Guest Post: Editing — Why Do I Bother?

Do you ever ask yourself, “Why are so many traditionally published books woefully under-edited?”

Sci-fi and fantasy author Michael Drakich does, too.

Editing – Why Do I Bother?

author Michael Drakich

Lately, in my recreational reading, I have been finding a greater number of the novels I read as being poorly edited. I understand that, by being engaged as an author, my perspective has skewed from the days prior to my entering the industry as I now examine what I read in a different manner. Still, I cannot help but believe the need for crisp editing has gone out the window.Before I go further, I need to clarify something. I’m not talking about self-published works. I’m referring to novels being produced by the big publishing houses.
Call me old-fashioned, but I still have a penchant for buying print copy books instead of reading eBooks, and I tend to make my purchases at my local bookstore. This habit precludes buying self-pubs, as they rarely make bookstore shelves. Some of the things I have seen make me cringe. The list of transgressions covers just about every writing faux pas that editors hate. Here’s the rub. Too often I peruse the front pages and discover there is no editor listed. How could that be? You would think, before committing to a large print run for distribution to the brick and mortar purveyors, the publisher would suffer the small expense that editing would entail. Why would they forego this step? The only answer that I can surmise is time. When an author is popular, who wants to delay the next release for months while the editing process is completed.I decided I needed to consult with someone about this disturbing growing trend. As I was home alone, with only the cat as company, my options were limited. I decided to ask the only person in the room for an opinion – me.Now as I am taking the position that good editing is an absolute necessity, I allowed my counterpart, me, to take the role of devil’s advocate.”So, me, aren’t you alarmed at the degradation of editing in what is being published today?””What’s to worry? People today can’t tell good written from bad anymore. Heck, they need their cell phones to spell check the alphabet.” “You mean writing?” “Written, writing, what’s the diff? You say potato, I say potato.”, me mumbled in hopes I wouldn’t hear.I shook my head. “When it’s spelled out, potato is still the same.”

“Exactly my point. (As if I needed one.) No one cares anymore because they can’t read!”, me shouted loudly.

“If what you say is true, then why am I still spending countless hours having my work critiqued and edited and honing my craft?”

Me gleefully looked gleeful with a gleeful grin in his fully glee lit uniquely colored eyes. “Hey, you want to waste time, that’s your choice. The people will buy what they’re told to buy, whether it’s good or not. That’s how marketing works.”

“You do know you’ve breached a number of writing etiquettes while we’ve been chatting, don’t you?”

“You say potato, I say potato.”

“You said that before. I can see this is going nowhere. I think I’ll go chat with myself instead.”

“Don’t drag me into this.”, said myself.

“I’m ALREADY in it.”, Me growled.

I sighed. There was just no winning the argument. Instead, I decided to get back to my writing. At some point, I hope to get me, myself and I united on this issue, but for now will have to live with only being on the same page.


(reblogged, with permission, from Michael Drakich’s Goodreads blog)

Learn about Michael and his books on his website: Michael Drakich

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One response

  1. Reblogged this on John L. Monk and commented:
    This is ossum!

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