I am in hell.
My outrage at writers who do not employ editors nor even copyeditors is getting rather bitter! (And trust me, I am a gentle soul who works to never spend her adrenalin on anger because when I do, it destroys my chi for the day or longer!) EVEN multi-pubbed authors seem to be skipping this process. What? To save $$$? If they do it to save TIME, then I have a new dynamic in my buying habits and it is called, "Oh, boy, I ain't buying your stuff, no more, no more!"
Ergo, I rise to my speaker's stump and proclaim to my fellow authors, if you are writing, I really do not care how many previous books you have published or how many awards you have won, if you can't hit the spell check or the grammar (shoot me, please), and you do not hire an editor to smooth out your draft prose or your plot or logic, I am not returning.
Here are 5 reasons why I beg you to hire an editor and copyeditor:
1. I am an educated reader. I have a graduate degree, had to read and write my a$$ of to get it, and I understand logic, sentence structure and time sequencing. (As an author, I also get all that other jazz like conflict, inner and outer dialogue, etc. But that is another subject and I digress.)
I read at a fast pace.
I am in that demographic you crave: I am over 45, I buy hundreds of $$ worth of books each year, I will buy almost any genre if you lure me in. (And you spend a lot of people, time and money to lure me in, don't you? Yowza.)
Treat me right. Give me the very best. Then I will buy another book of yours.
2. I understand how typos occur. I have written hundreds of thousands (maybe millions of words, given my corporate tenure) during my career. I am still a really $hitty typist. I hit the spell check. It's free. It completes me.
But you need to hit the spell and grammar check and hire a copyeditor because every time one of those blurps appears, my reader's mind goes blank.
I lose track of the story.
I get angry because this is supposed to be a professional piece worthy of my copious UNfree time! Remember, your work is supposed to entertain me.
3. When I stop reading (and I can sit for a damn long time doing it, like 8 hours+ when I did not move on a flight to Israel), I subconsciously ask myself: Will this happen to me again?
I get frustrated. I might even skip around. Go to the end. (Oh, no, you shout!) And I will skim the intervening pages, too. If my expert eyes find more god awful stuff, you can bet you and I and your story might be done, baby, done.
4. Grammar still thrills me. Correct grammar. With the exception of dialogue that shows regional accent, grammar makes my day.
If you use the wrong version, I am really mad.
I stop here too. (See #3 for my further actions.) Not pretty.
5. See Spot Run. Sigh. Spot, the dog, still runs around. He appears in a lot of works and he needs to go home and sit in his doghouse. He needs to learn his place. He needs to go to critique group and hear his professional colleagues tell him to polish his prose, deepen his characters' profiles and improve the pace of his plot.
Am I perfect? No. But I try. And I spend the money when I do self-publishing to ensure that those readers I have worked hard to gain, I keep.
And yep, the cover here is my latest self-pubbed book for which I hired Wizards in Publishing to do my editing and copyediting and formatting. They are superb.
Shameless Self Promotion.