend of you is understandable. But as you said, they didn't even know what they did, because they have no idea how the business works. They insulted a third person they don't really see as a person. The only one they feel they have a relation to is you, a pen name.
    So good fan work would be, not to take it too heart, and say "thank you, but no".
    Hmmm, maybe you see that English isn't my first language. While I wrote this I forgot more than half of what I wanted to write, because I always had to look for grammar mistakes and my dictionary. So I will quit now, but I hope I delivered the point.
    Still best regards from your flaw-seeing (but never having written you) fan

    • Maryellen

      It takes an enormous amount of courage for a creative person to display their art to the world (and by “art”, I’m including writers, painters, sculptors, film-makers, dancers, musicians, etc.). When one pours their heart and soul and blood, sweat, and tears into their creation, shares it with the world, and has that work negatively received or criticized– the term “heart-breaking” doesn’t begin to describe the feelings that arise. “Soul-crushing” comes close.

      Now one might argue, “Well, if you’re THAT sensitive, don’t do it. Don’t write the books, paint the pictures, press record on the camera…”, and you’d have a point. No one HAS to share their creations. And writers like our Miss Kim certainly don’t HAVE to publish their works.

      The world needs them. THEY are the ones who analyze our humanity and help us to make sense of it all. They show us the beauty and meaning of our world, and yes, sometimes we even see world’s brutality through the eyes of the artists. They shine a light on the darkness and make us laugh at the absurdities! I hate to think of what life would be like without hearing one of Chopin’s nocturnes or seeing Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. No matter how many times I read “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream” I am charmed.

      So, as a reader, a viewer, a listener, or a participant in the artistic works, you happen across a tiny mistake, let it go. Let. It. Go. The artist doesn’t want to hear about it, nor does anyone else. Contrary to opinions expressed here, it is NOT helpful. All the criticizing accomplishes is making the artist wonder why on earth they’re going to the trouble. Oh, and by the way, do you have any notion of how few authors maintain an open dialogue with their readers? Practically none. Miss Kim is to be commended- not lectured.

      p.s. There is a mistake in Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”. In one scene he describes a clock chiming the hour, however back in Rome BC there were no chiming clocks. And you know what? IT DOESN’T MATTER!

      All the best,

    • Newport Girl

      Thank you Maryellen!! Put wonderfully.

  21. Jade/Third Coast

    As a friend used to tell me when I would be upset about being criticized by a particularly anal retentive co-worker, “You have to consider the source.” It always helped me put things in perspective—eventually. But, first I had to vent, so vent away. It’s good for you.

  22. Gail S

    Kim, It’s hard to believe that someone would go into a diatribe over typos and then expect you to dump your editor. Sometimes people don’t get the big picture; getting caught in the “majoring in the minors” syndrome. Sorry to hear that it spoiled your day:-(
    I think you should take a day for yourself & Guy, just kick back and relax. A movie, takeout food and (or) cocktails. Whatever is needed to get you back on track and feeling happy and content once again. I hope your week gets better.

  23. Hate those back handed compliments. Don’t let that person steal your joy, not worth it.
    You’re an amazing writer and I love your books.

    Pooey on that person-

  24. missy

    I thank god for your editor,your publisher,and that your have such an awesome imagination.
    Its one of THE best series of its kind,and the only one I’m still so devoted to.

    Most of them are either too pretentious,too much like erotica now,or just too damn slow.
    Anyone who doesn’t like it shld just go back to reading anita blake .
    Feh on them ,is all I have to say. .

  25. Frederique

    If I were you I’d just laugh it off as a ploy to be able to read your books first hahaha.

    I know I’ve told you before that I have gotten lots of people hooked on your books but unlike the writer of that letter I don’t feel you owe me anything. In fact I feel I owe you (which is part of the reason I spread the word of the Hollows). If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have such awesome books to read, I wouldn’t have my favorite characters (that I feel so connected with), and I would be really really bored lol. HOWEVER…. I wish I didn’t have to wait til February for the next book 😛

    To your editor I would like to say thank you for getting the books into my greedy little hands. I wonder if I send your editor a box of chocolates would she maybe book you somewhere in Los Angeles for a signing (I do most of my bribing with chocolate)

  26. suzannelazear

    Hugs. An good editor is worth their weight in sushi and fine chocolates.



    Wow, that blows. I would just like to add that if that person had the ablility to be an editor they would be to busy with their own work to send sucky emails like that.

  28. Robin

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your editor. I’m a fan of anyone who keeps your work coming to us. And I would forgive any copy editor who missed a typo in your work. That person likely became so engrossed in your story it was easily missed.

  29. blackbetty

    Some people just like to gripe about everything. Makes them feel important, I guess. Look at where you are, realize they had nothing better to do with their time, laugh, and delete.

  30. Violetta

    Some typos for you right there girl! 😉

  31. Maryellen

    Okay, two words:
    Screw ’em!

  32. Violetta

    Hey Kim, that’s just mean! These people don’t know a thing. A text is NEVER perfect. I’m usually “the guy who correct typos” (in spanish, wich is my leaguage) and when i do a job i read it at least two or three times. When a book is edited, there’s usually three of us, and even then there are typos on the final text. Part of the esditor job is to get the guys to read the text, but that’s the easiest part of the job!! I for one agree that your editor does a great job! The books are beautiful, the covers are amaizing, the publicity OMG! The people that wrote that e-mail are just jerks.

  33. Jer

    YOU TOO! Sorry for the stupidity of the inconsiderate arse.
    I understand exactly! Two of my uncles and my stepdad just passed away and my house caught fire. I have beautiful babies and a wonderful husband that I have been holding myself together for/with. That phrase ‘holding on by a thread’ ring a bell? Well anyway, I have been in a rotten mood for a couple of weeks and knew I should not be around a lot of people…but Thanksgiving would not allow that. So here I was making tea(put tea bags in pan and boil) and someone decided to tell me how I should boil the water then put the bags in(same person who told me how to make deviled eggs better and what I was doing would burn the gravy). I now know this was nothing to become irrationally enraged over(I was a lunatic :), I mean it is only TEA. But I exploded anyway. I knew I should not have been around anyone! She did not make any other ‘suggestions’ for the rest of the day and watched me like I was growing horns and levitating. I wonder how Christmas will go?

    Just try to find your center again, you are a wonderful person and a magnanimous writer. You are extremely gracious and kindhearted to us fans, you take time out of your VERY BUSY schedule to communicate with us everyday. I especially appreciate your effort to connect with me and other fans. You give a great deal of advice/writing techniques to other writers trying to make it. Thanks for the time and hard work you put into this web site. Awesome! I am a huge fan of the Hollows, I am indebted to you for bringing these phenomenal characters alive for us!
    You have an exceptionally unnatural capacity for imagination and detail.

    Thank You!
    Here is to brighter tomorrows! Cheers!

    • Frederique

      *big hugs* I’m sorry you have had so much loss lately but I really like that you are so positive about the future. Make your tea however you like it…….. and if you do happen to grow horns and levitate please take pictures 🙂

    • Jer

      Thank you Frederique. Life is too short to be negative all the time.
      I like my decaf tea my way, so yes I will continue put the tea bags in the pan and then boil:) I will have the camera ready, I expect it any day now.

    • JanisHarrison

      Sweetie, I have a sister who is sometimes like that, but somehow, if somebody tries to “help” her, she blows! If I were under your stress load I probably would have self-combusted, so “Kiss it up to God,” and get on with living. Sorry about your troubles, you seem to have your values straight, so here’s another {hug} for you.

  34. Antonio

    I hear you’re in the market for a new editor?

    I “skimmed” the above post, but I think I got the the gist of it. I’d just like to say that I’d like to apply for the postion. It sounds pretty easy…maybe something I can do in my spare time. I’ll send a resume later, but pertinent qualifications first:

    1) I own my own dictionary.

    2) I once received a B+ for a 4th grade essay on Pres. James T. Polk.

    3) I once climbed to the top of a local water tower to add the ‘C’ and ‘K’ to an unfinished act of graffiti.

    While you’re at it, you might as well fire your agent as well. It couldn’t be that hard to do both jobs. I’ve got plenty of room here in my mom’s basement for an office. The ping pong table could easily double as a desk.

    Antonio 😎

  35. tish

    P.s.s. I put some typos i that post for ya! Lmao! 8-D

  36. tish

    Kim, Kim, Kim, I LOVE YOU! I make everyone i know that likes to read, read your books…, but thats so I have some one to talk Hallows with, so its purely selfish. 😉 p.s. I love it when your snarky! I you did warn them of you mood not your fault they didnt read your blog.., some fan huh?;-)

  37. chelikins

    I understand you getting upset with them. Some people don’t know when to shut their mouth. They say they know everything but nothing but stupidity comes out of their mouths. I have one I have to deal with everyday.. so don’t let them get you down. That person is not worth it. But feel happy to vent to us because we got your back. AND venting helps. I know that one for sure.. lol!

  38. Elizabeth

    Morning Kim,
    I lover your books and really couldn’t give a sh*t about typos.
    I am really on pins and needles for the Pale Demon except thugh, is it going to post soon?

  39. Science Geek

    Well, I can’t wait to read your next book! People who focus so intensely on the minutiae tend to miss out on the best parts of reading a great book. Don’t let them get you down!

  40. Ash

    You gettim’ girl!! Nobody is perfect. It does not matter how much they want to believe that they are. You should not worry yourself over what other people say, you know what is best. There will always be some of “those” people out there. But, if it makes you feel better, cuss’em out, scream and yell, I gotcha back!!

  41. Judi in NJ

    Love ya, Kim!

  42. Janell

    That does sound irritating. I am a professional copy editor. I have read all your books, and while I’m sure I noticed a few errors, I usually do. They did not come close to detracting from my enjoyment of these books.

    Readers, keep in mind that each house has its own style and schedule and what you might see as an “error” might just be house style. Also, the faster the publishing schedule, the more room there is for error (although they are often fixed in future printings).

    Keep up the good writing, Ms. Harrison! I’m looking forward to the next Hollows books! They’re some of the few I keep instead of swapping for more books. I’m sure I’ll be reading them again 🙂

  43. Mendi in STL

    Heyde Hey Kim!

    Sorry to hear life isn’t going so smooth for you lately. Hope it starts to lighten up and treat you to a great holiday. You know, there’s always one of those types out there, complaining about the bumps in the road and not enjoying the road trip. I used to do a church newsletter and I had constant critique on that. I would always cheerfully acknowledge that we loved having volunteers come help us with it but never any takers. Hmmm, oh well. I’ll save up a big hug for you in March to make you feel better. 😉

  44. Wow, from someone that professes to be a fan? Wow. Backhand full of knuckles there.

    You are an amazing writer. I love your characters and the way you write them.

    I guess I just always assumed that if there was an error in punctuation or grammar, *shrug*, it was simply human error, and let it go. It’s not a technical manual, where every step is critical to the product of the whole!

    It’s people like that who would complain about the mess and the noise if money fell from the sky. ack.

  45. Eff em all! People who have nothing better to do than point out to (hugely successful/talented/PUBLISHED) authors do so in order to feel better about themselves. It’s a pity. Even worse that they think you would actually hire them to (copy) edit your book with that kind of attitude, like you were thinking “What fun it would be to spend days and days working with this person!” as you read their email! I can’t wait for the day that “Spam Filtering” expands it’s capabilities to include and block “jerk off mail.”

  46. Jenetta

    Hear, hear! I think most people assume the book us just run through spell-check on a computer. They don’t understand what an arduous project it is getting the book from the writer’s brain into our hands. Each one is a huge project. Good for you!

  47. Dot

    I read once that only Gods are perfect. I guess that leaves us out lol !

  48. Hilary

    People can be so rude and insensitive! Perhaps this person would have been happier to have the book releases delayed so everything could be perfect. I know I’d happily take a Hollows book absolutely filled with typos if I could get one early! I feel lucky that such amazing books are available for me to read at all. I’m always really annoyed by know-it-all idiots who are more than happy to criticize stuff that they actually couldn’t do themselves (like write such terrific books). Sorry you have to deal with those people.

  49. Marcie

    Oh that is so sad that someone is nick picking your work like that. Everyone is human and we all do make mistakes. You can see it in everything. Movies and books just make it jump out at everyone more. Although I must confess I love finding the mistakes in movies, for two reasons. First it shows me everyone is human and second it drives my family nuts that they don’t see it till I hve rewinded it a couple of times and show them that the Hair is in front and then in back, and then back in front again. Or legs are crossed differently. To me its no big deal that it was missed as there is so much going on and everyone is human.

    So from me to you, wrapped your arms around yourself and give yourself a big hug. Keep your editor as she/he is not the one proofing.

  50. Sara

    Human error cannot be eliminated. I find it better to focus on the thousands of words that are correct, not on the few that are wrong. Besides, isn’t it supposed to be unlucky to have something perfect?
    I enjoy your work and look forward to each new book.