How important is editing? Anyone who wonders should take a look at a recent review in the Smokey Mountain News of Waynesville, North Carolina.
Gary Carden reviewed a recently published memoir Appalachian Roots written by David Waldrop and Michael Revere. Says Carden, “Appalachian Roots captures the essential facts in two very different (but equally daunting) journeys to adulthood in Appalachia.”
After examining the books strengths, Carden shifts gears with a question, “Does Appalachian Roots have problems? Yes it does…it could have used some serious editing and revision.”
He finds three problems that editing could have avoided.
- The book needs a preface. “There’s no attempt to define this book’s purpose.”
- “There’s also a lot of repetition.”
- On the other hand, the book is sometimes short of descriptive details. It “…does not tell the reader enough about the book’s most provocative episodes…”
A good job of editing could have avoided all three. Unfortunately developmental or content editing is a step often skipped on the path to publication. Self-publishing authors find someone to proof read their manuscript and send it off to the printer. Publishers save money by going straight to copy editing and proof reading. In either case the author never has the opportunity to have a conversation with an editor who can help him improve the way he tells his story. When an author works with a content editor he can expect help on how to make sure his meaning is clear. His editor will advise him as on which repetitions can be cut to improve narrative flow and where more detail is needed to improve the story.
As you prepare your book make sure you get a good edit from a qualified content editor. You will avoid the kinds of problems which marred Appalachian Roots. Your readers will thank you for it.
Click here to read the full review of Appalachian Roots