Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh Where, Oh Where Have the Editors Gone?

As I mentioned in previous posts, I got an eReader for Christmas (thanks, hubby).  Now that I've gotten a chance to use it quite frequently, I've found myself...confused.

Where have all the editors gone?

From what I understand, digital publishing is cheaper for writers and publishers–at least in terms of up front costs.  So, why is it that more than half (maybe even two-thirds) of the downloads on my eReader have serious typos, grammatical errors and even misspellings?

To be clear, I'm not downloading personal blogs or internet marketing eBooks.  Some of the classics, including Tales From Shakespeare, left me scratching my head, wondering if an editor was hired at all to proofread the electronic version of each book!  Granted, some of them are free downloads (like Jane Eyre, for example) but I think that the original authors would be rolling in their graves if they saw their novels published with such glaring mistakes.

The world of self-publishing is both exciting and scary to me.  Will I soon go to the library only to see "print on demand" versions of books that never went through a formal editing process?  Will my kids be reading...junk?

I support authors who want to skip the tedious path to publication, but I do want to urge everyone who does:  hire an editor!  Don't skip that crucial step.  Recently, I took on the job of editing two folk tales for a British author and she was so delighted that she didn't skip that step.  After some serious consideration and changes to the text, the books are in much better shape.

As both author and editor, I would NEVER edit my own work (well except a blog with, like, a dozen followers).  Remember:  An author is NOT their own best editor.  This includes you, me, and every other person in...the universe.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Miranda: So great to hear from you. Congratulations on children and publishing!!! We're so glad you found our web site and the Interns blogs. This Saturday our next two Interns leave for the Gambia!

Check out Robin Bates' Betterlivingthroughbeowulf.com, blog. He's another guy who can't stop writing!! Julia Bates

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