My excuse….I had just started publishing books and, being an ‘Indie’ who is not really ‘attention to detail’ as I should be. (I’m more right-brained/creative than left-brain/ATD.) This fact allowed me to remain oblivious of many things as the need of reviewing what had been edited. Even by professional editors. I admit to being young, dumb, and stupid then.
I am now going over my second, published book, Threatened Loyalties, only to discover this fact. You see, this manuscript had been professionally edited twice, content and line, by a very expensive editor. But life must have intervened, because I did not publish it. Time passed. So, once life allowed me to get back to the story, I felt the need for my manuscript to be professionally edited yet again.
Yes, I did go through the edits each time and made the proffered corrections. And, after spending enough money on the story that I will never regain, I published it. Thinking that, after all, my manuscript had been through two professional editors, two rounds of content editing, two rounds of line editing, and one round of proofing. It should be just fine. So, I published, thinking then that all was perfect.
Wrong. My trust was blown as I recently began reading through this story yet again.
Yes, it’s been a few years and a few more books published. However, I now have a hard, crusty, brutal editor—Cindy Vallar—who rips into my stories and will not allow crap. I love her. She has cleaned up my act, taught me more than I will ever be able to return, and smartened me up to my style. I do wish she had gotten hold of this manuscript. However, as I said, I was younger, dumber and lazier back then.
Now, what have I learned from this experience that can help other writers avoid this mistake.
- First, do not trust that ‘they’ did a perfect job. They miss They are human too.
- Second, do not trust that you caught all the mistakes and made the perfect corrections. You didn’t.
- Third, reread each corrected/edited manuscript yet again. Put it to sleep in a drawer for a ‘long winters nap’ and reread again. You will be amazed at what you missed.
- Fourth, you will write better books if you keep at it. So, give yourself that grace.
- Fifth, find a mean editor you can trust.
And, may God bless our readers for their patience and forgiveness!