Writing on, and about, an island

Posts Tagged ‘Susan Kiernan-Lewis’

The Importance of Being Edited

In Books, Writing on April 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm

When it comes to the wordsmithing of the books we read and write, there are two main schools of thought:

1. As long as the story’s cracking, I don’t really mind a few mistakes

2. Attention to detail is everything – I won’t compromise on good grammar!

I read two thought-provoking articles last week that kind of fell into either camp.

Firstly, Susan Kiernan-Lewis’ piece on “The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good”

Secondly, The Digital Reader’s piece on “eBooks: Is it the Editor in Me?”

Both opinions are valid.

But, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t care how good your story is – if I sniff out errors (whether grammatical or structural or whatever), I’ll immediately turn off your book. It almost makes my eyes bleed.

And, as an experienced sub-editor and proofreader (and someone verging on having OCD about good use of language), I can spot sloppy work at about a trillion paces. It says to me that you don’t care about what you’ve written – you haven’t given your writing the respect it deserves. Or your reader.

Now, there’s no doubt that mistakes exist in traditional books (I constantly find bloopers in Agatha Christie’s reprints). But, it’s the rise of the self-published eBook that has really brought the issue of quality control to the fore.

The majority of what you should invest in an ebook is your time and energy. As Smashwords’ CEO Mark Coker expertly explains in his free manual, The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, there is very little financial investment required.

HOWEVER: You should never, ever scrimp on getting your manuscript edited and proofread. It’s false economy. A professional editor won’t cost you the earth, but the result they’ll give you is priceless (to find a good editor in Australia, contact your Society of Editors state chapter).

Please – if not for yourself, then at least do it for me…

The Pros (and Cons) in Being Your Own Book Publisher

In Books, Career, Crime & Mystery Writer, Writing on March 9, 2012 at 9:37 am

If you’re interested in publishing your own books – and avoiding the middle man – I’d recommend a read of indie author Susan Kiernan-Lewis’ blog. Her latest post on being savvy about the pitfalls of self-publishing is a good one. I enjoy her straight-talking style (she works in advertising, as I do) and the new angle she puts on the business of being an author, and the fact that she’s both pragmatic and passionate about pursuing her book-publishing dream.

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