Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Indie Publishing Secrets Revealed- #20 Editing

Indie Publishing Secrets Revealed- #20 Editing

Okay, time for confessions on EDITING. Boring right?

After reading my story, you'll think twice.

I don't like to edit. I think it's a drag.

If you are an indie author, you will probably be tempted to skip the professional editing part of publishing. Why? Because it can be expensive and who has $300-$1000 bucks to give out? Right?  And besides, every book you've ever read has errors in it. Yes, I know. Even the big six published books have errors. Yep.

You also are probably thinking that so many people have gone over your manuscript, there is no way there could be many errors. You have a critique group, beta readers, friends who edit and all of them have read your book. You've done your due diligence.

That's what I thought.

From the inception of my book to its publication, it took a little over 4 years. That is a long time for someone who doesn't have a very long attention span....

When I started writing Watched, I knew nothing about writing a novel. That being said, I did win a lot of awards for my writing in college. I should've taken the hint back then. Instead, it took me years of teaching awesome teenagers and a dream to kick my butt in gear. I was top of my class in all my English courses, too.

I did all the right things. I went to writer's conferences, joined a few critique groups and edited my manuscript like crazy. I had a lot of beta-readers read it and took a lot of their advice. I edited and edited.  So many people had looked at my manuscript and heck, I'd looked at a milllion times. How could there possibly be any errors?

Truth be told. I think something happens to an author's eyes when they look at their work for the millionth time. At least for me, I couldn't see anything wrong with it anymore. Maybe it had something to do with being in the middle of writing the sequel...who knows. My eyes could no longer detect any errors. 

 It was ready. Finally. I was ecstatic and impatient.

I set my release date with Barnes and Noble and started spreading the word.

On June 6th, 2011, I gave birth to my baby, right there in Barnes and Noble. I was so proud.

At the end of June, a couple of my cute friends pointed out a few silly punctuation errors. I quickly fixed them for the ebook version and made the changes for the print version. The next printing would be perfect, I told myself. I love my friends.

Then, in August, another awesome friend of mine that has an affinity for English, helped me do an in-depth edit of Watched. 

Wait, you're saying. I thought it was already released. Yep. It was. 1500 strong..and that's just the print books...

She was amazing. You will not believe how many errors she found in my perfectly critiqued and edited book. Yikes. She found missing quotations, missing commas, missspellings, words that should have been capitalized, incorrect punctuation and other general awkwardness.

Don't let this happen with your book.

After several plot/content edits, when you think your book is perfect, have someone line edit it. Make the changes and have someone else line edit it, just to be safe.(I guess twice is over-kill if you hire a professional...)

What was I thinking? I wasn't.

So, my book has been out now for three months and I finally have a polished book. I can't tell you how good that feels. Don't leave it to chance. Do it right the first time. Then you won't be like me, wishing you could give all 1500 of those people a new polished book.

Maybe when I'm rich and famous.  :)



Donna K. Weaver said...

I absolutely know I need someone to line edit mine. I can't NOT make changes every time I read through it. As a result I end up with extra words here, too few words there, an unfinished sentence hanging at the end of a paragraph.

I hate editing, too, but I've discovered that's where my writing really takes place. And like you, this first WIP has been my learning project.

Paul Tobin said...

I agree, editing is essential and when you have written and rewritten a novel you do not see what is on the page but what you think is on the page. I am blessed with a sister-in-law who does this for me. I am very lucky.

Renae W. Mackley said...

I'm revising right now so I appreciate the advice and especially the encouragement to go through it a few more times before others do. Love these posts, BTW.