"Are there people out there so fucking mind-bogglingly stupid that the inclusion of a – between two words confuses them enough to be torn from the story and ruin the reading experience so much that they felt obliged to write to Amazon and complain?"
I think that the author insulting someone who have paid for his book is not something intelligent, nice or professional.
"Do they need to do something about the quality of the ebooks on their device? Oh yes. Absolutely no question about it."
I was going to argue freedom of speech and the ability to form ideas the way the author intended is what matters here, but the author himself doesn't seem to agree himself.
That's fairly straight up UK english hyperbole. Calling the author stupid and unprofessional because you're unfamiliar with the way UK english works is a trifle unfair.
Edit: I'm specifically talking about being unfamiliar with that style of hyperbole here. I am not defending the hyphenation. That's why I didn't mention the hyphenation at all originally. But apparently that wasn't enough, so now I'm explicitly saying I wasn't talking about the thing I didn't mention. Hope That Helps, Have A Nice Day.
I see no reason not to insist on some kind of quality here. We're not talking about poetic license or writing to reflect a dialect, we're talking about the author believing hyphens are correct for a given passage. In the vast majority of his usage, his beliefs are incorrect, and his lack of grammatical awareness (enforced by his own post) is making for a bad reading experience.
I'm also of the opinion that if I'm reading a book with such egregiously awful editing, I'd stop reading it, rather than ask for corrections. If the editing is bad, are the ideas any better?
Is the phrase "self published" really correct for Amazon and others to use? It could be argued that Amazon is the one publishing it, and they're really letting you bypass the editors and sales reps from a print-based publishing house to get your works onto Kindles.
I really don't know. The situation makes me uncomfortable as a creator of content, certainly, but the author's railing against the company for protecting its customers and defending against liability from credit card issuers ... That just feels like someone bitching out of a sense of entitlement, and history shows (all over the world) that people who thoughtlessly feel entitled are rarely able to be convinced that they, in fact, are the ones that need to change.
His piss-poor use of hyphens (see what I did there?), however, isn't hyperbole. Hyperbole is a rhetorical device (and the greatest thing ever!), and unless he intended to evoke an emotional response in his readers by their incorrect and non-poetic application, it's just bad form; Being from the UK has bugger all to do with it.
The example he gives is of auto-generated books uploaded for the purpose of gaming algorithms for profit. I'm as much a free-speech fundamentalist as the next guy, but that is no more a free speech issue than the Nigerian governor emailing me the unique opportunity to take a cut of $80,000,000 worth of penis enlargement pills.