Friday, February 8, 2013

Portrait of an Editor as a Hired Hand, Part One

Why Quality Editing Is Crucial When You Self-Publish (Part One)


ed·it  /╦łedit/
verb [with obj.]

prepare (written material) for publication by correcting, condensing, or otherwise modifying it.
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Doesn’t sound so complicated, does it? But the mere twelve words that comprise that definition represent a myriad of fine skills of which most people aren’t aware. Correcting. Condensing. Modifying. Each of these verbs is loaded.

If you’re a writer—even an excellent one—you know (I hope!) that no manuscript can become a respected or beloved book without an exemplary editor. Yet I often encounter authors who have little to no understanding of why quality editing takes so long and is typically the single biggest—and most vital—investment you’ll make as a self-publishing author. If you're unsure yourself, perhaps the following analogy will give a clearer perspective.

Imagine assembling a group of actors for a play you’ve been dying to produce. You believe in each of the performers wholeheartedly; you likewise love the script. You figure the combination of talented people and well-written scenes can’t go wrong, so you skip rehearsals and go right to opening night.

Can you envision the chaos that ensues?

photo courtesy of: http://tinyurl.com/dramatic-pov

Just as you as a director wouldn’t debut a performance without having rehearsed it many times over, neither should you as a writer consider publishing your book without the same mindset. Here’s what I mean: