Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Please.... edit. I beg you...

Independent writers... hear me out. It is no reflection on your creativity or your talent if you require the services of an editor. A real editor. An experienced, professional editor. It really doesn’t mean you can’t write, it should be a matter of pride, it should be a moral obligation to have someone proofread and edit your manuscript before you go out and have that baby published. Period.

Your readers pay a significantly higher cost for your print-on-demand work. What they should be paying for is a carefully assembled, professional package, from the cover to the contents. You paid money to have your book made available for print-on-demand publishing and ebook... then pay the money to make sure it is a product that respects the customer that is buying it. And by respect I mean having it EDITED. :::ARGH!:::

I’ve been reading a lot of indie work lately because it’s really cheap for my nook... and the thing that stands out most with these self-published authors is that they are not disciplined enough to keep from publishing their work when it obviously isn’t ready. PubIt! and Kindle authors especially—they seem apt to slap anything up there and call it finished, and that is a total no-no.

I read a book the other day; a Twilight-wannabe book where the author left at least one grammatical error per-page. From blatant misuse of words, to horrid spelling to outright bad writing—it was a bloody trainwreck. Last night I bought a book I wish I could return. In the first three pages, I was assaulted with the most horrendous writing. For one, the tenses are all over the place:

“The women laughed as they walked back into the house. When inside, Lizzie sits down at the bay window and gazes out thoughtfully...” GAH!!! This writer also writes dialogue like it’s written for Robbie the Robot; “I am glad you share my beliefs. This is an omen. We should go to Egypt. In my dream it was raining. It doesn’t rain in Egypt.” Who speaks like that? The writing is as dry as the desert the author is writing about and I couldn’t get past page 16. In the span of the FIRST TWO paragraphs, I was told three times that the space was an ‘expanse’. STOP OVERWRITING! Edit yourselves! I haven’t gotten through 2% of the story and I’m already bored.

I know I’m guilty of the repeated word or phrase. For instance, count how many instances of the word ‘albeit’ appear in Tinna’s Promise... I’m so annoyed I didn’t notice it until after editing. Editors are not the cure-all, but they can take something that’s over-thought and simplify it... they can take ideas that are not consistent and make them flow... they can make conversations interesting, they can make reading the text an easy, simple task and keep the reader’s eye from being held up by stupid errors.

Yes, my short stories are full of errors, yes my posts are full of errors, but I'm not asking anyone to pay for what I'm posting up here. If you are taking money for your work... G.E.T. A.N. E.D.I.T.O.R or DO NOT PUBLISH! Please. Damn. I want my $2.99 back!


1 comment:

  1. BRAVO!

    Any writer who can't afford to hire a professional editor can't afford to publish a book. PERIOD. END. NO DEBATE. THAT'S IT. IT'S THE LAW. NO ROOM FOR DISAGREEMENT.

    Any professional editor who writes a book needs to hire another professional editor.

    Michael N. Marcus
    -- http://www.BookMakingBlog.blogspot.com
    -- http://www.Self-Pub.info
    -- Create Better Books, with the Silver Sands Publishing Series: http://www.silversandsbooks.com/booksaboutpublishing.html
    -- "Stories I'd Tell My Children (but maybe not until they're adults)," http://www.amazon.com/dp/0981661750