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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Editing advice

Time for some more advice on book-writing. Again, this is not The Word. Rather, this is just sharing some lessons I learned while writing POST.

Your name gets top-billing, not your editor's
No matter what all happens behind the scenes, when your book comes out, your name is on the cover. You're the one who has to answer for what you say, so it's best that you stand behind what you wrote. Sounds like a big "duh!" right? Well, it's possible to lose your own voice in the editing process if you have the wrong editor.

I didn't have the funds nor the desire to hire a professional editor for POST. So, any major punctuation errors, run-on sentences, grammatical errors can be directed towards me and my anonymous editor. Frankly, I'd prefer things to be that way. Why? Because at the end of the day, my name is on the manuscript, and I'm proud to say there weren't any ghostwriters involved.

There's a certain author who wrote a certain book that is filled with typos and misspellings. Sure, his book has sold way more copies than mine, but that doesn't change the fact that there are a ton of typos and misspellings in it. (Guess who I'm talking about.) Since I've never talked to him, but know a few people that know him, apparently the misspellings are the blame of his editor. Well, that could definitely be the case, but his name is on the front cover and back cover of his book, not his editor's. In the mind of most of his readers, he has to take the blame, whether he likes it or not.

The point remains: whatever book your name comes attached to, the general public will believe it is your writing and your writing alone. This isn't like a movie or a record where a producer gets more notice, thanking or blaming for the end result. Books are a very solitary reading and writing activity, so stand up for yourself if you think your voice is getting lost in the editing process.

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