Don’t Need Editing, Think Again

The Expanded Value to Your Book that Persistent Editing Will Bring to the Reader is Worthwhile.

Whew! Did you understand that headline? What was your first thought? “My brain hurts!” That writer needs a good editor! Arghhhh!

Behind every good writer lurks a great editor. You’ve probably heard that before and it’s true.

Writers can write good stories. But their real priority is to get their story out of their brain through the keyboard and to the hard drive. (We used to say, “get it down on paper,” but that’s so 1970.) Often, making certain the story is understandable to readers is low on the writer’s priority list. They just want to tell their story.  Editors want them to tell it well.

Writers write. Editors edit. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership. Irish writer James Joyce wrote Ulysses entirely without using punctuation. Where was an editor when he needed one?

Let’s try a quiz:

Which spelling and punctuation is correct?

  • end-over-end?
  • end over end?
  • eye-to-eye?
  • eye to eye?

Check your Merriam-Webster dictionary. That’s the standard we use at Hallard Press. In fact, that’s the American publishing industry standard. It means that spellings are consistent across the board.

We also use the (industry standard) The Chicago Manual of Style that ensures consistency in areas like numerals, time and age.

Which is correct:
  • Many people think that seventy is too young to retire
  • Many people think 70 is too young to retire
Which to use:
  • 10:30 a.m.
  • ten thirty in the morning.

Honestly, writers do not make the best editors. After you’ve written something and re-read it (or is it reread?) a dozen times, do you see what is there? Or do you miss your own mistakes? Editors have “fresh eyes.” They are neutral warriors armed with Merriam-WebsterThe Chicago Manual, and the reader in mind.

If your “self-publisher” says, “No editing needed”? I would be very suspect of that person wanting the best for you.

Now, about that tortured headline, try this: Good Editing is Worth the Price.

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