"You know you love me," Cecily von Ziegesar signs her Amazon review of her own latest book, the Gossip Girls series prequel It Had To Be You. And you know what? We kinda do, because Cecily has had the balls to risk biting the hand that feeds her by calling her publisher out on doing what sounds like a really incompetent job of publishing her book.
Hey people, Cecily here.
I just want all my readers to know that the GG prequel, It Had to Be You, WAS really great and I WAS really proud of it, until the copyeditors and proofreaders changed words that shouldn't have been changed and created mistakes in the book that shouldn't be there. I worked really hard and spent a year writing the book and I was so excited when it finally came out, but now I just want everyone to read the book I wrote, not the tampered-with version. For instance, there's this whole chapter where the word "ululate" which is actually a really funny word, was changed to "undulate" like six times. Now the chapter isn't funny anymore and makes no sense. You guys are all really smart and I'm pretty sure you'll know something is up when you come across these mistakes. I just wish my copyeditors and proofreaders were as smart as you are. Needless to say, this isn't the last you're all going to hear about this.
You know I love you,
Ouch! But was Cecily correct to blame booboos in her book on copyeditor stupidity? After all, authors get to see their books after they've been copyedited, which is their opportunity to stet changes. But Cecily claims that a rushed publication schedule led her to trust her publisher—Poppy, which is a brand-new imprint of Little, Brown—to make what they called "little changes" after she went over those changes with them over the phone. But the ululate/undulate thing, among other errors, cropped up in a version of the manuscript that Cecily never got to see. She says there are also passages where a stray letter is floating somewhere in the middle of the page, which sounds like a typesetting error to us. Double whammy.
She's not just being some catty Blair type about it, either. "It just makes me sad," she told us. "I mean, my appreciation for the English language is why I write. I get excited about words like ululate! I care a lot about each sentence and the way each sentence sounds!" Just to clarify, she only wrote Gossip Girls 1-8; the rest were ghostwritten. And before you dismiss them without having read them, be advised that they're a lot less mindless and trashy than the TV show. ("He looked like someone who might help you pick out shoes at Saks," is a representative stealth-LOL quote.)
Though her publisher has promised to fix all the changes in the next printing and to post corrections on their website in the meantime, Cecily is still bummed that the book she spent more than a year writing seems to have been slapped together carelessly by people who ought be treating her with kid gloves like the cash cow she is. "Hopefully this is a sort of wakeup call for everyone. I know that everyone had the best of intentions, but it doesn't make me feel any less... Grrr!" We'd feel "grrr" too.