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What happened to proofreading and copy editing?

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Showing 301-325 of 385 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012, 11:33:25 AM PDT
Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012, 12:02:31 PM PDT
Nelly Bly says:
I think it is a sign of the times. Have you noticed that magazines rarely list a copy editor? Instead they have an editor in charge of Web production. I assume publishers are equally intent on quick turnaround and appealing to Web/Kindle readers.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012, 12:27:11 PM PDT
J. Manuel says:
I'm responding to your question as someone with several years of part-time editing experience and a sister who is a highly skilled editor with thirty years of full-time experience When I read just for pleasure or information, I have to turn off the editor part of my brain as much as possible, as does my sister. The problem you see is appearing in both paper books and e-books, including ones at various prices. For quite some time, the trend in traditional publishing has been to cut back on editing in order to save money. This can mean fewer editors (fewer sets of eyes examing the text and/or fewer editorial reads of the manuscript), expecting both copyeditors and proofreaders to perform this innately time-consuming process much more quickly (for instance, performing a task that always used to take two or three weeks in one week or less), using more less-qualified people because they are cheaper, and/or just plain skipping steps in the editorial process. Those proofreading already typeset pages may also be strongly discouraged from "finding" errors that still exist (or have been introduced in typesetting and/or making previous corrections) because it takes time and more money to do fixes after typesetting. To complicate matters, the marketing department pressure can shortcircuit editorial concerns, and decisions about what is necessary may often be made by persons who have no idea what is involved in good editorial work--and sometimes not even beieve customers care. Today authors themselves often must be responsible for turning in a much more finished and "clean" manuscript than used to be the case.
The transition to e-books brings more challenges. I see problems that I believe have happened in the process of converting the book into e-book format, either in scanning or in switching kind of digital file. Yet the book may get only the quickest glance after that process before release, as, just to make sure the overall pages look okay--no real examination of the text. Now self-publishing, with all its wonderful opportunities, brings a few more problems. One is authors doing the whole job themselves and not going to the admittedly large expense of employing a skilled editor. I've read more than one self-published book (both in paper and as an e-book) where I've thought it could have been a much better book with the help of a skilled copyeditor and caught crazy errors that even a close self-edit should have caught. In sympathy with authors, though, I must say it is amazing just how many errors we can miss in our own writing. Our brain already knowing what it is supposed to be saying or showing overrides what our eyes might see, or being caught up in the thought, we may have difficulty disciplining ourselves to see every detail of the printed word.
I hope this helps. Meanwhile, I hope you can train your mind to ignore those errors as much as possible, not letting them ruin the reading you'd enjoy otherwise. Do, however, complain in reader reviews and (perhaps most important) complain to publishers when their books show such problems. Let them know that readers DO care!

Posted on Sep 3, 2012, 8:06:13 PM PDT
And this is how writing becomes degraded until finally no one even realizes how bad it has become. I'm speaking of writing here, not typos, not grammatical errors, but writing: semantics, syntax, imagery, language. Today there are far too many best selling authors who do not write well, and no one seems to care. Formerly, editors didn't just catch errors; they fine tuned texts and made them better. It makes me sad that the standards are being lowered because of the way publishing is done today.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012, 8:36:54 PM PDT
R. Doug says:
Oh, there are some of use who care, all right. I could only make it through one John Grisham novel, for instance. Great story teller, terrible writer (in my humble opinion). Dan Brown's last novel may have been MY last of his as well. Not even a good story there.

And then you have the Elizabeth Kostovas of the world. The writing in The Historian was fantastic.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012, 12:56:49 AM PDT
Dingfelder says:
That doesn't work all that well. I've gotten books from established publishers that are rife with the same kind of carelessness. It would be easier if there were a workable rule of thumb to distinguish quality, but ordinary publishers are dropping the ball on cleaning up e-book editions too.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012, 6:46:08 AM PDT
I agree wholeheartedly about Grisham, the writer I thought of when I wrote that. I, too, have read only one of his (the first), though I understand he's gotten better. I tried repeatedly but could never read The DaVinci Code, nor have I read anything else by Brown. For popular fiction no one did it better than the late great Donald E. Westlake. I don't know Kostovas but since you agree about JG, I trust your judgment.

Posted on Sep 4, 2012, 8:22:10 AM PDT
x banker says:
Not only spelling but lack of knowledge about subject matter. In one book a bull was called also called a heifer and a steer. Another book had a character"threading " her knitting needles.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012, 8:51:54 AM PDT
YellowRose says:
So, has anyone asked Amazon.com about this? I did and was asked where the errors were and they would correct them. I didn't, tho. I refuse to be their proofreader for free!!! And that's what their reply amounts too... JoB

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012, 8:57:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 4, 2012, 8:59:40 AM PDT
KEagle says:
Paying attention to the publisher is an excellent practice, but also check the author's publishing history. Many authors who have published with big houses in the past are self-publishing books that they haven't contracted elsewhere, often because the big houses are sticking with the tried-and-true or the latest hot trend, shying away from everything else. It's a brave new world for authors.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012, 2:53:41 PM PDT
jobo says:
YellowRose has the answer here for those who have claimed they would be willing, and even eager, to do proofreading and editing without compensation. One person said that an author refused--this post doesn't sound like Amazon would refuse.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012, 5:10:33 PM PDT
S. Pollock says:
I would gladly offer my services for proofreading.
Perhaps it would benefit all Kindle had an app where you could mark the errors, and report them when you give your book review.
What do you say Amazon/Kindle. I feel like I am paying for an inferior product.

Posted on Sep 4, 2012, 5:53:04 PM PDT
Naomi says:
I have seen many grammatical and spelling mistakes in Kindle editions, however, the worst was when an author wrote of a character giving something to another character that the author killed off at the beginning of the book. She mixed up her characters. Well, there's also "peace of mine".

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012, 7:52:55 PM PDT
R. Wilde says:
As long as you didn't add a note to see you after class...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012, 8:22:45 AM PDT
Unfortunately, the illiteracy being taught in our public schools has produced this phenomenon of poor grammar and spelling,
which in turn produces no mind or eyes for proofreading parred with apathy. Until this situation is changed, and changed radically, it will only get worse over time.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012, 11:20:44 AM PDT
Dingfelder says:
A nice and unusually thoughtful and well-balanced response.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012, 11:40:08 AM PDT
Dingfelder says:
Very true. I've been disappointed in the attention to detail (not) found in (some) self-published books, but anywhere from surprised to disappointed to outraged to see the same thing and worse from publishers.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012, 12:05:31 PM PDT
Dingfelder says:
It's a priorities problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012, 12:18:37 PM PDT
Dingfelder says:
Right you are.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012, 12:40:40 PM PDT
jobo says:
S. Pollock: The problem is that we do not know whom we can trust. I would hate to rread a book that had been "corrected" by some of the people sending comments to this and other Kindle forums.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012, 12:44:48 PM PDT
jobo says:
Yesteryear, what does "parred" with apathy mean?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012, 1:34:38 PM PDT
Dingfelder says:

And it seems hardly possible that the nuts wouldn't find some way to try to mark things as offensive, questionable, or flat out wrong due to their own stylistic prejudices, or even their political or religious leanings.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2012, 12:36:12 PM PDT
Illiteracy is being taught in our public schools? I don't think so! If it is being taught, lots of students would have an A. It is just that some of the ones responsible for teaching English do not know English grammar themselves, so how can they teach it?
Also, do you mean paired for parred?

Posted on Sep 6, 2012, 6:02:22 PM PDT
Missy says:
Some people are not willing to pay someone to proofread. They think that because they have spellcheck, then their problems are solved. It drives me crazy too!!! They need to spend a few dollars to do it right!

Posted on Sep 7, 2012, 10:29:13 AM PDT
It isn't just Kindle, it is every where on the web. It is so frustrating to read an article that if full of mistakes. Maybe the proof-readers were let go because of the economy???
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Discussion in:  Kindle Deals forum
Participants:  213
Total posts:  385
Initial post:  Jul 11, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 13, 2012

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