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Old 09-18-2011, 04:22 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Ah but with e-books the production costs are minimal, basically editing is all that's required. And I'm of the opinion that authors need to learn to edit their own work. It's not that hard.
Actually, it isn't that easy. As the writer your brain knows what it is expecting to see, so it is very easy to overlook spelling and grammar mistakes. Worse is that as a writer you have an emotional bond to your text, and killing all those "darlings" require a cold blooded attitude that not everyone is capable of presenting.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:17 AM   #32
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I didn't get an email from Amazon highlighting $9.99 books, probably because I am in Canada. However, on my Amazon "front page" , in the customers who viewed this also viewed section, I had some odd results with the 4 books that were listed there at 9.99.
  • The Help, by Stocket, 9.99 on the page, $12.68 when I clicked through
  • The Glass Castle, by Walls, 9.99 on the page, $19.86 when I clicked through
  • Cutting for Stone, by Verghese, 9.99 on the page,$7.57 when I clicked through
  • Sarah's Key, 9.99 on the page, $12.95 when I clicked through

At the moment, being Canadian sure is a disadvantage, at least for the 3 Agency Priced books--all of which were considerably higher for Canadian shoppers. Agencies negotiate not just title by title but also country by country.

Last edited by taming; 09-18-2011 at 09:04 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:40 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Ah but with e-books the production costs are minimal, basically editing is all that's required. And I'm of the opinion that authors need to learn to edit their own work. It's not that hard.
An author editing and proofing their own work is exactly like a lawyer defending themselves in court... they have a fool for a client... Kov, I respect your work on calibre immensely but as far as editing your own work, rubbish... it's not like writing code etc where you can have things checked by the sytem and you get logs of error messages... and saying "It's not that hard." is insulting to all pro and semi-pro proofreaders who have acquired the necessary skills after all coding isn't that hard, just a few words, letters and numbers to make a program after all...

If you write it then you don't do more than rough proof it with spellchecks and read through but the result will not be good because, as the author, you know what is supposed to be there and your mind will gloss of over errors and see what you expect to see... proofreading is a skilled occupation and not a casual "well, I can read so I'll proof this" past time... this is self evident in the ever growing number of appallingly proofed books appearing from everybody ranging through big pubs to indies and one-offs.

And that isn't even covering editing the material which is a totally different job from proofing...
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by elcreative View Post
If you write it then you don't do more than rough proof it with spellchecks and read through but the result will not be good because, as the author, you know what is supposed to be there and your mind will gloss of over errors and see what you expect to see... proofreading is a skilled occupation and not a casual "well, I can read so I'll proof this" past time... this is self evident in the ever growing number of appallingly proofed books appearing from everybody ranging through big pubs to indies and one-offs.
Yes, let's not burden the poor authors with the rigorous demands placed on 4th graders.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:27 AM   #35
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Yes, let's not burden the poor authors with the rigorous demands placed on 4th graders.
elcreative is absolutely right - you really cannot proof-read or edit your own work. Your brain will automatically see what should be there, not what is there.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:27 PM   #36
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elcreative is absolutely right - you really cannot proof-read or edit your own work. Your brain will automatically see what should be there, not what is there.
Worse yet, it can’t see what ought to be there instead of what is.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #37
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I know when I've wrote things, I've often missed different mistakes, because when I reread it, I see it as how I intended it to be, and miss the error. Hand it off to someone else, they point it out, and only then do I realized I over looked it.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:48 PM   #38
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I produce hundreds of documents a year (legal documents, not books) that are proofread, edited, and then edited again (by a total of three people other than me; we have professional proofreaders, editors, and legal editors on staff). They find all kinds of things that I've read over because I already know what the document is supposed to say. Some things are typos, some things are consistency errors (within the document and when compared to other docs from the office), and somethings are whether the document really says what I think it says, with enough clarity and no ambiguity.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:06 PM   #39
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Yes, let's not burden the poor authors with the rigorous demands placed on 4th graders.
Editing is a bit more complex than that.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #40
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Editing is a bit more complex than that.
Editing is, in fact, the major part of the work a publisher does (other than marketing). According to Charlie Stross (who, being a professional author, would know), it's as much work, literally, as writing the book in the first place. Ebook production is a bit cheaper, but only a bit. Stross estimates ebooks should be, maybe, 10% cheaper than a paper book of the same thing. Yeah, really.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:39 PM   #41
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Yes, let's not burden the poor authors with the rigorous demands placed on 4th graders.
Wow... you really have a high opinion of yourself and your opinions... pity it's not justified, I mean you can't see the difference between a 4th Grade piece of work and a novel, textbook whatever... and grammar and correct spelling are no longer of the greatest importance in schools anyway - it's suppresses creativity according to the PC brigade...
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:22 PM   #42
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I would actually say editing takes more effort than writing it in the first place. It took me 4 months to write my first novel. It's been 3 years on and off editing it. It's also just a lot more fun to write.

Beyond that, I really think there needs to be a word processor that works directly with epub as its format. I find it much easier to spot mistakes by reading it on an e-reader, but it's a very big hassle to constantly convert it to an e-reader format every time you make corrections.

I was hoping Sigil would turn into something like this, but instead, seems to be heading in the opposite direction under the new maintainer, to become merely an epub tweaker...
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:10 PM   #43
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Wow... you really have a high opinion of yourself and your opinions... pity it's not justified, I mean you can't see the difference between a 4th Grade piece of work and a novel, textbook whatever... and grammar and correct spelling are no longer of the greatest importance in schools anyway - it's suppresses creativity according to the PC brigade...
If the schools you went to didn't require grammar and correct spelling I can see why you have this opinion. The ones I went to did.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:00 PM   #44
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I've been a professional writer for >20 years. I've published >30 books, and hundreds of whitepapers. In those 20+ years, I've learned to be a better writer, and one who is viewed by editors as an author who only requires a "light edit". And I'm proud of that reputation. BUT -- that is NOT the same as saying I don't need any edit, or that I can be my own editor. Wrong. I'd be lost without my editors. I've been blessed with some of the very best in the technical writing field, and I would never pretend that they weren't needed or that I could do their job.

Proofreading is yet again a different skill from writer or editor. And again, one that I would not attempt to pretend to do on my own work. I always read my "proofs" or "galleys" to try to catch mistakes, and I do sometimes find them. But the proorfreader always finds way more than I do.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:06 PM   #45
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If the schools you went to didn't require grammar and correct spelling I can see why you have this opinion. The ones I went to did.
4th grade grammar and correct spelling aren't what editors are for.
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