Why You Need a Copy-editor

Lately I have been reading a lot of crime thrillers. The e-book versions are reasonably priced and I’m reading so many of them that I don’t remember them for long afterwards. It’s a bit like watching an episode of Law and Order or F.B.I. Why bother to remember them unless they are really unique and make a big impression?

Unfortunately, many of the books I’ve encountered as I go through my crime spree of reading, have elicited groans of disgust and frustration from me as I read what might have been a good book, but for the grammatical errors and word usage mistakes.

I won’t even mention lay and lie.

The most original, yet horrifying, error I have seen in a long time was used in a sentence that talked about what the elite do at a public gathering while “the sheeple snap pictures.” I did a double take on that one. “Wha-a-a-a-at?!” I had to read that  over again. “The sheeple snap pictures.” This author needs a copy-editor for sure.

I can’t remember if it was the same author or another one who called one FBI agent by different names throughout the book. Let’s say the agent’s name was Brad Benton. On one page he would be referred to as Agent Brad, and on another he would be Agent Benton, and so it alternated all the way through. All the other agents in the book had only one name each throughout.

Now for an expression that had me growling as I read. Two different characters in this book were described as having intelligent eyes. Can anyone tell me how an eye can have intelligence? I suppose all the other characters in the book had stupid eyes. Not only is it impossible for eyes to be intelligent, but this miraculous phenomenon took place at least six times in the book, once a mere two pages apart.

Puhleeze! Get yourself a copy-editor, unless you want to achieve fame for all the wrong reasons.




10 thoughts on “Why You Need a Copy-editor

  1. I just recently reviewed my copy of Just Before Sunrise and was appalled at how many errors I found. To think that I had it professionally copyedited and had read, re-read and re-read it so many times. Hopefully, I was able to correct the errors and repost it on Amazon. And hopefully, I managed to catch all the errors.
    Yes, a GOOD copy editor is a must!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right, Carol. Not all copy-editors are the same. You need to shop around until you get someone you trust to do a good job. Everyone can make a mistake, but if there are a lot of errors, that’s not good. The good thing about e-books is that you can upload edited versions, but you hope that no one has picked up early copies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Even if no one else catches the slip, I feel heat creep to the tips of my ears when rereading something I posted but didn’t catch the small but important errors. A tool like ProWritingAid helps, but it’s far from perfect. Thanks for this timely reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know the feeling, and I agree about ProWritingAid, but it is really only a help as you’re writing your first draft. To have a perfect (or as near to perfect as possible) edit, you need a human. Thanks for your visit to my blog, Grant.


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