Blogger's Note: Today, Mary Metcalfe, author of New Beginnings, joins us for a guest post as part of her Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour. Mary addresses a topic that every aspiring author needs to consider before they submit their novel to a publisher or hit the "publish" button his or herself. Enjoy the post!
Why Every Author Needs an Editor and a Proofreader
By Mary Metcalfe
of the key questions for me is “has your manuscript been professionally
edited?” When I see “no” and a comment like “I have a degree in
English” or “a teacher friend proofread it” I know I have my evaluation
cut out for me. Bottom line: I have yet to read an unedited manuscript
that is ready for publication without any further work. Many authors
don’t realize they need to standardize the spelling of words for
consistency; standardize spacing after punctuation; watch for
grammatical and punctuation errors; etc.
fiction and non-fiction brings its own set challenges. The words used
need to fit the time period of the story. Using the word “sniper” or
“foxhole” in an 18th century military piece doesn’t work. The words
didn’t exist in military usage at the time. Similarly, the word
“socialite” didn’t exist in the 18th century, nor did “call girl” (only
after telephones were invented).
As a reader, I want to
be transported into the time and place and characters of the novel. So,
when a word is missing or the wrong punctuation is used or a word is
completely misspelled, it just stops me. The fact that I’m an editor has
nothing to do with it. When I’m reading, I’m a reader first and I want
the story to flow without interruption.
demanding world of publishing, an author who doesn’t have an editor or
proofreader is up against what I call Reader Revenge. These are readers
who post online reviews such as: “great story but there were too many
typos so I’m only giving 2*.” That happened to an author who I now edit
for. His novels are excellent but his first one encountered several
Reader Revenge reviews that kept the book’s rating down to the point
that he couldn’t advertise through some of the main online channels such
as Book Bub, which requires a minimum 4* rating.
Every author needs an editor and preferably a separate proofreader.
When you’ve spent hundreds of hours crafting your manuscript, it
deserves to have professional polishing. You owe it to your readers.
I hope you enjoy New Beginnings. It went through several rounds of editing you can be sure!
About the Author
Connect with Mary
About the Book
Workaholic real estate agent Carol Brock can't seem to find a good man. Her first husband cheated with a law clerk less than half his age. Then she found herself in a string of bad relationships with unscrupulous men, including a con man and art thief, who shredded her professional reputation and strained her relationship with her college-age children. Carol has sworn off men and is determined to reclaim her life and career on her terms. But, when Boston’s most eligible bachelor, restoration specialist Devin Elliott, puts in an offer on a charming Victorian, Carol admits she’s attracted. Devin’s offer unwittingly unleashes a psychopathic rage in an ex-girlfriend that spills into Carol’s life. As she and Devin try to stay one step ahead of violence, Carol must decide whether she's ready to risk her heart again.
Buy the Book
Barnes & Noble
Have the latest posts from Change the Word delivered to your Inbox by
entering your contact information under "Follow by Email." Stay
connected with Laura Chapman on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Receive updates from Change the Word between posts on Facebook.