I was asked why, as an editor, I would give away software that replaces my services. The simple truth is that it doesn’t. Smart Edit is a wonderful tool but it can never replace the personal attention to detail and instinct of a good editor. It’s strength lies in the fact that it’s a good pre-edit checking tool that prepares your document by removing the gumph that your editor would have to sift through before doing the ‘real work.’
As an editor, I use it as a post first-round edit to check myself. Yes, editors are human too. Smart Edit analyses the document to pick up repetition, cliches, misused words…a whole bunch of really basic stuff that, as a writer, we should eliminate in a pre-edit check before submitting a document. I then use this to verify that I haven’t missed anything. But it’s a computer as opposed to a living person and will never replace the subtleties that a good editor can bring to the process.
There are times, for example, where a particular phrase or sentence may break grammatical rules or fall into the ‘bad’ category. Smart Edit would simply apply the rule. That’s written into the software and so it responds accordingly. You editor, on the other hand, can override this if they feel in that particular place/circumstance/situation/dialogue it’s effective and powerful, all other rules notwithstanding. Your computer, no matter how good the software (and Smart Edit is excellent) can never do that for you.
So no, I’m not shooting myself in the foot by giving away free licenses to Smart Edit. In fact, helping authors run pre-edit checks is to everyone’s benefit, including your editor. Many manuscripts cross my screen, and many of them are literally riddled with the common errors – repeating ‘favourite’ words, for example, or using the incorrect word form (peak instead of peek) – that should have been eliminated in a pre-edit check. This is part of the writing process and reveals your commitment to and pride in your work, as well as aiding the full edit process by removing much of the ‘error clutter’ that wastes so much time.
To find out more: http://www.smart-edit.com/