Readers seem to think of authors are the ultimate professionals and write a clean book from front to back with little or no editing. Little do they know the behind the scenes work that goes on to make a book presentable.
But what constitutes presentable? Do readers really care about many of the things pubs and editors flip over. I’m talking about passive sentences, overuse of words, head hopping (as long as it’s not confusing), fragments and overuse of modifiers to name a few. Of course there are some—call them perfectionists—who do, but I believe they are a small minority. Most readers, me included, happily read along, absorbing every word, improper or not. Hey “shit happens.” Some readers can read an atrociously edited book and give it a five star rating, based strictly on the story as they did on this unnamed book on which I saw fit to comment with an Amazon review.
“If you ignore the absurdity of the premise and just go along, it's kind of a fun read. Maybe, a four star. Unfortunately, the publisher let the author down, because the editing flat sucks. Among other things there must have been thirty or forty missing words. I'm not that fussy, but c'mon. I doubt this story was even proof read.
The other reviewers are either obtuse or more forgiving. I heard a flap about six months ago regarding pour editing at (Name Deleted) and now I've seen it. Sorry Kimberly, Three Stars and be glad it isn't two.”
Now at the time, I was the first reviewer to mention editing. Since then one or two reviewers have sounded off about the editing but still the overwhelming number of reader reviews are five stars. This leads me to believe a good story can trump poor or non-existent editing for a majority of readers.
Here are some examples of other truthful if negative reader reviews among a sea of positive reviews on another popular author’s books.
“I won't even get into the grammatical mistakes in this book because it is typical for this author. Her editors need to be fired ASAP!”
“2. Editing: haphazard punctuation replete with lotsa misspelled words or correctly spelled words used incorrectly. this feels like a first draft that needed additional attention from an outside eye.”
“I just don't get it. Is there no editing done at this publishing house. As someone who knows about the world of e-publishing and reads a lot of interracial romance, I can assure you that this author never edits anything.”
“And don't even get me started on the typographical errors of which there were MANY!!”
“I'm not sure if I'm the only one that noticed the poor (if any) editing. Maybe it lost something in the digital transition, but wowee. Verbs, adverbs missing and make sentence structure nil.”
In this case, the hits about editing do not carry over to other authors books from this publisher. To me this means one of two things. This author keeps getting the same crumby editor or…this publisher doesn’t edit at all and the other authors write cleaner books.
My two examples are from popular authors, who publish through long time well known, certainly top ten and maybe top five epubs. Why can these two publishers get away with this? Because the overwhelming majority of readers seem to be indifferent about sloppy books.
What about you? Where do you stand when it comes to editing? Are you accepting, like me, to a point and then throw the book at the wall when that point is reached? I’d really like to know where readers and writers come down on this.
Now to a little promotion. My new book, Dumped has been climbing the charts since the middle of September. It’s now number one on ARe in the interracial category and ninth overall and it's currently #34 on Amazon Erotica. Dumped! Revenge is sweet! Check it out.
Seeing her husband standing on the lawn directing the movers, she storms up to her husband, only to receive an even bigger shock and deep hurt when their lawyer, her long time friend from college, hands her a divorce petition.
WARNING! This book contains explicitly described love/sex scenes