I published this little confession on my own blog (https://deborahjayauthor.com/) last week, and it garnered so many interesting points of view, I thought I’d bring it over here too…
Since I joined the Indie publishing scene back in 2013, I have read SO many times the
advice, nay, instruction, ‘thou shalt not publish without having your work professionally edited/proof read/beta read’.
But I have a guilty secret…
I don’t use editors or proof readers.
Gasp! Isn’t my work trash?
Well, apparently not, if my reviews are to be believed. Here is a snippet from a recent review, from an Amazon Vine Reviewer, no less:
“This is a good, entertaining read with lots of originality. And THANK YOU to the author for the lack of errors and grammar that mar so many books these days!”
Okay, I admit to working with a writer’s group. They get to see my first draft and pick up on any obvious procedural errors (like the 36 hour day I once managed to write in), and suggest ways of strengthening the plot.
Then I finish the novel and have 2, or at most 3 beta readers. Only if they all say the same thing about any part of the book do I make any changes.
And after carrying this guilty secret with me for years now, I was hugely relieved to read this post from well known author Dean Wesley Smith:
This makes me feel SO much better about my writing. It’s how I began, how I’ve continued, and how I intend to continue.
I DO think editors etc. are an excellent idea for writers at an early stage of their careers, when they still have much to learn, but I’ve been doing this job professionally (writing non-fiction for magazines and books) for decades, and while I’m always learning more, I have a fair bit of confidence in my own ability to tell a tale, and tell it in reasonable English. If I break a grammar rule, I (probably) meant to!
How about you writers? Is there anyone else out there who shares my guilty secret. I know a small handful of other. Are there any more?