Editors Needed!

The greatest complaints I read in Amazon reviews of books are for “typos,” “misspelled words,” and “bad grammar.” There is just no excuse for misspelled words or bad grammar, but there is an explanation for it, I think. And that is simply that spelling and grammar are not taught in public schools anymore. Perhaps that is too harsh—they are not “properly” taught in today’s schools.

As far as typos are concerned, I have found that the conversion process to a digital format can and will introduce some typos. Even the most scrupulously edited book can come out of the eBook machine with typos and there is nothing the author can do about it, except try to upload a corrected edition.

And, if a printed manuscript is converted to digital, the problem is compounded ten-fold. Sometimes with misplaced chapters, pages, or just a jumble of mistakes.

In the “olden days” after an author had submitted a manuscript a professional editor went through it. After that “proofs” (sometimes called “blue lines” because they were usually in blue print) were sent to the author for one more go at correcting errors or typos. Of course, those days are long gone. There are no more professional editors at publishing houses. Oh, there may be some people at the big publishers who call themselves editors, but that is a joke.

And since most books now, generally because of the price discrepancy, go directly from the author to Amazon’s ePublisher there are not that many checks for errors as there once were.

What I do now that epublishing is the way to go is: After many rewrites and read-throughs I place the ms on a table. And using a ruler, I go through it line by line. It is a tedious and time consuming process, but one that I think is now necessary. It only takes one or two reviews of your work complaining of typos and misspelling and bad grammar to ruin the sale of your work. A little more effort on your part to make it as error free as you can, will certainly pay off. After all, you are not just writing novels, you are building a reputation. 

About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on Amazon.com, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on http://johnbeckmanbooks.com and available from Amazon.com. . .
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