Today, Amanda Hocking is a big time author with St. Martin Press, but a year ago, but back when she was a 26-year-old, self-published author, selling a mere 100,000+ books a month, she was quite frustrated with the editing process.
What I find most frustrating about editing and being indie is that everything else I can do myself. Writing, covers, marketing, etc. But I cannot edit properly myself. It’s just not possible.
–Amanda Hocking, when she was an indie author
I totally feel her pain–about the editing stuff, not about the becoming a millionaire by selling kindle books. (I
could am prepared to get used to it though.)
My upcoming book, Minion of Evil was edited by my wife, my critique group, me, my beta reader and by editor before I gave it my final read-through.I found around one error every four pages. When I was through, I asked my wife to go over my first chapter again. Two more errors were found.
Today I was reading an Internet discussion about whether or not grammar is important to writers. I would never even think to ask that question. To me it would be akin to saying: Is it important for a carpenter to be able to use a table saw without slicing off their fingers?
Bad grammar, typos, and errors trip up the reader. They interrupt the flow of the book. They stop reading from being an enjoyable experience. Of course, not every person is going to read every error, hence the errors of mine alluding an editor, a critique group, and a bevy of beta readers, but every one you fail to clear adds the chance that you’re going to lose some of your readers.
Okay, on the bright side, or maybe the zeitgeist side, I have read big budget books with errors. Still, I want to put my best foot forward and make reading my book a worthwhile experience.