We’ve all had it happen to us. You’re reading a fantastic book. The plot is engaging. You’re rooting for the characters. The suspense is gripping you by the throat. And then you run into a typo or a missing word or someone being called the wrong name. All of the sudden you’re thrown from the fantasy and there’s a neon sign screaming, “THIS IS A BOOK…AND A POORLY EDITED BOOK AT THAT!”
When we’re reading, we don’t want to be jolted to reality. We read books to escape. The moment we’re torn from the story, the magic is lost. Maybe not indefinitely because we keep reading and get lost in the literary world with ease. But what happens when, again, the book reveals another missed mistake. Then another. It’s understandable that not every misspelling, punctuation, or missing word will be caught. All y0u have to do is read my blog to know the truth to that…but I’m not trying to submit my blog to agents or have people run to bookstores to buy it. Readers deserve better than sloppy editing. And writers should aspire to a pristine manuscript. Period.
Copy Editors –
Sometimes, now matter how hard we try, books will have flaws that are overlooked. However, a writer should do EVERYTHING within their power to avoid such mishaps. Hiring a copy editor may not solve all your problems, but they will catch the things that your mind has overlooked time and time again because your brain knows the story and is trained to leapfrog over them. Having an outsider look at your book with fresh eyes will give you better results than months and months of scanning your manuscript.
Proofreading Additions –
In all honesty, most mistakes probably take place after the book has been accepted by a publishing house. A lot of times, changes are
requested demanded all the way up to printing. Authors are forced to produce said changes, it goes through a quickie editing process, and then is printed. There’s not much that an author can do about that except to be as thorough as possible. No matter how close the deadline, it is always better to read, re-read, and re-read any new prose. Then have someone else read it…maybe another someone. Remember that only you can ensure the quality of your writing. Think of it as insurance. You don’t want to submit something and hope that your publisher’s editors will catch every little hiccup. Be vigilant. It may be more work for you, but the result will be well worth it.