Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Typo Myth

Much debate rages about the validity of self-published books.  It is widely assumed by their detractors that they are filthy with typos, errors and formatting issues.  Well, I'm here to tell you that is a fallacy.  In the last couple of years I have developed the odd habit of listing the typos and other problems that I find in self-published books with the intent of proactively helping fellow writers improve their product.  At some point it occurred to me that I should do the same when I read a traditionally published book.

When Charles Franklin blogged a good article  by Heidi Loney about the vitriol being leveled at self-published books by the traditional publishing community, I realized that I had a unique body of data to prove or disprove the matter.  Recalling lists of errata for twenty-nine books, I divided it into groups having twenty-four self-published and five traditionally published books.  Without showing the titles, this is the result:

Traditionally published


























Totals                         416

Self-published books averaged 17.3 typos compared to 12.2 in the traditionally published works.  Note that one self-published book contained 87 problems and one traditionally published had zero (it was a coffee table book with a fair amount of text).  If we consider those two books anomalies and take them from the list, the average changes to 14.3 per self-published and 15.25 per traditionally published.  Thus proving the technical inferiority of self-published books is a myth.

So!  Put that in your Kindle and smoke it.

Incidentally, my reviews and usually the word count for each of these books is either on this blog or on the reviews page at

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Officer's Code Lyn Alexander

Driven from his country by an overbearing father, an English schoolboy falls in love with the willful daughter of a Prussian Baron.  To ingratiate himself with the Baron, Eric renounces his name in favor of his German mother's maiden name and enlists in the cavalry expecting a five-year hitch.  Unfortunately for Erich, his five years started in 1913.

"The Officer's Code" may be the most intimate account of the Great War since "All Quiet on the Western Front".  Lyn Alexander's depth of research and intimate knowledge of all things German breathes uncanny realism into an artfully conceived piece of historical fiction with plenty of tension and plot twists.  The story of the metamorphosis of Eric Foster, unwilling English law student, into Erich Bronsart von Schellendorf, Prussian cavalry officer, is an achievement of near epic proportions.  The meticulous detail shown of German life and German military life transports the reader into the wartime Heidelberg of Prussian nobility just as the account of the war puts us starkly into the trenches.  The Officer's Code is nothing short of brilliant.

Price $4.99

Buy at Barnes & Noble

Buy at Amazon

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Another Triumph

A beautiful Texas oil heiress, a Spanish Duke, an inconvenient relationship, the emotional damage of the Civil War; Invisible Scars weaves a spellbinding web of binds and double binds, loss, redemption, fabulous wealth and anarchy.  America Harvey makes a big mistake by marrying her childhood sweetheart, the result of which is the loss of her only child.  She flees with her despair all the way to the south of Spain where she and el Duque del Castillo de Tarifa fall irreconcilably in love despite his wife, eight children and unwavering, divorce forbidding Catholicism.  This is the story of a remarkable heroine who endures adversity, is left bereft and ultimately triumphs.

The story is complex and encompasses the time from the Spanish Civil War to the post-Franco era.  Besides being a love story and a war story, it offers a window into Spanish culture, going as far as to present the dialogue with the idiomatic flavor of the Spanish language.  Burt Boyer had intimate access to Spanish nobility and he comes to this extraordinary piece of work with impeccable credentials.  Invisible Scars is a brilliantly conceived and executed tale of epic proportions.

Price $2.99
116,000 words

Buy at Smashwords 

Buy at Amazon