Sunday, February 10, 2008
Proofreading and Novels
I'm not going to call out the current book I'm reading, nor am I going to call out the publishing house of said book, but suffice to say, whoever proofread/edited this book needs to be on probation. All of the mistakes keep knocking me out of the story, and maybe it's unfair because I proofread for a living, but if someone cannot catch that the surname of a character changes TWICE on THE SAME PAGE . . . there's an issue. And "too" =/= "to", and "generally" =/= "genuinely", etc. I mean, I know my own books might have some mistakes in them--hell, I've seen them--but everyone knows it's hard as hell to proofread/edit your own books because your brain automatically fills in the right word/spelling. But when you HIRE someone else to do it, you at least hope for semi-vigilant scouring of the text to make sure it is as crisp and clean as possible. And don't get me started on how I see more of this in IR/MC fiction than not, regardless if the publisher is e-pub, black pub, or "mainstream" pub (and that, everyone is a completely different post/rant for another time). If the leg up of traditional publishers to self-publishers is that you have more access to more resources, why can't one of these said resources include proofreaders? I've read WAY too many IR/MC books that are riddled with mistakes that you just don't see with the white romances (there, I said it). Now, I can't even begin to think of why, and I'm not even going to go militant with it, but if folks think people who read IR/MC don't want to see the cleanest prose possible, then they are sadly mistaken. We want quality, and I definitely demand it. I try my best to provide it when I write and proofread--proofread to the point I'm sick of my own damn story, but I can't afford another set of eyes to read. That's why I also think it's on the onus of the writer(s) to be as in command of grammar/vocabulary as possible, and don't just rely on F7, because F7 only does so much (remember, to/two/too are all spelled correctly; it doesn't mean they are being used correctly.) And even the "grammar check" only does so much. You HAVE to read over your work. I hated doing it when I had to write my papers in high school and college, and Lord knows if I'd cared enough back then to do it, I would've had higher grades! But this type of writing, the type of writing one day, God willing, will be my livelihood, I damn well do care, and I don't think it's too much for me to ask that publishers and authors care much more about the cleanliness of their product as well.