Friday, April 12, 2013

Bill Ramsey Writes His Thoughts on Editing

A word about editing from Bill Ramsey

A recent conversation with a forty year veteran of independent book store
ownership focused upon the difference between books from publishers versus
those from  self-published authors.
I started the conversation by telling
him that I was trying to force myself to finish reading a new book about our
thirtieth president, Calvin Coolidge. The book was written by a
well-regarded author of history and published by a well-recognized name in
the publishing business.

This book appears to have had no real editing. Spelling and punctuation
mistakes were not the issue. However, long and awkward sentences made the
reading a chore. Inclusion of historic facts that had nothing to do with
Coolidge made the book 500 pages instead of the 300 pages that would have
given it focus and pace.

Narrow Gap Now

My book seller friend observed that the wide gap between high quality
self-published books and books from publishers has grown narrow. Even major
publishers are not providing the quality of editing they once did.

Let the writer beware. Using a publisher does not assure that quality
editing is going to be a part of the package. Of course, if the writer
decides to self-publish, the writer must pay for a quality editing. Editing
really makes a difference in the reading experience. We should not let our
hard work be hurt by failing to get a proper editing.


Anonymous said...

Hi Glenda,

Your post on Bill Ramsey hit home for me. Having self-published two
books, I know all about editing. With my first book, We Shall Overcome,
a novel, I hired a copy editor. With my poetry collection, How to
Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family
Caregiver, I figured I could do the poems myself. I wish I'd hired a
copy editor because I would have saved the money I had to spend on
corrections after two rounds of proofing. When I'm ready to publish my
memoir, I'll probably hire a copy editor. Keep blogging, and take care.


Glenda C. Beall said...

Thank you, Abbie, for your comment sent by email to
Your advice on getting a good editor before publishing is added to the words of other experienced writers who learned the hard way.