Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Another voice on the value of editing

Commentary from the journalism side of the aisle.


Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Unfortunately we are seeing editing one of the steps of self-publishing that is suffering severely as "authors" are either unaware of how vital this is or can't afford to pay a good editor to do the work correctly.

I see the same with book design but design doesn't have the credibility impact that poor/no editing/proofreading does on the author.

Dick Margulis said...


I agree that most people walking into a bookstore and leafing through the selections are less able to articulate what's wrong with an amateurish design than what's wrong with poorly edited text. So in terms of credibility, you're right. But in terms of book sales, I think design probably has a greater impact, because the bookstore-wanderer isn't going to pick up the crudely designed book in the first place.

To me it goes back to the barrel analogy. You have to have everything in place to give yourself half a chance at success with a book. And that means professional editing and professional design, among other things.

People take the "self" in "self-publishing" a bit too literally sometimes.

Anonymous said...


Agreed. Design has a definite impact on the potential buyer in a store, and when it comes to covers even online stores.

It's been my experience (right or wrong) that a poorly designed cover means equally poor interior design and often that results in a book I find would have benefitted greatly from editing/proofing.

Unfortunately I think you are so correct, there's entirely too much emphasis on the "self." What I also have found amazing is that these self-published authors who are either doing it all themselves or buying the cheapest all-in-one "publishing" package they can find then get very upset when no one wants to buy their treasure.

And some of it is truly is unpolished treasure nestled in plain cloth and locked in a box with a poorly designed cover.