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‘James LaFond’
‘How Much Do You Care About the Quality of Your Work?’


This question came to me after a Portland reader read me a very long, very well put and scathing review of one of my books, wherein the reviewer found it hard to believe that I had not cared about my work enough to have it proof read.

The fact is I have over 100 unedited and un-proofed books in print!

This is certainly scandalous.

Why?

My first book, written in 1992, and still unpublished, titled Tribes was proof read by an English teacher who I paid to proof it. I was making enough money to afford this. I paid her $10 an hour, it costing me $500 to have an unsalable book proofed, a book that was accepted by a company that went out of business and then rejected by two others.

I also had The Broken Dance proofed by a librarian, a roommate and a girlfriend, when I wrote that in 1998-2005.

The Logic of Steel and The Fighting Edge and The Logic of Force were proofed and edited by Paladin Press.

When I began writing fulltime I gave dozens of books and manuscripts, costing me hundreds of dollars, away to people in hopes they would critique them. Not a person read a page as far as I can tell. I paid three people to buy my ebooks from the site and proof them and they did not, but kept the money!

Although three members of my family were highly qualified to proof my work they told me that my style was so bad, my content so boring and my thought-crimes against humanity so demented, that they were physically unable to read even a page of my work without either falling asleep, crying or becoming angry.

I dated an English teacher who was excited to proof my work, but then became so put off by the content that she could only proof and edit Writing Unchained, Your Trojan Horse, Skulker Jones and a couple other titles for which her corrections were never made due to our relationship terminating. For doing this I gave her the publishing rights to Skulker Jones, Writing Unchained and The Pale Usher [which she did not proof].

My niece did proofread and publish Den of the Ender and God’s Picture Maker, both of which have sold 1 copy over their 4 year life—so I can hardly expect her to burn any more time on my account.

I had no one who I could even pay to read my stuff, was selling zero copies of most of my work and, when I proofed The World is Our Widow for the 7th time in 2016 and reissued it, I found a typo in the first chapter, threw the thing across the room and swore that I would only proof each of my works one time, as I am obviously the shitiest proofreader in history. I never had any ambition and have no ability or education to be an editor or proof reader, never passed an English test in my life—just got shuffled on to the next grade.

So, knowing I had content in my mind that other people did not, I decided to publish my work, typos and all, in hopes that one day, someone would value it enough to correct and reissue it. Also, when I began writing full time in 2010 my parttime grocery work only paid $9,000 a year and my writing about $30. In late 2017 when I stopped working as a grocer altogether, my income plummeted to under $3K a year and is now up to $3.5K. So, I ask the reviewer, how am I to afford paying $500-plus a title to have them proofread, when I have not enough money to keep a roof over my head? Also, in terms of an investment, when my average sales per title stands at 4.5, with me making $4 a title on average, for a median income of $18 over the lifetime of a published book, how could I possibly justify shelling out a minimum of $500 dollars for a proof reading service, let alone hire an editor? $10 an hour is minimum wage in some places. It would take a saint to read my hated work for that rate. And, finally, now that I have achieved some literary infamy, no one will dare assign their name to my work as a proof reader!

Then, in 2017, Lynn Lockhart decided that her hobby would consist of editing my work.

She then received some offers of assistance from men who cannot be named for fear of losing their job!

As it stands, my personal Literary Angel and her proof readers have 20 books in process, and, if you can spell better than this high school dropout, you are welcome to contact me at jameslafond.com@gmail.com and offer to proof a book. Let us know what category you are interested in.

Oh yes, This Island of Broken Men is a book on masculinity which I regard as timely, which is being published without editorial oversight, for the reason that I think if I waited until 2020 to publish this volume it would be suppressed by the powers that wee. Other than that, everything that has come into print since January of 2018 has been proofed and edited by volunteer readers, for whom I am forever grateful for rendering some of my work into grammatically acceptable form. If you are a grammar Nazi don’t buy anything of mine published before 2018.

Thank you all.

James LaFond, 3/10/19

Notes on Sponsors

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Add Comment
Ruben ChandlerMarch 15, 2019 5:09 AM UTC

There are no typos in the vernacular of the people. Right on. Reader as proof reader is a great concept. I've read a lot of your stuff. I've only noticed one or two typos..........and trust me, I am the language police...lol. Stevedore's po' edumacashun frum dat dere Jim Cro' skoohows is faultless. One on my bucket list is translating Beowulf into modern pidgin.....That tricky first word......Sssst......Would now be Yo. I think pidgin speaking people's of the planet may get far more from the tale than we honkies.
Ruben ChandlerMarch 14, 2019 7:22 PM UTC

Everyone knows I'm chastising the reader, correct? The little lady and I were into the second bottle of wine and thought it was hilarious. And yes, Lynn rocks!!!!
responds:March 14, 2019 9:07 PM UTC

Yes, I knew, but I was hoping to recruit the reader as a proof reader so didn't want to chase him off.

Besides, I'm just a broker here. Stevedore Jackson is really doing the writing and it's kind of painful to have your 122 year old slave called on his spelling, in light of the poor education he got in that Jim Crow school house...
Ruben ChandlerMarch 13, 2019 2:28 AM UTC

Fuck that shit. Let the reader edit and all that. We're too busy. Everyone wants their food digested for them? We should show up with a turd in a pizza bo? Fuck these lazy mofo assholes. We make you care, you do your own research asshole. Lazy, mindless stupid twats..........
responds:March 14, 2019 6:02 PM UTC

For the record, I like receiving corrections via email and other critiques. I can look at a typo all day an not see it.

Thanks bro.
Lynn LockhartMarch 12, 2019 8:48 PM UTC

I love this, thank you!