Monday, July 4, 2011

Quality Matters

When you are a new or little known/unknown author one of the most important things is that the work you put out there for your readers is top quality. When you are trying to introduce people to yourself and your work, you have to make sure that what you put out there is the best that you can make it. This goes for every writer, whether you are publishing with a large publishing house, a small independent publishing house or are self publishing. Putting out shoddy work, will not endear you to readers.
I’ve been reading a lot of small house and self published books of late and have been disappointed at the quality. Not necessarily with the quality of the stories, some have been quite well plotted and well written stories that I’ve enjoyed. The problem I’ve noticed repeatedly has been with the quality of the editing and formatting of the books. Now this says either something about the Amazon Kindle formatting, or about the lack of editing being done on the books.
Formatting errors are excusable as long as they don’t proliferate the text and make it difficult to read. However poor editing isn’t the same thing as formatting. When it is grammatical mistakes and incorrect spelling or word choice, that is another thing altogether. For example, “It will ultimate lead to our extinction,” is not a formatting error but poor editing and grammar. Then there is the use of “to” when “too” is meant, or “there” when “their” is meant. These are mistakes I correct in the papers of middle school students and should not be appearing in published works of literature.
If you want to be a writer and be taken seriously, you have to behave professionally and put forth professional quality work. Beta readers and professional editors are not dispensable. Your readers deserve it.


Sandra Cox said...

Editing. Groan. Necessary evil pretty much sums it up.

JacquƩline Roth said...

Sometimes editors, especially the FLE editors make us groan, but reading badly edited works lately makes me appreciate my editor a lot more.