The Business of Editing: The Decline & Fall of Editing

An American Editor

For quite some time, I have been concerned about the decline of editing. Increasingly, few books are receiving anything more than cursory editing. Increasingly, the focus is on preparing a document for publication, for example, by applying styles to designate something as a head of second-level bulleted list, than on sentence structure, word choice, grammar, and other language (as opposed to structural) needs.

This is particularly evident in ebooks, especially self-published ebooks.

I have pondered this situation for months without coming up with a satisfactory explanation as to why the original, traditional goals of editing have been stealthily replaced and the lack of “uproar” from readers. Then came the 2016 U.S. elections and it dawned on me that authors and publishers are making this transition because the average reader either can’t separate fact from fiction or doesn’t care whether something is fact or fiction.

I have no plans to dwell…

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