Is Editing Important?

My husband and I had a disturbing (to me) conversation. The subject was self-published books and the failure of some authors to edit their work.

Don’t freak. I’m not against self-publishing.

I’ve downloaded self-published books and found some excellent reads. But I’ve also paid $0.99 and felt like I’ve been totally ripped off. Some authors take care to have their work professionally edited or at least proofread by someone competent in grammar, spelling, and punctuation before asking people to pay money to read it. Others don’t even seem to know how to use spell check.

As an OCD-ish writer, I’m appalled at the latter type. I’m not talking about a couple of typos or some formatting issues, but numerous grammatical issues on every page.

Had they never heard of the Chicago Manual of Style? The dictionary?

With the ease of self-publishing, it feels like the slush pile has moved from the agent or editor’s desk to the internet. It’s now the consumer’s job to determine which books are worth of their time and money. Before I download a self-pubbed ebook (even a free one), I check out the sample pages to see what’s what. But I don’t do this very often for the same reason I don’t shop at Nordstrom Rack. I don’t have the time to sort through the rubble to find the gems.

I can read through the occasional typo. This blog post may have a typo or two. Typos even find their way into fully edited, traditionally published books, but I find a plethora of errors distracting and annoying. Most word processing programs do a decent job of proofreading automatically. Not bothering to use these functions is plain lazy.

But let me get to the part that disturbed me, my husband’s assertion that most people don’t care about any of these errors. I’m picky because I’m a writer. The average reader just wants to know what happens in the story and routinely skims through sentences, paragraphs, sometimes whole pages.

Anyone else feeling nauseous at this point? I’m agonizing over every word that goes onto the page and readers really just want an outline of what happens? Is this true?

Help me out here. Readers, do you care about spelling, grammar, etc.? Does it affect your enjoyment of the book? Writers, what do you think? I’d really love to hear from some self-published authors on this, too.

Does grammar matter or has it gone the way of hand-written letters and perfect penmanship? Are spelling and punctuation irrelevant?

54 responses to “Is Editing Important?

  1. Is breathing important?

    Seriously, this is why published authors have little patience for writers who don’t go through the hoops of agent/editor/traditional publisher. Amateur hour! I’ve had two NF books published by NYC houses and between your agent and editor, your work is going to be rigorously edited and questioned before it even gets to the copy editor. Yes, our royalties are lower and most of us will never even see one. And even then, mistakes creep in.

    I guess it depends why exactly you want to have a book available to a wide(r) audience. Ego? Spreading the word about your passion? Helping others solve a problem? With millions of books competing for readers’ attention, insulting them with sloppy material is just silly.

  2. These authors who don’t care–or don’t KNOW–which is perhaps worse–that they should produce the best work they can continue to tar the brush for the professional minded hard working self published authors.
    I would never self publish–partly because it’s too damned hard to push yourself into the spotlight without a publisher behind you–but because I KNOW my own weaknesses. I can’t do punctuation to save my life, and some of my grammar is weak.
    I automatically assume that a self-published book is self published because it’s been rejected by traditional publishers. I know that this isn’t true at all, but that’s still the assumption that most people make.
    I run a review blog and I have to read a lot of books. I’ve just ploughed through three self-published books, all of which are full of editing errors and I’m THIS close to barring self published books from the review site. I know this is unfair to the few excellent books i know come out each year, but they really are a very very few.

  3. I was a reader long before I was ever a writer, and in both instances if a book is full of glaring errors, I can’t and won’t finish it. It’s too distracting and annoying. If what you have to say is important enough to you that you want to see it in print, then the least you can do is to employ a proofreader, at the minimum. Publishing is not a game, so I say don’t treat it like one. I take my writing seriously. If I didn’t, I’d do something else.

  4. I was tempted to not finish reading, and then to not comment, but… I’m a self-published writer, and as much as I agree with you on the need to edit, and the failure of many self-published writers to edit, the majority of readers just. don’t. care. We can write these posts until our hair turns gray, and it won’t make a bit of difference. The people who are being criticised are the last ones to ever see posts like this.

    I know that Erastes despairs of having to deal with self-published books and I don’t blame her. I’ve suggested that she not accept books for review, but instead rely on recommendations from readers and writers she trusts.

    As a reader, I will seldom continue with a book that’s full of errors. I just reviewed one on my blog, only because the writing itself was very good and the story was fascinating. I’ve also put down books that sounded as if the stories were really worth reading, because I couldn’t deal with the constant distractions of spelling and grammar errors. Usually accompanied by clunky writing.

    Still, I’m a maverick, and I insist that writers can learn to do their own editing, and some are actually qualified to do it. But even then, I believe an additional pair or two of eyes is a good thing. I don’t claim to be the best at my own editing, but I simply can’t afford to pay someone to do it, and I do have a fairly decent background for it. Thank goodness, none of the reviews of my two self-published books have yet mentioned typos or other problems. My fingers remain crossed, and I continue to learn.

    • I was tempted to not finish reading, and then to not comment, but… I’m a self-published writer, and as much as I agree with you on the need to edit, and the failure of many self-published writers to edit, the majority of readers just. don’t. care.
      I have to disagree with one point, Catana, I think the majority of readers do care. I can’t believe that readers are pleased to find such terrible errors in books they’ve paid for.

      • Many books on the kindle bestseller lists are priced at 99 cents. Some of the reader comments/reviews I’ve skimmed through say that for 99 cent books, they’re willing to put up with the errors. Others contend they will no longer read 99 cent books because they now associate poor editing with that price range. I’ve found excellent books priced at 99 cents, including many titles from bestselling authors’ backlists that have gone through complete edits when traditionally published.

      • i wish I could agree, Erastes, but i think those of us who care about good writing, both as readers and writers, are a small fraction, and we tend to hang out together and not notice what’s going on elsewhere. Why are so many terrible books on the best seller lists? Why do so many of the books that are highly praised on GoodReads and various review sites turn out to be horrible dreck–badly written, badly edited? Most readers don’t mind it because they don’t know any better. And because they read quickly, for sheer entertainment. They want plots that satisfy and characters they can connect with, and very little more.

      • Let’s try to keep this discussion on editing, not personal tastes in fiction. I do agree that people do tend to read more quickly now than in the past. Leisure time seems to be in short supply these days. Everyone I know is working more hours than ever in the past. But reading for entertainment is a good thing.

  5. Catana, I know exactly what you’re saying and I even agree with you. The majority of people don’t care. Every time I read a resume, an employment application or an invoice, it’s apparent to me just how much they don’t care. That’s why I think it’s so important that we, as writers, try to maintain a certain level of excellence. Why contribute to the decline of our standards? One of the primary ways an enemy tries to weaken an opponent is to destroy their native language. History is full of such examples. In that sense, we are our own worst enemy. I refuse not to care simply because other people don’t. This isn’t to be snarky or dispute your point, which is absolutely valid. I agree that continuing to learn is the best answer.

  6. well said. Truly I will stop reading after the 2nd blatant error. Editing is a crucial part of the publishing process and any self-published authors skip it at their peril.

  7. I’m not only a maverick, I’m a pessimist. I think the battle for culture, for literacy, even for our civilization as a whole has already been lost. The floods of don’t-care writers are the product of our culture. They weren’t required to read good literature in school, and they certainly don’t read it for pleasure. They watch television, and they read entertaining ephemera. How can we possibly expect to turn that tide? I’ve reached the point where my refusal to give in, as a writer, depends on being able to take pride in my own work, and the hope of finding a small, literate audience with non-mainstream tastes. When I was younger, I hoped to write something that could change the world. I’m sure you know what became of that dream. But we write because we have to, and that’s really all that matters.

  8. As a writer, I firmly believe in making sure that any manuscript I send out is as clean and polished as I can possibly make it. I realize that grammar isn’t my strongest point, but that’s why I have a critique partner who excels in finding those errors. I believe that it’s a point of pride to send out the best possible product I can. It doesn’t mean that there won’t still be mistakes, but I’ve done everything I can, as has my editor, to keep those errors to a minimum. I just couldn’t imagine putting something out there that wasn’t ready to be.

    Rayna

  9. Great post and of course you’re right. Editing is very important and authors who self publish should take good care to polish their story – because they can’t blame for its sad state anyone but themselves (and I’m saying this as both a self published and trad published author)

  10. After working out you go out and buy new jeans to show off your new body, why not get the story edited and show off some real curves.

    Mary w/a Cora Blu

  11. It seems we’re all writers here so far. All of you seem to take enough pride in your work to make it as clean as possible. For those of you who self-publish, do you worry that the abundance of poor quality self-published ebooks will eventually turn readers off?

    • Melinda, as overwhelming as the flood of slush seems to be, I really don’t see the problem as being any worse now than when everything was in print. I’m almost 75 years old, so I have a pretty long perspective. It used to be possible to go through an entire printed book catalog and find almost nothing worth buying. I’ve bought way too many books that I wanted to throw at the wall–from reputable publishers.

      There have always been readers who wanted quality and were willing to hunt it down. I don’t think that will change.

      Let me offer a parallel. Remember the rise of desktop publishing and the thousands of badly designed websites by people who went mad with fonts, colors, and special effects? Where are they now? There are very few these days. Just as technology evolved to include professionally designed templates that anyone could use (think WordPress), technologies will eventually evolve to make self-publishing better as well as easier. And the incompetents either gave up and dropped out or they learned to do better.

      Then there is the bandwagon factor. Everybody’s jumping on self-publishing right now because it’s “hot.” But the failures will drop out, and their whining will serve, as it always does, to convince other potential whiners that self-publishing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and they’ll turn their attention to the next big thing.

      Self-publishing is in its infancy. Give it time to grow up.

      For your question about whether financial success will encourage me to turn to professional editing–no. If I’m already doing a decent job on my own editing, and I continue to learn and improve, I’ll have even less reason to turn to use professionals. But I’ll always seek input from other writers and readers.

  12. Mary has a good point. After you’re made some money on your self-published books, will you then invest some of that profit back into your work in the form of professional editing?

  13. Gak! I find poorly edited books beyond annoying. Misplaced commas upset me, and misuse of pronouns is enough for me to want to throw the book across the room.

  14. Regarding the importance of editing. In the October 2011 issue of Vanity Fair, read where author Chad Harbach of NYT best seller, The Art of Fielding, turned down an offer $85,000 higher than the one he accepted from Little Brown simply because with Little, Brown he would get the services of “tyro” editor Michael Pietsch. So yes, even for a book that sold originally for $665,000 editing is vitally important.

    • Fascinating, Jean. Thanks for sharing that.

      I’ve been through the editing process twice now, and both times I’ve been impressed with what the editors brought to the novel. Before being published, I didn’t fully realize how important the editor is to the publishing process.

  15. “Let’s try to keep this discussion on editing, not personal tastes in fiction”

    Melinda, my comment there was intended to be about education and why so many people overlook poor quality in writing and editing, not about reading tastes. Sorry if that didn’t come across clearly.

  16. I recently wrote an article about this — not editing so much but the general public’s lack of interest in good writing. http://ptbertram.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/is-the-book-business-dying/

    The only ones who seem to care are those of us who still love the written word, preferrably in print form. But the vast majority of people who are filling their new kindles (as if they were a new computer game) with free “books” and cheap books don’t care. They want the bare bones of the story and don’t seem to see subtleties or nuances let alone good grammar or good spelling. Those disappeared with texting, And the state of the book business is only going to decline with phone apps and enhanced ebook apps. It will turn reading into a social activity, not a solitary one. Books are no longer written by and for the discerning. They are written and bought by people who are playing the new kindle game.

  17. I am an avid reader. I will read anything I can get on my Kindle for free. Some good, some not so good, and some I had to toss. YES!!! Grammar matters! I do read fast, and I do skim a lot in the wordy spots, but if there is a typo, or a name change, or a very poorly worded sentence, I do see it, and it stops me in my tracks. I don’t appreciate that.
    Please have someone proof read and edit before self publishing!

    • Holly,
      If a book has a number of errors, will you purchase anything from that author again? Is price a factor? Will you tolerate errors for $0.99 but not at a higher price?

  18. I see a lot of good things coming out of this, Pat. The things I love about ereaders and apps is that they make reading more accessible. The market is expanding. People who never read are now interested in books. As a reader, I really like that I can buy and store even more books on my kindle than I could in my house, which is woefully short on bookshelf space. I’m buying and reading more books than ever. I approve of making reading more social and hope all that socialization will result in even more book sales.

  19. I’ve read self-pubbed ebooks that were better edited than quite a few traditional print books on my bookshelf. Unfortunately, mistakes are part of the human condition. If I find the plot intriguing I’ll happily over look some typos and glitches.

    • How do you pick ebooks, Cadence? Word-of-mouth, reviews, sample pages?

      • Cadence Denton

        Mostly by the blurb. If the blurb is engaging I buy the book, but I also look at the reviews with the understanding that the most virulently negative reviews are from disgruntled writers. I look for reviews that have obviously been written by readers – not professionals. Those I trust.

  20. I’ve seen enough flaming reviews on books with grammatical errors to know that many readers care. And as an author who is both traditionally published with two “Big 6” NYC publishes *and* self published, I know that most writers care. In fact, I would say that the serious self-published authors care more, because they know their reputations are on the line. I hear traditionally published authors say all the time they don’t worry about it because the copyeditor will catch it.

    Excuse me? Who is the professional author, here?

    I belong to severl indie author groups, and editing, editing, editing is stressed over and over. I do not accept the excuse that they don’t have the money to hire an editor. If they are going to sell their work, then it is a business, and like any other business it has start-up costs, one of which is an editor.

    • That’s a great point, Vickie. Editing should be viewed as a cost of doing business. I’m not sure writers who have never had an excellent professional editor understand what she can add to the book. Editorial advice goes beyond typos and commas.

    • Vicky, I totally agree with that last sentence paragraph… I’m seriously considering self-publishing a five book contemporary Western family saga which is part suspense, part women fiction and part single title romance. My ex-agent (I fired her because she sat on the book for 6 months) said that it was a great book, but NY wouldn’t touch it because they don’t know where to put it. Is it suspense, Western, WF, ST, Miltary (my heroes are not just cowboys, but ex-military).

      I can’t afford to self-publish it right now. I could rush it onto Smashwords, and I’m sure it would sell, but I have more pride in my work than that. I know it needs a professional editor. So, instead of rushing into it, I hope to make enough money on another series that I’ve contracted with an e-publisher and writing a few other shorter books I’m hoping to e-publish with respected e-publishers before self-publishing.

      However, I think self-publishing is the way of the future whether tradtionally published authors/agents/publishers like it or not.

      Sara Walter Ellwood
      also w/a Cera duBois
      coming in 2012 from TWRP
      A Hunter’s Angel

    • “I do not accept the excuse that they don’t have the money to hire an editor. If they are going to sell their work, then it is a business, and like any other business it has start-up costs, one of which is an editor.”

      I agree 100% with this statement. I self-published my first book back in September of this year, but only after hiring a professional copy editor and a professional proofing editor. For the book I’m revising now, I will hire a developmental editor as well as a second proofing editor. But I’m doing this because I want to produce the highest quality product I’m capable of producing.

      But how many readers do I think actually care that the book is error free? I’d guess less than 25%. Before I self-published my book I used to worry that all those crappy, unedited, unreadable books would make it impossible for my carefully crafted and well-edited one to find readers. And then I discovered that price is what drives ebook sales- at least on Amazon. It isn’t author, it isn’t who published it, it isn’t even reviews, (good or bad) it’s price combined with an interesting storyline.

      I’ve been studying the romantic suspense Kindle Store’s best sellers list Since June of 2011. Until Christmas, 99 cent books dominated the top of the charts.

      While best selling traditional authors like Linda Howard, Christy Reece, Suz Brockman, and Allison Brennan might break into the top twenty for a few days- they never climbed past four and they never managed to hang onto the top twenty for more than a few days. Yet all those .99 cent, 1.99 or 2.99 books that had been in the top twenty when the “big name” authors hit it, were still in there when those authors disappeared back down the chart. Several of these top selling .99 cent books had numerous one star reviews mentioning errors, as well as developmental issues yet these books were still selling hundreds of books a day- while the professionally produced but more expensive traditional authors’ books dropped so far down the lists they couldn’t be selling more than 20 books a day.

      When it comes to ebooks, price drives sales. Most readers don’t care about quality, they don’t care about errors, they don’t care about name. They care about price.

  21. Grammar, puntuation, spelling. Three important ingredients to any type of writing. Without these the sense of the work can be misunderstood, or be completely incomprehensible. I often do a double take when coming across one or more of these errors. The flow gets interrupted because of the need to reread the passage to get the correct sense of the intended information.
    The english language has enough nuances that a misplaced punctuation or an incorrect spelling can change the meaning intended to something totally different.
    An author writes thousands of words to convey a film for your mind. In my view readers that skip-read are missing a good part of this film, like watching a movie that has a flaw and jumps every so often, this becomes less enjoyable; and by skip-reading they are also missing all the nuances that the storyteller set out to impart.

  22. I think editing is really important and people who don’t think they need to will almost always produce bad books. Now that doesn’t mean professional editing, like others have said, it’s not possible for them because of price. But at the very least every book should be read by as many professional people as you can find. Giving it to your mother or favorite aunt doesn’t count.

    But sadly, I think your husband may be right. We live in the Twitter and texting age. There’s no patience to spell check and grammar is nonexistent. (I do have to confess I don’t worry about grammar a lot. If it sounds good I’ll use it)

    Most schools these days don’t teach any of that stuff. They let bad spelling pass, more interested in keeping the kids writing. I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

  23. Hopefully, most writers will do their best to produce quality work, even if not all readers appreciate all the work that goes into the final product. I know I will.

  24. I had a comment on google+ that was very interesting. The writer suggested that the lack of editing will degrade the reading experience for some and that editing credits might eventually be listed on book covers and/or descriptions.

  25. I think it’s worth pointing out that “professional editing” involves more than just proofreading. My editor occasionally catches mistakes in continuity and once pointed out a factual error that I had researched, but not thoroughly enough. The self-published books I’ve read that had grammatical and spelling errors also had terrible plots that did not hang together and would not have made it past my critique group, much less an editor for a commercial publisher. While I agree that the criteria set by the major houses today often is too narrow, we all need someone to point out when we’re making repeated spelling or grammar mistakes, making our hero totally unsympathetic or even losing the whole thread of our story. Writers who can’t accept this kind of input just keep producing a lot of bad stuff.

  26. I totally agree, EF. My editors have brought a lot more to my work than proofreading.

  27. “…more than just proofreading.” I also agree on that, and it’s a point that needs to be emphasized more. Character development, structure, etc., can kill a book just as easily as spelling and grammar errors.

  28. The writer in me cringes when I see poorly edited books, especially when they come out of reputable houses. I recently read a book, and took pages and pages of editing notes, which I sent to the author. As a reader-turned-author, that story in my hand better be beyond awesome for me to get past the poor editing–or I need a really good reason to muddle through (i.e., I’m trying to learn a certain genre, promised to give a review, etc).

    You’re not alone in this and shouldn’t be. Self-pubbing has only recently moved toward a more desirable status. Those who don’t take it as seriously as they might if submitting to an agent or pub-house don’t realize (or care?) they’re not helping the cause by submitting sub-standardly edited work.

    I’ll step off that soapbox now and get back to my wip. Great post!

    Happy New Year, reader and writer friends!

  29. I’m a self-published author and my view is that self-published authors are absolutely 100% responsible for getting their work professionally edited, whether they have to pay a lot of money for this service or whether they, at some point, had an industry professional in their corner, doing the editing. We can’t see our own mistakes. All authors should care about grammar and punctuation, etc. I don’t read books full of errors. I toss them or delete them. Of course a typo here and there is going to creep into any book and 5 or 10 editors, copy editors and beta readers may all miss it. I’ve seen it happen. Great post! Happy New Year!

  30. I’m with you, I have nothing against self-publishing. In some cases, it’s a smart financial move. I do, however, have a big issue with unedited books. As a writer, I know I need an editor. Too many times I’ve read about how writers don’t want the worked changed, their vision critiqued, etc. Editors are a necessary filter in the industry. It’s true the some errors slip through the cracks even with an excellent editor (and copy editor and proof reader) but that doesn’t negate the need for one. I maintain that a good editor is worth her or his weight in gold.

    Recently, on Goodreads, I saw a self-published “companion” for authors so they don’t need to refer to CMOS. This scares me a little.

  31. Great topic! As a reader I had unedited books.

    I recently had an eBook recommended to me by a friend. I read the first page and knew I was in trouble. The writer had so many typos and had no clue what a transition was or how to use one. Then I ran into consistency errors, plot problems, character name changes, and hundreds of typos.

    This novel was so bad I couldn’t read passed chapter four. Reading to that point I had to force myself, and I only did it because of my friend. It turned out my friend only knew this writer from a blog and had never read her novels of which there were two. After researching, I discovered later that this writer’s the first novel was published by Publish America and the second self-pubbed. Lesson learned. I now know what to ask when a book is recommended by someone: Have you read it? Did you like it? Who published it? It is well written?

    I don’t care if the download is free or costs I want a good read. If not, short story, novella or novel, it’s not worth my time as a reader.

  32. I agree, Pat. I want a good read.

    Reading is my major form of entertainment. I’m willing to pay more for quality books. Which brings me to another question, are other people willing to pay more for a book that’s been thoroughly edited?

  33. I know of too many self-published authors who can’t be bothered to take the time to do things right. My attitude is: Then why should I be bothered to take the time to read it?

    I think some self-published authors think readers don’t care and they’re using that as an excuse for their disinterest in learning the craft. That attitude is no better than those authors who query agents with an attitude of “you’ll love this because it’s so much better than the other crap you’ve sold.”

    Yes, there are some readers who won’t care, but there will be plenty of others (non-writers included) who will. Authors shouldn’t insult their readers by not taking the time and by assuming their readers are too stupid to notice the difference.

    Why yes, this attitude annoys the crap out of me, how could you tell? 🙂 Especially because I know plenty of other self-published authors who *do* put in the time and care about publishing only their best.

  34. Wow. Great debate you have going here. I think readers care more than they consciously realize. Readers have become spoiled and accustomed to a certain level of quality. Traditional publishing has set an expectation that we can read a book without wanting to pull out our hair from all the errors.

    Sort of like the indie movie industry is also exploding, but the traditional movie-makers have set the expectation that we will be able to see the actors (proper lighting), hear the dialogue (proper sound) and that won’t see the boom mic in the shot (proper editing).

  35. Oh, goodness. This topic is near and dear to my heart, too, and I don’t even know where to start! You’re right in that many people simply do not care about spelling and grammar, but the other problem is (at least in my experience) that spelling and grammar aren’t taught in school as rigorously as they used to be and as a result people actually don’t *know* what’s right and what’s wrong. On top of that, texting has influenced communication so strongly that I find people write in textspeak even in email messages or other correspondence! (I refuse to shorten words and will only text in full sentences with proper punctuation. Probably drives my kids crazy, but that’s not my problem!)

    For those who want to make a career of their writing, editing and proofreading are essential. You need to check with your income tax professional, but I believe in most cases you can claim the cost of hiring an editor or proofreader as a business expense. I look at it this way: you may eventually attempt the traditional print publishing route, and you can bet that the editor looking at your manuscript will Google your name to see what he or she can find out about you. The publishing industry is really quite small and you want your reputation to be good, right?

    If absolutely nothing else, get a friend or critique partner to do a proofread for you. A fresh pair of eyes can pick up errors that our brains just haven’t caught — it comes with the territory of being so close to your work that you just don’t see the mistakes anymore.

    I could say much more, but for the sake of brevity I shall refrain! I do agree with the sentiment others above had posted, however — keep fighting the good fight! Insist on proper spelling and grammar and maybe eventually the tide will turn and there will be a resurgence of good writing and quality literature. (Well, one can hope, right? *sigh*)

    Cheers!
    Tanya Saari

  36. I’m an avid reader, an editor, and a professor of communications. As a reader, I expect books I have bought to be grammatically correct. Yes, I can overlook slips – they happen. But consistent mistakes and poor writing..they are.unacceptable to me. Although I think self-publishing is a great opportunity, I am hesitant to purchase self-pubbed books for this very reason and always prefer ebooks from a recognized publisher where I feel they have gone through an editing process.

    Thanks to whoever commented that editors are not just for spelling and grammar. Out job is also to help the author finesse the characters and plot, to make sure we look at motivation and outcome and that the story works as a whole. If you are self pubbing and really can’t afford an editor (and they are not cheap), get yourself a great beta reading group that is honest an familiar with the genre, and hire a proofreader at the end of the process. Editing should not be obvious – it’s kind of the behind the scenes role. But you sure notice the lack if it isn’t there.

    Finally, as a communications professor, I agree our standards as a society have slipped. I have to go back to a grade 5 or 6 grammar curriculum in some cases to teach college students the basics. However, I would argue that people who don’t care about grammar and spelling are probably not buying many books. In my opinion, those who read tend to be those to whom the niceties of the written word really matter.

    Great discussion, Melinda.

    • I was unaware of how much an editor contributed to a novel until I went through the process. Having done so twice, I would never publish anything without a professional editor. Aside from grammar and punctuation, editing is all about the nuance, the continuity, the flow, all the things that make a book feel seamless and professional.

      (And Denise is a terrific editor!)

  37. Pingback: Top Picks Thursday 12-29-2011 « The Author Chronicles

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