Saturday, May 10, 2014

Big Stakes in Editing

Editing a book is something like cooking a grill load of steaks. There is so much potential for the consumers of your labor to enjoy themselves, but the odds of making a few mistakes are great when there is so much to do. Cooking a dozen perfect steaks and allowing one mistake to make it to the picnic table results in at least one unhappy consumer.

Continuing the analogy, a little posting such as this is more akin to cooking a hotdog. Care has to be taken not to over do it, but stopping short wouldn't be all that bad. I could post a picture, say something cute, and be content with having said my say.

With my third novel, THE LAST DRAGONEER, which completes the trilogy of THE CHRONICLES OF SUSAH, I wanted the mechanical presentation to match the quality of the story. My editorial team gave me tremendous support, but the reality of undertaking is that it is a lot of work.

While crafting THE LAST DRAGONEER, I used an instant grammar checker and online proofreader before sending a chapter draft to my tactical editor. The service is available with an annual fee that is well worth it to me, but it's not like having Bobby Flay mind your grill while you enjoy the sunshine. The technology allowed me to give a superior product to my editor, so that she could work at a more refined level. After incorporating my tactical editor's inputs, I used Google documents to collaborate with my operational editor. Those inputs were used to produce a final draft for a third editing. After that, the chapters were combined into a draft manuscript for an intense round of editing, which resulted in a published novel via Amazon's kindle. At the time, I thought the presentation was perfect.

With my first two novels, I made the typical mistake of publishing the printed edition too soon. This time, I ordered proofs which were used as advanced readers. Once was not enough since the "perfect" presentation proved to have many mechanical errors. A second proof effort revealed another dozen flaws and a few formatting problems, which were all corrected. Of course, I suspect there are some more yet to be discovered.

I know this because I find errors in every book I read, don't you?


No comments:

Post a Comment