Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cj

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The need for an editor and Facebook contests

ALERT, ALERT:  MysteryThrillerWeek launches interactive author visits tomorrow… contests, entertainment, special prizes are being given away daily Feb. 12 through Feb 22.

CONTESTS & ENTERTAINMENT. I’ll be there Feb. 15, 5-6p.m / Feb 18 6:30-7p.m. / Feb. 20 10-11a.m. Stop by to chat and enter your name for a drawing. On Facebook at

Also happening Feb. 15 (starting at 3 p.m. CST) is the Facebook marketing launch of THE POSSE
…I’ll be the featured author from 6-7, and we’ll be awarding special prizes there also. More info on my Facebook page on Thursday morning.

cj Sez:  Did you ever open a book, read a few chapters (or even a few lines), and then put it down because of errata, i.e.; those typos, misspellings, and factual errors that drive a pedantic like me up a wall. One or two will make me shake my head and pause; a lot of them will stop me in my tracks.

I used to find that indie books were the worst. They tended to be poorly edited if not poorly written. Now, I’m finding errors in books by established authors and big publishing houses who should know better. Perhaps it comes down to the time it takes to do a detailed copy edit vs. getting the book on the market.
The problem with self-published books is that they are so often done on a shoestring (cost-wise) that the author cannot afford to pay for a copy editor. Unfortunately, I’ve come across some who simply don’t want to go through the process.

Speaking from experience, self-edits and beta readers do not, will not, and cannot catch everything that a professional copy editor will. When I was gainfully employed, one of my report/column-writing rules was to get as many people as possible to read the document . . . the more eyes on it the better the end product. That wasn’t easy to do when I was on deadline, and my work wasn’t on the top of someone else’s to do list. But the effort was so worth it.

The same thing is true about an author’s manuscript. I, me, personally, want my manuscript to be the best I can make it. I read the document on the computer screen, and then I print a few pages. Because the text looks different when printed, I’ll find the missing comma, period, or quotation mark that was missed on numerous computer-screen read-throughs. Sometimes, I make a copy of the printed page. Copying changes the size of the font once again, and I will (too often) find another gremlin to correct. And if you find one in this post, let me know so I can moan and groan a bit.

My advice: Don’t presume that because you’ve typed “The End,” your manuscript is finished. It’s probably months away from being ready for publication. It needs fresh eyes. It’s a personal and financial consideration for each author, but please consider hiring a copy editor if you can afford it.

Caveat: Expect that if your manuscript is accepted by a publisher, their punctuation rules for how they want their publication to look may differ from your copy editor’s input, and there could be more changes to be made. Got any horror or triumphant stories to share? 
PS: I’ll talk more about the types of editors and what they do in a later post.

Author and attorney Susan Spann writes about The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”)—a U.S. law that contains a number of protections for content creators, Internet Service Providers, and the public. The part of the law most relevant to authors is the DMCA Takedown Notice. and she writes about it at  Definitely worthwhile reading.

Stop by Facebook for MysteryThrillerWeek and The Posse launch if you have a chance…and take a chance on winning a prize. 

In the meantime, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


Choosing Carter  -- Kindle Free on Kindle Unlimited  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle Free on Kindle Unlimited / Nook  / Kobo
Coming in mid-February 2017—“Bad Day at Round Rock” a short story in  The Posse, a Western anthology of tales of action, romance, myth and truth.   

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