A friend of mine told me that editing your own material makes you like the guy who represents himself as his own attorney. He has a fool for a client.
But for the self-published author, there isn’t much choice. Copy editing is expensive, so it’s do it yourself or go broke. My friend told me that newspapers, magazines, and even major publishing houses have cut back on their copy editing budgets, and it shows.
I read a bestselling novel recently that made a reference to Sherlock Holmes, spelling the great detective’s name ‘homes’, without even capitalizing it. I found typos in another bestselling book, including dialogue attribution to the wrong character, one who wasn’t even in the scene being described.
A fairly famous self-published author had so many typos in his last book that he had to issue a second edition.
With decent spell checkers, there are no truly misspelled words. The typos are always incorrect words spelled correctly, like ‘homes’ for ‘Holmes’ or ‘the’ for ‘they’. It’s hard to catch them, easy to read them several times and not see them, and, in short, can be rather frustrating.
My last pass through In the Beginning, I found over a hundred corrections that needed to be made, so I put my original release plans on hold and am going through several more edits now.
I’ve been contacted by several of my readers wondering when it will be out. I had originally hoped for early March, but it will probably be mid-May now. I have several blogs that go along with the release, but I put them on hold so I could whine about editing first.
I know perfection is probably unachievable, but when I read The Great Gatsby, or The Old Man and The Sea, or Cannery Row, I don’t recall any typos. And when you read In the Beginning, I don’t want you to find any either.