Why Did the Editor Miss Errors in Your Book?

What is the price of perfection? When you pay for professional editing, shouldn’t you be assured that your book will be error-free? Accuracy rates for professional editors today are quite high. Yet language and the art of writing don’t lend themselves to a strictly formulaic approach, and reader-reported errors and fumbles that creep in during revisions don’t necessarily point to poor editing. Here’s how to strike a balance between unreasonable expections and professional standards.

Is demanding perfection realistic?

Editing is as much an art as it is a science. Even so, most professions work within accepted accuracy rates, and editing is no different. A 95 percent accuracy rate makes a respectable benchmark for editing, according to several experts cited in a well-documented discussion of editorial error rates. That sounds like a reasonable benchmark to me—and for many books, it might be.

But what about your book? Should you expect to find 5 percent of the errors left in? To gain some perspective, consider the heavy line edit I did last year for a first-time author on a book that started out at well over 150,000 words. The edit generated 33,310 revisions.


This is a fantastic article written by fiction editor Lisa Poisso. She echos in a succinct way, my feelings exactly.

She touches on:

  • industry standards
  • basic types of edits
  • how to reduce errors after an edit
  • how different editors work
  • how “keeping costs down” might affect efficiency 

To read the entire article, click HERE.

And Happy Editing 🙂

Categories: Editing

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. This is good, common-sense information. I will remember to use these suggestions.

    Liked by 1 person

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