Friday, 4 October 2013

Get your filthy hands off my desert

Lots of the indie writer blogs and pages go on, at some length, about the need for an editor. Get an editor, get an editor, GET AN EDITOR!!

OK. But there are two sorts of editing. The first is the grammar police, the deep blue detail freak who makes sure that the apostrophes are appropriate, the commas in the right place, the spelling correct.
I hold up my hand and admit that Echo is full of typos. At some point I'll go back and republish a less embarrassing version. I'm hopeful that there are far fewer in Outcast.

Ian Rankin was on the radio a couple of weeks ago. He mentioned that, after submitting his latest book to the publisher, an editor came back and asked for changes. One of them involved a character being completely erased. He says that the editor makes his book better.

That might be true. It's well known that the original cut of Star Wars was a complete disaster at the screenings and it took some serious editing to make it the version that we know and love (or, at least I do). A film is always a team effort but a book is, usually, solo work. I would argue that, once an editor makes major changes, it stops being the author's work.

Would Echo and Outcast have been better books if I had got an editor (type 2). Possibly. Those of you that have read previous posts will know that I'm not creating the best book that I can. I'm writing the book I want to read. If you like my stuff, that's really great, but it's not about you, it's about me.

Would I sell more copies if it was a "better" book? Who cares? The income from Echo covered the costs of the cover art and paid for a couple of nice meals out for us both. I'm hopeful that Outcast will do the same.

It's just as well that I enjoy the day job.