Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Who is responsible?

Who is ultimately responsible for the quality of writing that reaches the eyes of the reader?

First, traditional publishers don’t have the time or resources to copyedit or proofread books because of today’s publishing environment.

Second, many authors choose to self-publish or create digital books on various platforms.

Third, authors choose POD or companies like Lulu, Create space, Xlibris, Booklocker, and more publishing companies showing up daily.

Fourth, do publishers offer copy-editing as part of a publishing package?

Fifth, but not final, is the author.

As a reviewer who has reviewed over 100 books within a period of six years, I’ve seen what appears to be what I call quality writing becoming passé.

I have written blog articles about the trend of quality writing becoming obsolete; or has editing become outdated?

I have no explanation; I’ve noticed a trend in published books that makes me wonder if teachers still teach English in schools as it was when I was in school. In many books, I read for review, there are errors in grammar, punctuation, typos, and wrong word choices. I’ve also notice errors in punctuation consistency, and word usage.

Example: If the author uses the word, truck in a story, than car is used. It might be nice if the author would explain where the car came from. Am I the only one that finds this weird if the character arrived in one or the other in the story then they get in to a vehicle in the next paragraph that uses the other word? I’ve seen it.

I have noticed the use of old clichés, so old that they were old when I was young. What about taking a cliché situation and turning it around to make it new again. Authors are supposed to be creative.

What this all boils down to is, the author has the ultimate responsibility of the quality of the book that the reader purchases to read. If authors choose to publish a book, they need to obtain a copy and proofread it for any errors in the production and correct them before readers get to read the book.

Robert Medak
Published Freelance Writer, Editor, and Reviewer


  1. I know most traditional publishers do not edit any more, or very little. 4RV, however, does. In fact we've had authors complain because they don't want to revise anything they've written. They believe their words, warts and all, are perfect the way written.

    However, editing is a must for a manuscript to become the best it can be.

  2. My point exactly, Vivian.

    I see so many errors on the Web and in books it makes me wonder.

    I would like the authors to proofread a copy of their book and correct any errors before it reaches readers.

  3. Robert, I've noticed the same thing in books and even articles. It seems the world is spinning so fast it's causing a decline in some of the necessities. I've noticed this even in the business world - some of the younger business people and entrepreneurs don't get 'professionalism' and courtesy.


    1. It is sad, Karen, that it seems people don't care any more.

  4. Robert, loved your post and I wholeheartidly agree - the author is responsible for the final product. I appreciate the editing I get with 4RV and the other companies I'm with. I appreciate it because sometimes the little stuff gets by me, but come the final product, I do my best to go over the manuscript.

    I think in today's world, the majority of us want "instant gratitification" and in writing, if you want to put out a quality product you must have patience which is challenging to most because we're so used to having it now.

    I can tell you that the last 10 years in publishing has taught me patience, to take my time, and to be meticulous about my work.


    1. Thank you, StephB.

      I have been writing for years at work and for six professionally. I hold myself to high standards of quality.

      “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne

      Nathaniel wasn't kidding.