#SaystheEditor Proofing Ain’t Just for Your Book

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Author: Susan Helene Gottfried

This is something I’ve run across … oh, probably as long as I’ve been blogging. And if you look carefully, you’ll see I’ve been blogging here at West of Mars since 2006. That’s a long time for this trend to continue, especially because it’s not a particularly flattering one: authors who write blog posts, either as a guest or at their own home, that are full of typos and grammatical errors. (and I  mean FULL. A few obvious typos are one thing. I’m talking about squinting and wondering if this person knows the language at all.)

Sometimes, as in the case of the post I read this  morning, it’s clear the author doesn’t understand the rules. This distresses me. How can someone expect to write a book if they don’t know basic grammar rules?

The answer to that is pretty obvious, right? I’m not the only great (and patient) editor out there.

So, okay. Fine. Authors use great editors for their fiction. Good. That’s how it should be. We editors love to work behind the scenes and  make our authors’ words all shiny and pretty. And even when we’re not the editors, we still appreciate that you, the author, used a colleague to make sure your words are the best representation of you that they can be.

If you’re an author who does any sort of written promo, don’t hesitate to ask your editor to work on it for you! From your newsletter to any guest blog posts or even interviews. If it’s written and you know you’re not the best at remembering your/you’re or the like, speak up. Yes, it may cost you more than the promo will earn you, but on the other hand, it’s an expense worth it, from where I sit. Even if you have to find another editor who’ll handle only your promo work — and  yes, we do that at West of Mars. Keep your fiction editor and use us for your promo. No worries there; no pressure to change if you love your fiction editor.

The reason I do this  isn’t to pad my own bottom line. I offer these services cheap, after all.

Nope. That’s not why I am pushing it, and it’s not why I offer it.

It’s because people form impressions about you based on your written words. Don’t put yourself in the situation where a reader adores your book, thinks you’re the best writer since Truman Capote … and then gets turned off when they read a sloppy guest post.

Always, always, always put your best written self forward. Find the people you need to make this happen, if it’s me or if it’s someone else.

It’s your career. Make it represent you at your written best.

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