Support for Indie Authors discussion

87 views

Comments Showing 1-50 of 60 (60 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments I recently traded reviews with an author and got a rather lengthy and nasty review on Amazon about the editing of my book for my trouble. I was just curious if anyone had some good advice about editing? There is no way that I can afford the 800-1500 dollars for a professional editor. I have seen a program autocrit that is much cheaper about 150 dollars a year. Anyone have an experience with that?
Thanks for all your help it is greatly appreciated.
Lora


message 2: by Igzy (new)

Igzy Dewitt (IgzyDewitt) | 148 comments Set it aside and come back to edit it after a week or two so your mind has time to return to it fresh. You'll catch more errors that way.

Read it out loud to yourself. You'll catch more that way.

Find friends who are willing to read through it with a critical eye for you and give you notes. Be willing to ignore their advice when it's wrong. Finding a local writer's group that hold regular discussions and critique groups is a great way to get editors, beta readers, and general feedback. And you'll get to read their work as well! Meetup.com is a good place to start.

If you're starting from square one, Strunk & White are your friends for the very bare bones basics. Their book is titled "The Elements of Style." There are other good grammar and style guides out there, but S&W are the gold standard to me.

Good luck, have fun, keep writing,

Igzy.


message 3: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) Lora, ..."good advice about editing?"

It takes time and experience to become a good editor. I have time to take a new project first of June. We can negotiate rates, if you like, when I see the scope of the project and what needs to be done. I am eager to build my clinet base, so the rates will, be very reasonable. If you like, send me the first 20 pages of your book in Worddoc or PDF. I will edit it for free, and if you are satisfied, then we can talk.

Best regards, Morris


message 4: by Owen (last edited May 06, 2015 11:32AM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments I'm afraid I know nothing about about Autocrit. Anytime someone complains about editing, it always worth seeking a second (and third) opinion. Some reviewers praise our editing and a few condemn it (more of the former than the latter).

As far as typos go, it is generally easier to spot those in print than on-screen. (In fact, we use proof copies from CreateSpace for just this reason -- it faster, easier, and almost as cheap as printing out a whole novel ourselves.) As Igzy suggested, reading aloud does work, and reading to another person who reading along with you helps.

In additions to Strunk & White, the Chicago Manual of Style is what most editors live by. However, they can be hard to apply yourself.

Friends are a good resource, but consider their expertise in the area.

I think you also will find other resources browsing threads in this group. And don't get downhearted!

Edit: I took a look at that review. At least the reviewer gave some examples (and I understand that can cold comfort, in a case like this). But based on what I saw, don't let that review get to you too much. I'm not saying to blow it off completely either, but what I saw was all written in present tense. Present tense is the most difficult narrative style to employ (IMHO). It leads to comment like this: "In this paragraph, present, past, and subjunctive tenses are ..." Well, of course it does. I don't even know what a subjunctive tense is (despite decades of writing and editing), but speaking in present tense makes mixing tenses almost inevitable. The other comments in that review related to mostly punctuation issues, which are often contentious. Use of commas tends to be quite controversial -- we are assailed on all sides on the point. People spill blood over semi-colons.

So -- without looking any further at your book -- it's hard to unravel actual mistakes from "I don't like that" when a challenging narrative style is employed. (And as for usage, well yeah ... lay vs lie, let the bloodless pedants get up in arms about that.)

I'm afraid those thoughts may not be a great deal of help, but if you are willing to spend $150 on this -- this assumes the autocrit is not a satisfactory option -- you might find an editor who could help you with your questions, without doing a full line-by-line edit.


message 5: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Ereaders work really well for proofing too.


message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) I've mentioned this on several threads, but it bears repeating. Use a text to speech emulator and read along. You will catch typos, missing words, odd syntax, wrong words, etc.
Do this before beta reads and after for maximum effectiveness.


message 7: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments I found programs called autocrit and whitsmoke thinking about trying those out.


message 8: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments Owen wrote: "I'm afraid I know nothing about about Autocrit. Anytime someone complains about editing, it always worth seeking a second (and third) opinion. Some reviewers praise our editing and a few condemn it..."

Thank you this helped!


message 9: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments Owen wrote: "I'm afraid I know nothing about about Autocrit. Anytime someone complains about editing, it always worth seeking a second (and third) opinion. Some reviewers praise our editing and a few condemn it..."
Thanks for looking at the review I really appreciate your suggestions


message 10: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Lora, I see what Autocrit does, and it seems to be the same kind of thing as the Hemingway App, only the hemingway app is free. They do seem to give a more in depth analysis that Hemingway does, but if all you need is some basic help, it's great for basic edits.


message 11: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments I will try that thanks.


message 12: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments A.L. wrote: "Much like you I didn't have (still don't have) $1500 to pay and editor but what helped me a lot was using the tool Grammarly. I will admit, it does a lot of time doing that on your own but it help..."
Thanks I saw that one I think I am going to try it.


message 13: by Eve Marie (new)

Eve Marie (hhhell) | 1 comments Hi Lora,

I must agree with some of Owen's points. Programs like AutoCrit may be helpful, but I think that the best thing you can do for yourself is learn to self-edit. Purchasing a style book such as the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual or Strunk and White's Elements of Style is a great place to start. It won't be easy, but it's worth the effort. Then, find an affordable editor. There are many editors advertising on GoodReads whose services won't cost you over seven or eight hundred dollars, myself included. Editing the manuscript on your own beforehand will further reduce these costs.

Cheers,
Eve


message 14: by A.E. (new)

A.E. Hellstorm (aehellstorm) | 196 comments Honestly, what kind of a reviewer tries to humiliate the author like this? Note, I haven't read the review, but if it had been me, if I react on something in a book that I've swapped with another author, I'd contact him/her privately and suggest that he/she might want to take a look at what it is that doesn't work. A review should not be about grammar, but about the content - imho anyway.

I've been using an editing program that worked quite well: pro-writing aid, but I also paid a friend of mine who happens to also be an editor, to take a look at it. The price was very agreeable and it worked out well (at least as far as I can tell for now).

Hm, the thought just struck me that maybe people in this group who are good at catching grammar errors and such would be interested in checking the basics for a smaller sum? A new thread maybe?


message 15: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Strunk and White's The Elements of Style is an easy read. I read it years ago and it helped immensely. I edit my own, and apparently do a creditable job.


message 16: by Nick (new)

Nick Marsden (nepharid) | 12 comments My first novel was published without an editor. I looked at that book over and over until my eyes bled and I felt like throwing up in my mouth (hey! I didn't want to get my keyboard dirty).

A week after I published, my friends started telling my what I had missed. I missed a name change that I had made half way through the rewrite process (I used find/replace, I swear)! I missed numerous typos, the kind spell checkers can't catch.

I'm sure there are still mistakes on that book. I finally got an editor on my 3rd book after a repeat performance for my second. I didn't think I could afford an editor either.

However, what I did was find an editor that accepted payments. 800-1000 bucks broken down into 150-200 bucks a month was a lot more affordable. Freelance editors need the work and are willing to compromise on price most of the time. The good ones won't do it for cheap, but they will work with your budget. At worst, the publication date for your book may be pushed back a month or two if the editor demands full payment before allowing you to use the edits (they can hold copyright for the edits if they want), but I find that delaying the book is probably better than rushing out an unfinished product (Yeah, I know that from experience).


message 17: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments thanks for all the advice guys


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Lora wrote: "I recently traded reviews with an author and got a rather lengthy and nasty review on Amazon about the editing of my book for my trouble. I was just curious if anyone had some good advice about edi..."

Hey Lora! I'm currently giving out a promotion for books to be edited for free. It will help my portfolio and getting experience under my belt. If you are interested, I have some spots open for a manuscript (half a manuscript) to be edited for free! If you're interested, go ahead and take a look at my website: https://editorash.wordpress.com/

My rates page has all the information.


message 19: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments Ashlee wrote: "Lora wrote: "I recently traded reviews with an author and got a rather lengthy and nasty review on Amazon about the editing of my book for my trouble. I was just curious if anyone had some good adv..."

I looked at your website. I sent you an email.
Thanks


message 20: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments A.E. wrote: "Honestly, what kind of a reviewer tries to humiliate the author like this?..."

I haven't read the review to see if that was what they were trying to do. But...this points out one of the reasons it is a very bad idea to do review swaps.

I won't do them. And even if I did, and I thought the work had serious issues, I'd send my critique to the author, not just post it (even if that was the deal agreed to: free copy in return for honest review).

But, Lora did you have anyone read it before publishing? It is absolutely imperative that you have someone other than yourself look at it before pressing the old publish button. And not just family members, friends, and acquaintances who don't want to hurt your feelings by telling you there are issues.

People have already advocated for finding beta readers. The value of them will be only as good as the quality of reader you find, and how well you communicate exactly what you want them to do.

Another excellent method is to use an online writer's workshop like critters.org. I don't know about other places, but critters will require a significant commitment on your part. It's free, but you have to critique other people's work, and keep doing so for some time, in order to qualify to have your work added to the critique queue.

However, the advantage is that everyone there is there for the same reason: to review people's work and give honest, non-public, hardcore critiques. The quality of critique you get will vary, but they will typically be far more useful than beta readers or random reviewers.

And, you won't be able to submit your entire novel at once. You'll have to do it piecemeal, which means maintaining your commitment to critiquing other people's work. So, yeah, time and effort, but ultimately worth it.


message 21: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments All that said, I don't believe people when they say that hiring an editor is an absolute must. If you've got the cash, then by all means. But we don't. We're poor starving indies.

What irks me about the "it's required that you have an editor" echo chamber is that you don't hear the same thing when it comes to paintings, sculpture, or even music. Artists often seek the opinion of other artists, but their work doesn't get re-done afterward. And musicians who have money or record contracts will have producers to help "edit" their recordings...but still in the music industry it's kind of a badge of honor to be self-produced, and a LOT of acts nowadays do everything themselves.

So why the stigma with writers?

Well...OK...I know why probably: we simply are not taught to self-edit. And a lot of the indie works I've looked at have serious needs (which often go beyond simple line editing or proofreading).

Moral of the story is, we've either got to pony up the cash, or dig in and really learn to do it ourselves. With a little help from the community.


message 22: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Which brings up an interesting question...Do universities actually teach editing?

I don't remember any courses being available in it when I was in school. All the English Lit and writing classes I had required you to do your own. Screw up and your GPA would go down.


message 23: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments I agree. I don't think we need editors. I think we need to work harder, and revise, revise, revise, revise. And then revise some more. And then edit and proof.


message 24: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments A healthy dose of self-doubt and mistrust goes a long way, I find.


message 25: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments I did Edit and reedit and had two people read and edit it before I published. I have a masters in psychology work as a therapist and we never had any editing courses. I think it's just learning and as you said maybe finding a writing course


message 26: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments I did Edit and reedit and had two people read and edit it before I published. I have a masters in psychology work as a therapist and we never had any editing courses. I think it's just learning and as you said maybe finding a writing course


message 27: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Micah wrote: "A healthy dose of self-doubt and mistrust goes a long way, I find."

Some obsession doesn't hurt either.


message 28: by HKelleyB (new)

HKelleyB (hkelleyb-editor) | 31 comments Micah wrote: "Which brings up an interesting question...Do universities actually teach editing?

I don't remember any courses being available in it when I was in school. All the English Lit and writing classes I..."


Micah: Yes, universities do teach editing. I completed an editing program at NYU last year! Great program with professors who work at the Big publishing firms in NYC, so I got firsthand accounts of how the industry works.


message 29: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments Helen did you take it as part of a degree program or by itself? Do you know if it's offered online?


message 30: by HKelleyB (new)

HKelleyB (hkelleyb-editor) | 31 comments Lora wrote: "Helen did you take it as part of a degree program or by itself? Do you know if it's offered online?"

Lora: It was part of a program. NYU does not offer many online courses, but there are some online editing programs at UC Berkeley Extension and UC San Diego Extension.

I'm sure there are others, but those are the two I have heard good things about.


message 31: by Lora (new)

Lora Edwards (loraedwards) | 28 comments Thanks I will check them out


message 32: by Nick (new)

Nick Marsden (nepharid) | 12 comments Editing is a "must" for a quality book. You don't have to pay for it, but you do have to have someone who knows spelling, grammar and basic story structure read your book from cover to cover with an eye for detail.

Why?

I already gave my personal example about a dozen posts up, but the gist is that no matter how much you know about editing, you will never find every mistake, and you will miss a lot of obvious ones. This is because the words on the page came out of your head and are still there as you imagined them. Your perception is skewed because of expectation and your mind will fill in mistakes for you, causing you not to really see them.

No, you don't have to have an editor. You can publish your book without editing at all. You can publish a book that you wrote by pounding your fists on your keyboard for 2 months straight. But if you want to publish a quality book, you have to have eyes other than your own look carefully at the text and provide corrections. In other words, you need an editor.


message 33: by Ben (new)

Ben Wise | 4 comments If there's one thing I've learnt, it's that if you send your book out to ten different people, they'll all find ten completely different sets of errors.

The people above have pretty much covered off all to be said about getting editing. It is always worth learning as much as you can because even if somebody else is doing the editing the story is yours and it should say what you want it to. But don't judge yourself too harshly, if my first paragraph is anything to go by, 9 out of 10 errors won't get noticed by most people

If you are looking at software though, I use Smart Edit. It's not the fully featured software you're looking for (nor will you find it), but I find it great for a first pass style check.


message 34: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments All good stuff.


message 35: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Ben wrote: "If there's one thing I've learnt, it's that if you send your book out to ten different people, they'll all find ten completely different sets of errors."

The same thing happens with reviewers, and if you get that dreaded sloppy editing review, consider this. These are verbatim quotes from two reviews of one of our books:

Reviewer 1: "I noticed very few typos (3 minor ones) in the entire story. That's less in most book I read that come out of the large publishing houses. Additionally the typos where so minor they did not knock me out of the story. If I hadn't been looking for them I may not have noticed them at all."

Reviewer 2: "Second, and really most frustrating, was the incredibly poor copy editing. Don't get me wrong, the value for money here was excellent (I paid $0.99). However, the typos throughout the book made for annoying distractions from an otherwise really interesting tale."

Now, we know there are more typos than the first reviewer noticed and we also know that the second reviewer has uncommon standards if s/he thinks the copy editing is "incredibly poor." And we also know that Reviewer 2 was a bit peeved by another element of the story, while Reviewer 1 really liked it and wrote a long, glowing review.

The point here is that how well your book is edited can be in the eye of the reader. One person's "great" can be another person's "incredibly poor". And no editor or team of editors at any price will ever correct every "error" in a book. This is impossible because a many "errors" are simply matters of opinion, and if a reviewer has a mind (or is ignorant) they'll say so.

So yes, editing is important (and that book of ours does need a better edit) but it is also a tradeoff, and you will never get it "right". So take pride in your work and get the best editing you can. But don't stress about perfection or the reviewers who demand it.


message 36: by Micah (last edited May 10, 2015 07:55AM) (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Owen wrote: " And no editor or team of editors at any price will ever correct every "error" in a book. This is impossible because a many "errors" are simply matters of opinion, and if a reviewer has a mind (or is ignorant) they'll say so..."

Also, many, many errors happen post-editing. Once your manuscript is "perfected" it then goes into formatting (for print and/or eBook). Every single time anything is done to a manuscript, errors can be introduced. Yes, there should be proofreading post-formatting...but what if you find errors? Answer: they need to be corrected, which is in itself an edit to the manuscript and can introduce other errors.

At some point you have to publish.

@Owen...If I were Reviewer #1 I wouldn't even have mentioned editing. I don't feel compelled to do so on a trad published book unless there are egregious errors like I found in the first book of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy (the eBook edition on Amazon). It had really unforgivable errors in it. Missing words, badly spliced edits, and most notably using the wrong character name for a full page. Those weren't Asimov's problems, those were errors introduced by others way after Asimov completed his manuscript.

When people talk about editing, I think they pay too much attention to typos and punctuation errors. The thing most SPAs fail on, though--the ones that stop me from reading their work--is weak, awkward, and ambiguous sentences. These are things a good editor should pounce on, but which most beta readers will not elaborate on because A) they likely don't have the skill to articulate what's wrong, B) they don't want to take the effort to elaborate on because it's too much like work!, or C) they don't want to disappoint the author by sounding over critical.


message 37: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) When I was learning to write and submit stories I also had to learn editing, spelling, and grammar in order to get my short stories published. That's all part of being a writer; if you can't do it, you need to stop and learn how before you publish. Most of those who tell you that you need to get your work edited by a professional will be—you guessed it!—editors trying to sell you editing services. Proofreading is the same: you can do it if you just take the time. You can pay someone to do it all for you, but you're not likely to make back the expense in sales, and, in the end, just who wrote that book anyway? A committee?


message 38: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Quoleena wrote: "Punctuation errors and typos can be an annoyance if they're laced throughout the..."

Agreed. No book can be typo-free, but if the errors are frequent enough to be annoying, then the author failed to finish the job before hitting "publish."


message 39: by Owen (last edited May 10, 2015 08:57AM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Micah wrote: "Also, many, many errors happen post-editing. Once your manuscript is "perfected" it then goes into formatting (for print and/or eBook). Every single time anything is done to a manuscript, errors can be introduced..."

Yep, that is the biggest reason why no manuscript is ever perfect: the proofreader fixing one thing fat-fingers something else.

As for mentioning editing, neither would I, but when we first published 2 years ago, it was fairly common for reviewers to comment favorably on the standard of editing in our first book (8 out 30 reviews did, all in the first year). I suppose, at the time, indie authors were seen as doing shoddy work, so a decently edited indie-published book was worthy of comment. Things may have changed since then, although I still see a lot of reviews comments negatively on editing. (Reviewer #1 was ~18 months ago; Reviewer #2 was last week.)

Quoleena: Yes, but especially when it comes to punctuation, people will never agree. And (for example) Americans and Brits seem to have differing idea on things. We get grief over commas regularly (too many, too few). So certainly authors should exercise due diligence, but my point (and I believe Micah's) is that some people just like to harp on typos and punctuation "errors" (which may not be errors at all), especially when it comes to indie authors. It's not productive to give these people undue weight.


message 40: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "When I was learning to write and submit stories I also had to learn editing, spelling, and grammar in order to get my short stories published. That's all part of being a writer; if you can't do it..."

Or marry a woman that's a grammar nazi, and just focus on the story while she focuses on making it sound intelligible. That's what I did!


message 41: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Riley wrote: "Ken wrote: "When I was learning to write and submit stories I also had to learn editing, spelling, and grammar in order to get my short stories published. That's all part of being a writer; if you..."

I just had to recite my old-timer mantra: back in the day, I had to walk ten miles to school in a blizzard...


message 42: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Ken wrote: "Riley wrote: "Ken wrote: "When I was learning to write and submit stories I also had to learn editing, spelling, and grammar in order to get my short stories published. That's all part of being a ..."

When I was your age, I had to walk across the room to change the television channel!


message 43: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Okay folks, I'm going to step in here and remind you that each and every one of us lives in a glass house.

Yes, editing is important. No, it is not necessarily something that needs to be done by a "pro" editor. Yes, many typos can be distracting to *some* readers and not others. No, none of our books are perfect.

Keep that last line in mind. I don't need a reviewer to tell me there are mistakes in all of my books because no matter how many times I reread and reupload after correcting errors, more show up. As I mentioned seven hundred eighty five times before, using a robotic voiced text to speech program has been more effective than any number of eyes I've had looking at my books, but I'm not going to trust that using this method has fixed every issue.

What I am trying to say is that we can give advice and pointers to each other regarding our methods, but when we start using words like 'need' and 'must' or tear down others for the simple mistakes that are going to slip by in every published body of work including this post, we are no longer being constructive, just critical.


message 44: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Ken wrote: I just had to recite my old-timer mantra: back in the day, I had to walk ten miles to school in a blizzard...

Would it help matters if I told you I don't think I'd be an author if it wasn't for these new fangled compooters I see everyone on. I just had to get one so I could write.


message 45: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Riley wrote: "Would it help matters if I told you I don't think I'd be an author if it wasn't for these new fangled compooters I see everyone on. I just had to get one so I could write...."

Computers and ebooks are the only reason I'm still an author. Was a real hassle sending stuff by mail and waiting months for a response.


message 46: by Diana (new)

Diana Rising (dianaruthr) Lora wrote: "I recently traded reviews with an author and got a rather lengthy and nasty review on Amazon about the editing of my book for my trouble. I was just curious if anyone had some good advice about edi..."

I'm confused by the bad review? Was it a beta version she/he reviewed? It seems like she should have given you feedback and let you finish the book before reviewing for the public to read.


message 47: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
Lora: Two things.

1. Personally I think that if you are going to review swap with someone, set it up so that you each get to read the review before it gets posted. They are completely entitled to their opinion of course, but should realize that this can hurt your sales and should have at the very least talked to you about it first.

2. I really like your cover. You did a great job with it!


message 48: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
I will Double Jump into this conversation.

I really do think that editing is a must. Poor quality control is one of the main complaints that people seem to have with Indie Books, (flaming pits, even with published books) so we must all strive to not be offenders of this.

I really value my beta-readers, one of them read my book three times for me in various stages. They all found so many errors it made my head spin. I had about 10 people beta read it.

I have read my book so many times that even my own impressive jokes hardly make me laugh anymore! I have read it out loud, I have read it to others, I have not had a computer read it to me (Thank you Cristina I will do that, it is a great idea!), and I have done it all again multiple times!

Do you need to pay for editing services? Certainly not... here is the kicker to my story though.

I was getting ready to submit to traditional publishers. The sites all said that it must be professionally edited, and as this was my first book and I was an unknown I thought long and hard about it. Eventually, I bit the bullet because I thought it was the law or something and I couldn't try without doing that. (Even though I needed to take out a loan so that I could do it) I hired a professional editor.

They found so many mistakes that I had never noticed - no one had ever noticed. It wasn't just mistakes though, it was 1000s of little things.
- Paragraphs came back completely rearranged to improve the overall flow.
- Things were moved onto completely different pages, chapters even, to improve the overall flow of the story.
- A suggestion for a small cut away chapter was added to help remind the readers of an important character that was neglected and returning soon.
- Sentences were blitzed, rewritten, and improved.
- Jokes were critiqued, complimented, or better material advised.
- My ridiculous rules were immediately picked up on, and 50 or so things that should have been Bold, italics, capitals, or otherwise were corrected.
- Little things were doubled checked. (I was told I had miscounted the number of... uh... sexy minotaurs... :# in one scene)
- Facts were referenced, little things were inserted about 'It would be a good idea to this here', or 'foreshadow this', it went on and on!
- They gave me a two page summary of my story, what they really liked about it, what could change, what made it fun, what was clunky.

It was a sea of red and comments. I read all the advice many times. In the end I followed all of it. None of my Beta reads could have done such a fine job, and I love them all dearly, but even the author ones or the one with a masters in literature are not editors.

Then I re-read it. That was the first time that I read it and I thought to myself 'This really has a shot of getting published'!

So do you need to pay for editing? No. A thousand times no.
Was I incredibly happy I did pay for it? Yes. A thousand times yes.

I love my story now even more. Real editing took my work to a new level. I know much more now, and I can follow advise that I learned preemptively in future works. Maybe eventually I can avoid it altogether after I have learned it all, but even then...

That is my 2 Gold Pieces at least!


message 49: by Diana (new)

Diana Rising (dianaruthr) I do technical writing and I want to throw a couple more pennies in. When I read my work, I can't help reading what I meant to say, unless I read my document backwards, sentence by sentence. Or wait a week or two before rereading. What I mean is, it is really hard to edit your own work well.

But, getting people who love you to edit/proofread can come up against them not wanting to hurt your feelings, or maybe they remember what you said before about the story.

The idea of having it read out loud by the computer is great, and I'm going to do that with my next document.

The idea of beta readers giving feedback is also great. Try to find beta readers with different perspectives, though. People who are not just fans, but also will catch things like stuff that might come out wrong. I've read romances where the lady was strongly coerced by the man (to the point of seeming like date rape to me), but I don't think the author intended it that way in those stories. Someone pointing stuff out like that might give you a fresh look at your book.

While true copyediting is going to be a huge help, it is expensive and takes time, so I can see you might need to skip that, but CB posted really clearly on the benefits.


message 50: by Christi (new)

Christi Smit (ChristiSmit) | 45 comments CB wrote: "I will Double Jump into this conversation.

I really do think that editing is a must. Poor quality control is one of the main complaints that people seem to have with Indie Books, (flaming pits, ev..."


I would be curious to know who you used to edit your work. Maybe refer us to a professional editor we can trust that edited your work? And how much did you pay for his/her services?

Reason I ask is because I am going to be in the market for a seriously good editor soon, and I realized I would need to break open the piggy bank for the best. Any help or referrals would be appreciated.


« previous 1
back to top