Archives for 19 April 2012

Reject yourself! (Mark Twain on quality control)

There are at least two schools of thought about editing and revision in self-publishing.

One (exemplified, perhaps, by Dean Wesley Smith) says that you should write as much content as you can and publish it as soon as it’s done. This results, I suspect, from taking Heinlein’s Rules far too seriously. Folks, they’re not the Gospel according to St. Robert; they’re one man’s opinion, and a very unusual man he was. ‘You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order’ is fatal advice for a self-published writer, because, in the nature of things, that editorial order will never come. (It did Heinlein great harm, too, in his later years, when his editors stopped trying to argue with him.)

The second school of thought, which I have seen well expressed by Joel Friedlander, is that you ought to take every bit as much care with editing and revision as if you were a conscientious publisher printing someone else’s work. [Read more…]