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Jun 4 / King Kaufman

Don’t ignore the comments: Your readers are great editors

Your readers are great editors. But only if you listen to them.

Not every writer likes to jump into the comments and mix it up with readers. You’ve heard the advice about engaging with the community and encouraging debate, and if it’s not your style, it’s not your style. 

But look at the comments anyway. And don’t wait too long. If there are errors in your piece, your readers are likely to point them out in the comments. If you can easily fix a mistake, why let it linger in your story, especially when—just in case other readers missed it—your friend the commenter helpfully points it out?

It’s tempting to publish and walk away. Job well done! But give it a few minutes, then check the comments. Then give it an hour or so and check again. Then don’t be a stranger over the next few hours. There have been mistakes getting past editors and copy editors for as long as there have been editors and copy editors.

You have millions of potential copy editors. Don’t ignore them.