Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Importance of Editing a Book


I have recently read that the ease of self-publishing has (obviously) resulted in more books out there to read – a good thing, but unfortunately in some cases the quality of these books is not what it should be – not such a good thing for readers. Whilst I would never want to put anyone off writing and getting their story out there, after all this is a great way of documenting our times for future generations, I’m sorry to say I have found a couple of disappointing examples.

Last weekend I took advantage of a small window of opportunity and downloaded Living the Languedoc Life and Love Living the Languedoc Life; , by Wendy Stredder for free on Amazon.co.uk (normal prices are £1.53 and £1.97).  I have an almost insatiable appetite for books on life in France, however in my opinion these books highlight the importance of getting a book edited before publishing it.  I spend quite a bit of time writing my blog posts, and while I am aware the grammar may not always be spot on, it is at the end of a day just a free to read blog.  If these books had been a blog I would have enjoyed them, as a free download I tolerated them, if I had paid I would have been disappointed.  Thankfully they were short books, or I would probably not have finished reading them.  I found them to be very rushed, flitting from event to event without stopping to catch a breath and where characters appeared without introductions.  This would be fine if they were for friends and family to read about your life in France, but is confusing if you are putting the story out for a wider audience.  There was also an excessive amount of exclamation marks, something I know I can be guilty of too, but not something I am used to reading in real books.

The second book ‘Love Living the Languedoc Life’ was a little better, but so much more could have been made of their wine-tasting walks, visits to local fêtes and rambles along the Canal du Midi.  It did however make me want to return to the lovely Languedoc, the ability to leave home and find vineyard walks in every direction, with friendly owners happy to refresh you is what dreams are made of.

This book did give me one epiphany moment though; if she can sell her books on her life in France on Amazon there is no reason why I couldn’t either.  I’ll catch you later; I’m off to write a book and maybe some time. 

The Canal du Midi