Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Job #483: Proofreader

I got quite a few complaints about errors in some of the digital versions of my earlier books, as mentioned previously.  This was something we tried to put in the hands of professional proofreaders.  That didn't work.  It seems you really need to be the author (and in possession of a good memory as well as a clean hard copy* of the original manuscript) to catch all the errors and not fix things that weren't wrong.

So I'm doing it myself.  And this takes forever.  And because it takes forever I can't do it all at once, or the new book I'm supposed to be writing will never get finished.  I proofread the eBooks in the evenings, after my writing hours.

Not long ago, I did complete the review of Knaves’ Wager.  Eagle-eyed readers will notice that spelling has been Americanized (the attempt at British spelling was a policy of my first, hardcover, publisher), some less-than-felicitous word choices have been corrected, and the scene breaks have been returned.  The OCR errors have all, I trust, been fixed.  Since nobody's perfect, readers may still find an error here and there, but only the normal amount.

What they will not find is a new version of the book.  Even if I had the inclination to go back and rewrite a book I wrote several hundred years ago, I don't have time.  I was proud of what I wrote then; it's impossible to write the same kind of book now that I wrote at a different stage of my life; and I think most readers would rather have the original story.



*Had it been possible to transfer the originals to my hard drive, we wouldn't have had this problem in the first place.

5 comments:

Helena said...

You're right, people do prefer the original book so it's best not to change it if you can manage it!

mq, cb said...

Ah, that would explain the odd email that I got from Amazon asking me if I wanted to update my copy. Fab, I shall go ahead and do it then.

B Sutton said...

Amen, sister !! :-)

Pamela Hartshorne said...

Re-releasing old books seems like money for old rope until you start and realise just how much work is involved ... I had the same experience self publishing my vintage collection of Harlequins (as Jessica Hart). I completely agree about not trying to update a book that was right for its time. They're like historical novels in their own right. Besides, I for one am hanging out for the new Loretta Chase and would like you to get on with that!

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

As a former secretary, I can state that proofreading is very difficult. We've had several people check copy and still find a typo after seeing the finished product! You do tend to 'read' what you 'know' is there...