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Old 13th August 2006, 08:46 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Rat
Even though the novel has been workshopped by several different groups
The first time I saw this I was reading too fast, and it registered as "worshipped." I thought ... well, yes, we liked the book, but absolute adoration ...?

It's hard even for experienced copy-editors to spot their own errors, isn't it?
An informed second (or third) opinion is always valuable.

At all the publishing houses I've worked with, there was the editor and the copy-editor to go over the manuscript, then the author (me), the editor, a professional proofreader, and maybe other people that I didn't even know about, to look over the typeset galleys. Even then, errors crept in and went unnoticed.
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Old 13th August 2006, 08:58 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

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Originally Posted by Teresa Edgerton
It's hard even for experienced copy-editors to spot their own errors, isn't it? An informed second (or third) opinion is always valuable.

At all the publishing houses I've worked with, there was the editor and the copy-editor to go over the manuscript, then the author (me), the editor, a professional proofreader, and maybe other people that I didn't even know about, to look over the typeset galleys. Even then, errors crept in and went unnoticed.
Yep. That's what's giving me willies!
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Old 14th August 2006, 01:24 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

Yeah, even with the best copyeditors and proof readers and editors, you know there has to be a mistake in there somewhere.

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Old 14th August 2006, 09:13 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

The question you should ask yourself is, 'Are there going to be so many errors in this manuscript that they will put the reader off from reading my work again?' In your case, Brown Rat, I doubt this very much. I've read quite a few self published books now, and the majority of those that I've read have clearly not been edited by a professional (some were downright awful!) - my Darkweaver quartet suffers from this too. Not because there are loads of typos in my case, (though I will admit there are still one or two lurking) but my use of language and the style in which I'd written it would have benefited hugely from an experienced eye.

Despite all its faults, The Darkweaver Legacy remains popular and continues to sell well. If you are looking to shake the literary world with your first novel, then OK, perhaps it is a little more important, but if you are looking to establish a readership, then I would say that the majority of readers out there are looking for a good story. I shouldn't get too het up about the odd typo creeping through. I noticed one in the last Harry Potter book, and rarely read a novel these days without noticing something that has slipped through the net.
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Old 14th August 2006, 07:27 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Robson
If you are looking to shake the literary world with your first novel, then OK, perhaps it is a little more important, but if you are looking to establish a readership, then I would say that the majority of readers out there are looking for a good story. I shouldn't get too het up about the odd typo creeping through. I noticed one in the last Harry Potter book, and rarely read a novel these days without noticing something that has slipped through the net.
As a librarian, I constantly hear, "I would have liked this book much better if there hadn't been so many typos making it impossible to read."

But I agree that a good story will gain a readership.

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Old 15th August 2006, 09:08 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraJUnderwood
As a librarian, I constantly hear, "I would have liked this book much better if there hadn't been so many typos making it impossible to read."

But I agree that a good story will gain a readership.

Laura J. Underwood
Author of DRAGON'S TONGUE
I totally agree with you, Laura. There is a threshold above which typos become an annoyance - one person's threshold is higher than another. To some people finding a typo in a book will ruin the experience of owning that title (I find this a bit extreme, but they are out there - I've met them.) Personally, I find it appalling when I come across supposedly professionally edited books that have significantly more typos littering the pages than the handful that still lurk spread through my four self published books. In one case I read a book where there were mistakes on virtually every page, which is unforgiveable for a major publisher. In self published books, sadly this is all too common. However, I cannot imagine for one second that Brown Rat would ever release something in that state.

The great thing about POD is that you can gradually take out any odd ones that you find. In my case I didn't use POD. I went for relatively large print runs on a traditional press, so I was forced to live with them for longer before I invested in new plates (which at about $60/eight page plate is an expensive mistake!). I did invest in a completely new set of plates on print run number 3, (now on run number 8) when I type-set the whole book again, taking out the vast majority of little errors and glitches. The problem is that my writing has sharpened up no end since that early work and I now want to go back and change all the English.

What I've been forced to accept is that my first book was the best I could do then. There comes a time when you have to let go and move on. I haven't had an email pointing out typos in nearly 5 years now (I did get the odd one or two to begin with), but I have had hundreds and hundreds of complimentary ones. The strength of the story clearly outweighs the odd typo, drawing the readers on to read the subsequent books - which is the ultimate goal, after all.
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Old 15th August 2006, 02:03 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

And sadly, a lot more typos are showing up in large press books.

It is as if they have cut out the copyeditors and the proofreaders.

Laura J. Underwood
Author of DRAGON'S TONGUE
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Old 16th August 2006, 03:06 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

We've been talking mostly about typos and sentence-level errors, which are the province of copyeditors and proofreaders. But I'm also acutely aware that a self-publisher lacks an editor's advice about big-picture aspects of the novel.
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Old 16th August 2006, 04:00 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

There are other people who can give you some of the same advice -- although without the same marketing savvy as editors. Sadly, a lot of self-published authors don't make use of those resources either. They'll show their books to a few friends or family members, and not avail themselves of some of the workshops and dedicated critique groups out there. Which is one reason that self-publishing lacks credibility in the eyes of so many readers.

However, I am sure, Carolyn, that your book will add luster to the form, rather than tarnish it.
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Old 16th August 2006, 08:39 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Re: Does Self Publishing help or hinder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Rat
We've been talking mostly about typos and sentence-level errors, which are the province of copyeditors and proofreaders. But I'm also acutely aware that a self-publisher lacks an editor's advice about big-picture aspects of the novel.
True. I recently read a self published book called Rutland's Curse, which was generally well written, with less than the usual number of copyediting/proofreading omissions. Sadly the author, whilst excellent at writing about military action in Afghanistan in the 1890s, had tried to put in the obligatory romance in order that the hero could go off with the girl at the end. It totally failed, as he had no idea on how to build a romance at all. Not only that, but his resolution to the story lacked punch, and left me feeling cheated.

These things would certainly have been addressed by a good editor. I suppose that goes to show that an author does well to play to their strengths to begin with - at least until they have found their feet anyway.
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