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.
- 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 🙂