“In the end, what makes a book valuable is not the paper it’s printed on, but the thousands of hours of work by dozens of people who are dedicated to creating the best possible reading experience for you.”
― John Green
At the publishing house where I used to work, we had one author who simply would not listen to the advice of his editors.
Ultimately, the final say in how a book is edited is up to the author. It’s their copyright; it’s their book. But the publishing house always has the option of terminating the contract if the author refuses to make required changes.
Our editors recommended very strongly that this author edit out his “purple prose”. This guy was in love with adjectives. It was a common problem in all of his previous books, too.
When this author’s book was finally published, it got reviewed in the Courier-Mail (one of Australia’s larger newspapers). Guess what. The reviewer picked up on the purple prose, too. They nailed the book, and it didn’t sell well – big surprise.
We talked to the author about it but he was convinced that it was a coincidence that everyone had picked up on the same issue and made such a big deal about it.
This is why listening to your editor is so important.