I am a single-minded editing freak. I can’t help myself. It’s an obsession. Also, it makes me happy.
So when I get emails from readers pointing out typos in my books, I take it personally. The fact that that typo got in there is my fault, one way or another. A friendly reader recently emailed highlighting a typo in THE SECRET POWER OF MIDDLE CHILDREN, and asked if there were other mistakes she should know about before she continued reading her expensive hardcover copy.
- the writer
- the agent
- often, but not always, a freelance editor
- the purchasing editor
- the line editor and/or copy editor
- the writer, at least twice again
I read each manuscript about ten times. I will catch an extra space, a repetitious word, the wrong bullet, that stray semi-colon. But, damn those tenacious suckers! Entire words in the wrong place. A date mixed up. Spelling mistakes are rare, but other errors slip through anyway.
When I am editing a client’s work, I mull over word choice for hours on end. Long after I’ve been paid, I still put in hour after hour, worrying about getting the bio just right, or polishing the flap copy, or tweaking the press release. I’m done; it’s not my book; my hours are up. Often I’ve already been paid. But this work is still a refection on me. I really want to get it right.
I can’t help it. I’m freaky that way.