Mental note to self: never self-publish a novel without getting it edited.

There’s a book that I read today.  It would have been a great book to recommend, except that it had one problem: it was horribly edited. All the author clearly did was run it through a spell check; so there were run-on sentences, the wrong word used (the ‘populous/populace’ mix-up has infested many a manuscript), bad punctuation, open quotes, at least one paragraph where three sentences were run into each other and then somebody ran off with the period, that sort of thing. It kind of grated, after a while.

I understand that editing can cost a lot of money, particularly when you’re somebody who doesn’t realistically expect to sell all that many copies of your e-book.  But there’s such a thing as false economy. In this specific case, I can’t in good conscience recommend the book I was reading today, even though I personally enjoyed it. I’d like to, but I can’t. So maybe that cost the author a sale?

5 thoughts on “Mental note to self: never self-publish a novel without getting it edited.”

  1. Given your audience, probably more than one sale.*steps up on soapbox* I want to echo the point: please, people, have your book edited. The appearance of professionalism and the ease of reading are vital. It’s probably not as expensive as you think, especially for a simple copyedit (grammar and punctuation). Line edits are a little more, but often worth it. At very least, get a freaking beta reader or three to read it through.[shameless]I edit, I’m quite good, and I’m not expensive.[/shameless] But regardless of whom, hire someone. I can recommend several. It will cost you sales if you don’t. *steps off soapbox*

  2. I 100% endorse this post. The lawyer in me cannot help but see the typos and errors and it takes me completely out of the story for a moment or two.

  3. Egads, just reading the average internet post causes me to break out in hives and twitches…. I’m not an English professional or academic or anything, and I haven’t made any deliberate study of it, but my mother spoke very deliberate and proper English while we were growing up (which rubbed off, as I’m sure she intended), plus I’ve read maybe 20,000 books. I ace English grammar courses effortlessly, and improper usage just galls me, especially in a ‘professional’ context.
    That said, the book can always be re-issued with a proper edit, if the writing is of the calibre to warrant it.

    1. (BTW) If Moe says the writing is of that quality, that’s good enough for me. I have yet to be disappointed in anything he has recommended.

Comments are closed.