I have written before that debut indie authors should be wary of the mantra that they must pay a lot of money for editors or they will ruin their career. In reality, the only difference between the traditional world of publishing and digital indie publishing is that in the latter case, the buck really does stop with the author. Or to put it another way, the edits stop with the author. At some stage, a decision has to be made that while some typos might persist, it is time to publish and be damned by the typo hunters. With an indie published author, especially one only producing eBooks, the buck and the editing stops when they say so. In the traditional world of publishing, the buck and editing stops at the publisher's behest.
I will shortly publish a follow-up to this article on the horror that can be the traditional publishing world's attempt at eBook publication, but now I want to focus on the print world, and probably the most famous editorial nightmare in the history of literature, The Lord of the Rings. There is a very telling opening sentence to the "Note on the 50th Anniversary Edition" that reveals just how bad the traditional world of publishing can be. "In this edition of
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