Monday, June 27, 2011

Where Are the Editors?

I recently read a newsletter editorial explaining the differences between being published by ‘the big boys’ and the smaller publishers. I took issue with one statement in that editorial; the statement that big boy publishers run your book past numerous editors on its way from manuscript to printed book. And of course, all those editors have their own title, from acquisitions editor to copy editor, with lots of others in between. I’m finding it hard to believe.

It would be nice if there were that many editorial professionals combing your manuscript for errors. However, in today’s economy, do they still have that many? Everybody else has tightened their belts, why wouldn’t the publishing industry?

But that’s not my only reason for doubting that statement. I’ve read a lot of books. And ever since I’ve been critiquing for others, and re-writing my own, I’ve noticed that books have mistakes. Typos, missing words, misspelled words, ... they are all in there. If a manuscript has these problems when it is submitted, why didn’t all those alleged editors find them? My understanding is that even after the typesetting is done, the author and another proofing editor comb through the proofs looking for that very type of boo-boo. How did so many people miss them?

Authors are supposed to send a manuscript that is as near perfect as they can make it. All those other pairs of eyes roaming through that near-perfect manuscript, and still some leaked through? It’s just difficult for me to get through my mind.

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