As writers, we know the importance of having a good editor AND a good proofreader. A structural editor can take a good book and make it great by simply pointing out how to strengthen the story or the flow of the story. A proofreader helps save us from the dangers of relying on spellcheck. The latter has been proven once again in the book, Fire and Fury, published by Henry Holt & Co.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to know about Bannon’s “pubic” appearance. Of course, that should have been “public appearance”. But that’s not the only instance of it happening.
Yep, you read that right. Bannon has “pubic venom” as well as a “pubic appearance”. Want to check it out yourself, you can click on the link above and get the Kindle version of the book or simply go to google books and look it up.
Add to that the factual errors that were missed — for example, the book is being called out for saying John Boehner resigned some several years before he really did — and there are a couple of conclusions that are easy to make. Holt either didn’t send the book through editing and proofing because it wanted to get it out ASAP or Wolff, the author, discarded all suggested edits and someone let him get away with it. Either way, it proves one thing: it doesn’t matter whether a book is traditionally published or indie published, editing must happen on all levels to put out the best product possible.
So the lesson to be learned is NOT to rely on spellcheck. Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, check your facts. Failure to do so will taint your book and any message it might contain. If it is bad enough, you might find your book, like this one, being leaked to the world by Wikileaks. 😉
Seriously, spellcheck is great for some things but it doesn’t make distinctions between a correctly spelled word being used in a wrong way and the correct word in context. Hence, “pubic” skipped right through the editors at Holt. That means you have to put eyes on your manuscript after edits have been done to make sure nothing has slipped past. If you don’t do it, have someone do it for you. It’s important.
However, don’t be surprised if something is still missed. It happens. Just hope it’s not quite as “WTF” as we saw above.