Kat Roedell – Guest Blogger
The Downfall of Instant Publishing
If you engage on the internet via social media, news outlets, or browsing websites you will see misspellings and grammatical errors galore. Instant publishing has its benefits, but if the writer is only reliant on spell check, the primary purpose of content – which is Communication – can be lost. For example, several of my friends recently have published books. In great excitement, and wishing to support them, I purchased my e-versions and downloaded them onto my kindle. Unfortunately, my articulate, intelligent friends each failed to hire an editor for their self-published books. Grammatical errors, syntax and construction issues abounded, and my desire to read those books left me.
Writing is much more than putting words into a sentence. Considerations like “Who is the audience?”, “What is the focal point?” and “How do I keep the reader engaged?” are all important – but the most critical question “Is my message clear?” is set to the wayside when an editor is not involved in the process.
The age of instant publishing has been a detriment to new and aspiring writers. We no longer have to jump through the hoops of learning the trade, we can self-publish at whim for minimal costs. Editing, has unfortunately suffered from cost cutting measures. Why pay an editor when we have spell check?
Proofreading is more than just identifying typos. A good editor will find missing words, the wrong word spelled correctly (to, too and two), and duplicate words (i.e., imagine was used 5 times in the last three paragraphs). A great editor will teach the writer excellent writing skills in construction, and word choices (connotations vs. accurate words), as well as ways to clarify communication and streamline the content.
So how do we fix this problem? Understand that even if the writer doesn’t see the typos, grammatical errors, and poor construction, according to CBS News in “Which generation is most annoyed by bad grammar?” published August 28, 2015 – at least 71% of people over 18 see the misspellings and grammatical errors in other people’s work. That’s a huge percentage of people to irritate with subpar fiction or non-fiction content. Consider the cost – to edit or not to edit, that is the question.