The power to create a world, solely from the words written by your own mind, is a gift that should never be hidden.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Errors in writing, the disclaimer.

I had an interesting  argument  conversation on twitter a couple days back that has left me thinking.
The general gist of it was, would you buy an Indie book if it wasn't edited by a professional editor.

I said yes.

I was told that I was wrong, sorta. The person I was having the conversation with originally was open enough to listen to my side. And we ended up agreeing to disagree on our opinions.
A listener however, decided to join the conversation, and they told me in no short terms would they ever buy an Indie book without an editor listed on the front page.
The funny thing about all this is, I do have some works that have been professionally edited. Not all mind you, but some.
So this person continues down the path of...If the work hasn't been through an editors hands, there is no way that it can be up to the standards they set for all books. No matter the cost. Free was even debatable.
I couldn't agree less on that one. It just so happens, I know some brilliant writers. Their skills at twisting words into excellent prose leave me weeping at times. (Okay, not really, but it sounded good right?)
I am the first to admit that I do need an editor.
English hates me.
However, I still do my BEST to put out work that is of good quality, and if/when someone points out an error that I missed, I am very quick to change it. I understand that this might lose me a reader here and there. That is a chance I have decided to take. I didn't just throw caution to the wind and toss my work out there for fun. I honestly spent a ton of time thinking about wiether to go Indie or not with some of my works.
Most of my readers come away with an appreciation for the story. Some have helped me improve my work. And one in particular just didn't like it at all.
The thing is, that is just how it goes.
My own personal library of books has errors in it. Some of those works have passed through countless hands before they saw the light of a book store, and they still have errors.
Now of course it is usually a single letter in a single word over hundreds of pages, while mine might be one error every couple pages. I don't know, I don't see my words, because I already know what I meant to say. It is a weird disease us writers get, Cantseewhatsinfrontofusitis I think it's called.
Where was I...
Oh yeah, I am not perfect, but I do my best, and as I continue to write I am getting better, and better.
However to be fair to those who don't know me, and who are grabbing my works with no prior knowledge of who I am, or how I write. I have added a disclaimer to all my non-edited works.
I hope that most look past the small errors (should there be any left) and see the story for what it is.
A good, entertaining, and enjoyable tale.


  1. Well put. Just because it is Indie, it doesn't mean it's unedited. I know I had mine professionally edit a few times over and there were still mistakes. That said, there has been errors in all of the traditionally published works I've read. It used to bug me, but it never took away from the story. I am even more picky on my own work now. Still, I know there are bound to be mistakes. I, like all the Indie writers and traditionally published writers I know, concentrate first on the story. I hope beyond hope that any errors are plucked out before I finally decide to pry my fingers off a manuscript, but I know something will slip by. I'm still disappointed when a goof is pointed out by a reader. It's been mentioned more than once that traditionally published books are better edited. I used to agree with this, but anymore, that's but the case. Each writer had something to offer. I'll never judge a book by its editor again. If I did, I'd be missing out on some awesome stories.

  2. Nice to meet you Jamie! I wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago about how I'd done everything wrong in publishing - one huge mistake regarded relying on family for proof-reading.

    I agree with Wendy - I always find errors in traditionally published books - some big ones. In a Clive Cussler book there was a reference to Hanes, Alaska and it's Haines, Alaska. So, just being an Indie with some errors doesn't make anyone uniquely Indie.

    A good book - not matter who wrote it - will usually transport me to the point that the small errors don't matter.

    I'm looking forwarding to reading something of yours with I get a break in my long list.

    1. And thank you for the visit! I am still doing my best to put my best foot forward, and I am learning as I go. For the most part everyone who has read my books as liked them. Cept that one guy... I hope you find them engaging as well.