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    His Lawyers Should Have The Book Thrown At Them

    | England, UK | Books & Reading, Language & Words, Top

    (I work as a publisher. I get a visit from a very distraught client.)

    Client: “Excuse me. I’m really sorry, but I was told you were the head publisher?”

    Me: “Yes, I am. How can I help?”

    Client: “Well, I’ve been writing stories my whole life. I even written a couple for my children that they love. I’m really good at it and it’s a great passion of mine. It’s my life long dream to make a living as a writer, but nobody will even look at my novel because I’m dyslexic. I know the spelling and grammar isn’t great but I’ve had people spell-check it for me. I just need someone to give me a chance. I know my book will be a hit.”

    Me: “I’m so sorry to hear how you’ve been treated. Send me the first few pages of your book, the best scene in the book, preferably around the middle, and the last few pages, and I’ll give them a read.”

    (The client thanks me, places the ENTIRE book on my desk, and then leaves. I start to read it later that day, only to discover that not only is the spelling and grammar awful, but so is the book itself. I continue reading much more than I usually do, wanting to believe this man was truly the great writer he claimed to be. The story gets worse and worse the more I read. I read a couple of pages in the middle. Then I skip to the end, only to discover he ended the book with the most despised sentence in the literary world, ‘and it was all a dream.’ Needless to say I wrote him a rejection letter. A few days later I get a message from the receptionist, who is in tears, claiming an enraged man is here, screaming about suing us. I told her to let him in. It was our dyslexic client.)

    Client: “What is this?! You told me you were going to publish my book!”

    Me: “No, sir. I said I was going to read your book, which I did. I’m sorry but I do not believe it is suitable to be published.”

    Client: “That’s bull-s***. My book is brilliant. You have to publish it. There’s no good reason not to.”

    Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but the book’s no good. I can’t publish this.”

    Client: “Oh yeah? Name me five reasons why you can’t publish it.”

    Me: “Five?”

    Client: “Yeah, five. Otherwise there’s no reason your editing team can’t sort it out.”

    Me: “Okay. First of all, there is next to no characterisation.”

    Client: “What the f*** does that mean?”

    Me: “It means that your characters don’t develop in any way.”

    Client: “That’s complete bull-s***. What else?”

    Me: “Your main character is suppose to be the protagonist and yet has no fatal flaw. He’s perfect.”

    Client: “Main characters are supposed to be perfect. That’s why people love them. Hamlet didn’t have a ‘fatal flaw’.”

    Me: “Actually, he did. He procrastinated and it resulted in many dying.”

    Client: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. And that’s only two.”

    Me: “I’m not finished. Three, I know you are dyslexic but almost every sentence needs to be edited. That is too much work for our editor and financially would not be beneficial for the company. Four, you not only use abbreviations in the narration like BTW for ‘by the way’, but you also use words that don’t exist.”

    Client: “Like what?”

    Me: “Like the word ET. It does not exist.”

    Client: “Yeah, it does. I ‘et’ an apple.”

    Me: “Ate, sir. You ATE an apple. ‘Et’ is not a word.”

    Client: “Fine, but that’s only four.”

    Me: “And five, it’s not long enough.”

    Client: “How can it not be long enough. It’s well over 100 pages.”

    Me: “Sir, the quantity of a book is based on word count, not pages. Your book may be over 100 pages, but with the size of the paper, the size of the font, and also that you start a brand new page every time you start a new chapter, it’s too short.”

    Client: “Well, how long does it have to be?”

    Me: “The average novel is between 80,000 to 120,000 words. Your novel is just over 16,000. I have nothing against people with dyslexia and there are many great writers who have it. You, however, will not be one of those writers. I can continue to list more things wrong with your novel but I have listed the five you requested. Now I must ask you to leave my office as I am incredibly busy.”

    (The client grabs his novel from my hands and storms out. A couple of weeks later we receive a letter from a lawyer suing us for discrimination, claiming that we were not publishing the man’s novel because he was dyslexic. I had our lawyers phone his, explaining the true reasons, and also that our conversation was recorded. We never heard from him after that.)