BookEditingIn past posts I have stated that editing a book is never done. There is always someone who can find an error. A faithful reader actually found an error in Grapes of Rome. Traumatizing. Mason7751 found a legitimate error in the book. Thank you!

Now I go to fix the error, and I find four more errors, tiny ones, that most would never notice, and they were so small I won’t even mention what they were. The error Mason found wasn’t that bad either, but it was bad enough to fix. So I fixed those errors and re-uploaded the files.

I love people telling me if something is wrong. What I do not like is so called reviewers pointing out that there are errors in the book. In a fourth edition of a Robert Heinlein book, A Door Into Summer I found four errors. These were major errors that any editor should have found. Yet here is a great author with many books, and those four errors stood out like elephantiasis.  If that can happen, then a fledgling author like myself has no chance.

What I am telling you is that if a book has some errors, but it was readable and good, then forget talking about the errors. Email the author and let the author know. In most cases it will be fixed.

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4 Thoughts on “Editing is Never Done

  1. Mel Leach on January 29, 2016 at 4:46 am said:

    This is true. Most books go through beta readings (the number depends on the author’s preferences or access to available readers) and then publishers put the book through two to three rounds of edits and then it is read by at least three proofreaders. Even with that effort, there are always going to be errors that slip through.

    Now, I will say that I have mentioned poor editing a time or two in a review, but only if the lack of editing was so egregious that it affected my enjoyment of the book. And I did once take an author to task because his book was so beautifully written and the story so wonderful that he did a great injustice to and showed a basic lack of consideration for his work. But in both cases, we are talking about so many errors that the reader knew editing had been skipped altogether.

    But you are correct in saying minor errors should be forgiven. A good story is a good story. Reviewers who nitpick over minor editing missteps just don’t understand the amount of work that goes into putting that book in their hands. And I would challenge anyone of them to walk a mile in the author’s shoes before they criticize. Let’s see them write a 65k plus manuscript error-free.

    • Yep, I can vouch for the amount of work that went into checking and editing the book 😛 and I did nowhere near as much as Mel did.
      I think I am right in saying the person who pointed out the error wasn’t nasty about it ? Most people, with an ounce of common sense, should forgive any minor errors that they spot. And if they kick up a fuss then, as mentioned, they should try to write/edit something before commenting.

  2. So far I haven’t found errors so serious to prevent me from enjoying the story. The one that causes me the most problem is when the author uses the wrong name (sometimes a different character and sometimes just a random name). When that happens it causes me to stop and think what caused this drastic shift, then usually figure out that the author just used the wrong name. But when it happens, it always causes a disturbance in the flow of my reading.

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