Friday 14 June 2019

Editors - who needs them?

Answer: we all do!

I have just finished writing Book 3 of my Roman trilogy, “The Lost Treasure of Aquae Sulis”.  I know, I was beginning to think it would never be finished, but at last it is!  (Cheers all round!)

I debated for some time as to whether to send this one out to a mainstream publisher, or whether to self-publish it as I did with Books 1 

and 2 

but after much consideration I decided it would be better to self-publish Book 3 too, so they would all match and actually look like a trilogy.  I then plan to have a Book Launch locally to celebrate all three books, which will be something to look forward to.  And maybe in the future I could attempt to persuade a mainstream publisher to take all three books on and republish them…  Who knows?

But first, I have to publish Book 3.  I’ve already given my instructions/ideas to my cover illustrator (who just happens to be my son, who is a professional illustrator) so that is underway - but no cover to show just yet!

I have also read, re-read and re-read my manuscript many times on my computer, making amendments every time – checking for typos, words that didn’t quite fit, ways of improving the story and the flow, etc. etc.  Then I printed it out and re-read it again, and made more amendments.  I read it through aloud to my husband, making yet more amendments on the way.  Finally I thought it was ready to go, but before I did, I sent it to three or four trusted writer friends who had volunteered/agreed to read it for their opinions and comments.

The comments have all been enthusiastic, so that’s a relief!  But I found that each of my lovely friends came up with a few errors (sometimes typos, sometimes clunky constructions or places where I’d changed something but forgotten to remove the word/s I’d changed) that I had somehow failed to notice – and they all found different things! 

It is a huge relief to me that they had done such a great job of editing that I now feel confident in publishing the book, knowing that it will be as good as I can make it.

Of course, if you are having your book published by a mainstream publisher, a professional editor will do the job for you, which is great, though I have often heard people complain that a particular editor didn’t necessarily “get” what the author intended, and sometimes made changes the author hated.  In the days when I had an agent, she used to edit my work and then check it with me before she sent it out, which was wonderful, and I still miss her input.  She always “got” what I intended, and I appreciated that.  Now, managing without an editor at all, I appreciate even more what a vital job they do.  No matter how hard I try to get it right myself, I find it difficult to edit my own work satisfactorily – I suppose that after umpteen rewrites I know what I meant to say and somehow assume that that’s what I actually said, even if that’s not quite how it came out.

So – editors are vital, and I am eternally grateful for mine!   They will definitely have a mention in the acknowledgements.


Sue Purkiss said...

Excellent! Am a big fan of the first two books, and hoping for an invitation to the launch!

Lynne Benton said...

Thanks, Sue - of course you'll be getting an invitation!