The NEED to Edit – Part 2/6

Forget about the anal-retentive grammarian (ARG) with a photographic memory and instant recall that has memorized all 532 pages in the fourth course of Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition textbook.

This ARG perfectionist may write a cryptic, critical one-star review on Amazon blasting an author for having only a few mistakes in his novel, but that is not important as you will discover.

Instead, as independent, self published authors we must ignore the ARGs and focus on the avid reader who is often forgiving of the occasional bump/mistake. For these readers, the story—plot, characterization, theme, conflicts and power of writing—is more important.

However, if the avid reader is distracted by too many mistakes, do not expect this audience to be forgiving. In fact, do not expect an avid reader to finish the novel or recommend it to friends.

I’m a gambler and at this point I am betting that someone reading this post is thinking, “I don’t care. I’m an author. I don’t need to know those stupid things grammar books teach.”

However, if you want to be an author and write a book that the avid reader may buy, read and recommend, and you don’t know how to edit, you better be willing to pay someone that does.

What germinated the idea for this series of posts was a piece I read on a Blog called An American Editor.

Rich Adin, the editor, wrote The Business of Editing: Killing Me Softly, and he said, “I recently reviewed the various groups I am a member of on LinkedIn and was astounded to find a U.S.-based editor soliciting editing work and offering to do that work for $1 per page in all genres. Some further searching led me to discover that this person was not alone in her/his pricing.”

If you seriously want to be an author, you may want to read what Rich has to say and all the comments to his post, because a cheap/low price for editing labor does not mean a quality job. There is truth to the old saying that you get what you pay for. In addition, you should not have to pay thousands of dollars to have your work edited but that also depends on the level of editing needed.

Continued August 8, 2012 in The NEED to Edit – Part 3 or return to Part 1

View this Six-Part Series as a Single Page

Note: My Blog posts do not go through the exhaustive editing process my novels do.


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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