Sister of Silence: Please don’t buy my e-Book

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Updated Dec. 6, 2011: The new and improved e-book was uploaded recently and is now available here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords (for iPads and in most other formats). The current version available at iTunes is NOT the revised ebook. Please hold off on buying it there until further notice. (We’re awaiting Apple’s approval for the new file we submitted. The minute we get the green light, we’ll tell you.) Thank you for your patience and for bearing with us during this process.
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I’ve been debating whether to make a Netflix-like executive decision: you know, one of those rash, rushed calls that don’t take into account the consequences of one’s actions—be it lost customers or lost profits.
Having reached this decision and without further ado, I am pulling the e-Book version of Sister of Silence from the shelves, so to speak. The company we (Nellie Bly Books, LLC) hired to convert my paperback book into an electronic file so as to be available to the masses has not been able to correct the errors that crept in during the conversion process.
Since I’ve been debating this action for about three weeks now, I’d say mine is less of a Netflix-inspired managerial move, and more like that of Elton Mayo. He’s the Harvard business professor who conducted a worker productivity study at the Western Electric Hawthorne plant in Chicago back in the 1930’s. What Mayo was looking for was whether a change in lighting conditions inside the plant helped, or hurt, employee productivity.
What Mayo found was increased productivity—but it had nothing to do with the lights. Instead, it had everything to do with listening to the employees’ wants, needs and concerns.
The Hawthorne Effect, as it’s come to be called, essentially means this: An organization cannot succeed if it doesn’t listen to its employees (or customers, as the case may be).
We are listening to our customers, because we recognize first, that the customer is always right. Second, we know that without a good, solid, quality product, we cannot sustain the word-of-mouth advertising necessary for our company to succeed. And without our customers, we don’t have a business.
We did not spend 20 years crafting a product that has been edited and proofread dozens of times, and which took a first-place award in a state writing competition, just to see it fall on its face because of a conversion process that renders it hard to read. As readers ourselves, we demand nothing less from a book—be it paperback or electronic—than any other reader would: it must hold one’s attention, it must flow well and the transitions must be smooth and seamless. In its current form, the Sister of Silence e-Book does none of this.
Until we can produce an e-Book that does, please do not purchase any versions of our e-Book until we state here, on this site, that it has our blessing, and is good to go.
The “we” I refer to is mostly me, since I own Nellie Bly Books. But it also refers to the dozens, if not hundreds, of people who have helped me market Sister of Silence by word-of-mouth, by loaning out their own copy, or by dropping off copies at local colleges and libraries, women’s shelters, police stations and hospitals. It certainly refers to anyone who’s spent a dime on an e-Book that contains errors.
If you are one of those customers and you are unhappy, please email your receipt to me showing the date of purchase and the price you paid, and I will happily provide you with your choice of either a PDF copy of Sister of Silence, or one in paperback.
If there is anything I’ve learned from being a reporter, it’s that accuracy is everything. And mediocrity is unacceptable.
Editor’s note: Please email me at daleen[dot]berry[at]gmail[dot]com. (My apologies, but the spammers make it necessary to do this.)
If you haven’t yet done so, but you’d love to read the book, you can buy it here: Nellie Bly Books


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