There’s never been a text written that didn’t need editing. Indeed, I’ll say as Indie authors we have a duty to aim at a high standard, and one way is to ensure that they are edited to a professional standard.
An editor’s primary connection to the book is the manuscript itself. You can edit it yourself time and time again; give it to friends to edit, but you, or they, will not necessarily see the mistakes. They’re not going to approach the text with the kind of eye for detail that a professional editor brings.
I saw a comment recently on Facebook on editing and quote it below:
‘Each individual author is responsible for their own editing and content. I do not want this project to be like those other stuck up compilations who believe only the BEST should be able to submit. The emphases on this very project is that the more you write the better you will become. The more you get to see your mistakes in real print the better off your writing will be. Now I understand that some writers cant stand to be associated with lesser able writers but we have all been there once before.’
Need I say more! Perhaps the writer made typing errors when they mis-spelt ’emphases’, and the word ‘cant’. I presume the writer meant to write ‘can’t,’ as ‘cant’ can mean hypocrisy and insincerity.
I don’t need to imply all professional editors are good. I once saw an advert for an editor which read – ‘If your looking for a good editor, look no further.’ Of course, the ‘your’ should have been spelt ‘you’re’, a contraction for ‘you are’.
That was not the case with my professional editor for my latest book ‘Where Lies My Heart’, (yet to be published). I quote some of the errors she found, although I edited the book endlessly. Can you find anything wrong with the first sentence of my book? She did.
Fourteen-year-old Ian Cornwell watched the elderly blind man trying to cross the street on this busy Saturday afternoon…
She altered the word ‘this’ to ‘that’, because of the tense.
When I was describing a football match, I quoted the ‘Tilsbury End’, instead of the ‘Tilton End’, and she emailed me asking permission to change it. I checked and found I had made an error. I thought she really on the ball to pick up this error (no football pun intended). I had written Doum Palms, and she altered it to Dom; again I had made an error. I can’t find room to quote all the errors I made.
She didn’t alter my style, but she did make suggestions when she thought a sentence could be improved. I accepted most of her suggestions as I respected her judgement, and was learning all the time how to improve my writing.
If you are interested in contacting her, I have been given permission to quote her email address, firstname.lastname@example.org