Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tip O'Day #365 - Accept Only the Best

Guest blogger Robert Medak asks whether quality writing has become outdated? (Appeared in his blog on March 16, 2012 – repeated with permission.)

Recently I’ve read posts about quality writing in today’s publishing environment. Another point mentioned is the greed of publishers for the lower quality writing published today. Is the problem self-publishing, vanity publishing, or print on demand (POD)?

The ones I blame are writers and readers. I will tell you why.

I’ve reviewed over 100 books from various publishers, mostly Outskirts, Lulu, Xlibris, and personal publishing by authors. This is because publishing houses can’t handle the amount of books submitted, including manuscripts that are not what publishing house print.

Now on to the books I’ve read, many of which break some fundamental rules of grammar, punctuation, spelling and word choice. There are two quotes by Mark Twain that bring this home for everything I write, they are, “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.” And also, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." These two quotes speak volumes to me as a writer, as they should every writer.

It’s my position, no matter what, that writers should always write their best to get the words down, then edit the work or have someone they trust edit it for them, be they professional or not. Only with honest feedback can writers improve. Writers need to write to improve their art as Mary Heaton Vorse said, “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”

Readers should never accept less than excellent writing from authors.

There might be a problem created in the printing or formatting of the book or eBook. It is up to the author to look at a finished copy of their book and ask for any errors corrected before it is ready for public consumption.

Learn more about Robert (a freelance writer/editor/reviewer) on his writing blog.

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