We are publishers. We publish grand works of fiction. Or, rather, we try to. There are many steps involved in the publishing process. One of which is editing. Much like art, editing falls into that endless debate over form. Which is better? Digital editing, with neat little notes and pretend flags or slaughtering a small forest to mark it all up in red pen?
The answer: personal preference, really. Sometimes it is best to sacrifice that small forest because things are seen on the page that are not always seen on the screen especially after you’ve been staring at something for so long. However, there are bonuses to digital editing that are not limited to the reduction of contaminants into our atmosphere. Digital editing can be easier to read, can be run through any number of programs that help catch grammatical nuances or spelling mistake that a typical spell-checker might not and your eyes will, most certainly miss. Some programs will even read the piece out loud to you – something you can do yourself but, again, things sound different when you read them as opposed to having it read to you.
My personal preference is for traditional editing. I am able to catch more when I have the ability to step away from keys, take my printed document somewhere quiet and cozy, snuggle up and prepare for a duel with the words on the page. My red pen knows no mercy, slashing and cutting, questioning what needs to be changed or clarified. The part I hate the most is going back to keys to put all of the information from that battle back into a digital format that can be sent away to the writer for corrections. It did not used to be so. Red pens were the enemy and giant manila envelopes were sent away with insane postage once the battle was complete. Now we have email. Hooray for technology! Save the stamps!
Those that edit digitally are already a step ahead of the game on that one. They don’t have to input the data once the battle is won. The battle is fought at keys, with the clever use of notes and flags, or red-line mark-ups inside the virtual text.
Regardless of how it is done, the result is the same: writers in tears, questioning their lot in life over a bottle of their preferred liquor or soft drink, if that is their flavor). Eventually, though, there is rejoicing. There is cover art and formatting, and glorious, glorious sales!
Like the one we will be having for Smoke & Steam this coming weekend. In celebration of the Irish (or just in celebration of a widely recognized holiday), Smoke & Steam will be available for FREE from March 15 – March 19 . TO THE IRISH! TO STEAM! TO GREAT LITERATURE! Pick up your copy this weekend and don’t forget to leave those reviews – someone put a lot of work into those edits and words, let them know how you liked it!
Until next week, word nerds. Stay frosty and green.