Sunday, 16 November 2014
Editors and Reviewers
Oh dear, I've just finished reading a book by a very well published author and found a howler of a mistake. Do you know of any Spaniards called Paolo? That's Italian - in Spanish it would be Pablo. And I asked myself how could such an author make this mistake? I suspect that her mind set is back in the good old days when her publisher provided an editor. And it is so easy these days to find names in other languages - thanks to web searches.
A friend recently told me that she read a self-published book which was pretty 'dire'. The writer had paid an editor to go through it. The unfortunate thing these days is that there are unqualified people jumping on the bandwagon. You don't need qualifications to advertise your 'service'.
Self-publishers - beware! Get an editor who has been recommended to you or, better still, if you are a member of a group such as the Society of Authors, ask their advice.
Even if you have used a professional editor, always read through your MSS two or three times more. Maybe the editor hasn't quite understood what you meant and so has, inadvertently, changed the context.
Another area where self-publishers need to be very careful.
Some of these reviewers are simply advertising their service to get free books and don't give you a review. But the worst ones are those who give you a review without actually reading your book.
My worst one was a two-star review by an American man who, not only hadn't read it (just dipped in here and there), but didn't realise it was written in English-English. He said there are lots of spelling and grammatical mistakes!
And on the subject of poor reviews - I was always taught that if you can't say anything nice it's best not to say anything at all!