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Dallionz
August 11th, 2014, 01:48 AM
I self-published my first book and intend to do so with the following books as well.

With my first book, a good friend who is also an editor went through it with a fine-toothed comb and did an amazing job. She caught so many things that I never saw and neither did any of the other readers who edited it for content and story consistency. She did this out of the goodness of her heart, though, and has a full plate. She can't edit future work.

I value in-depth editing and while I am very careful with my work, there is no way I can catch everything.

So for those of you who publish, what do you do about editing? Do you just submit chapters to a critique group and hope the combination of that and checking it over yourself is enough? Does anyone else get nervous about submitting to a critique group for fear of part of it being taken?

I seriously can't afford to hire an editor right now. I don't think I'll be making much until at least I have a few books under my belt.

Words of wisdom and thoughts about what you do would be appreciated.

InstituteMan
August 11th, 2014, 02:15 AM
I am hoping someone has a good answer here. I think I can find beta readers, but actual editing is a different thing entirely. I am not quite to that point yet, and I might even be able/willing to pay, but finding that editor is something I am beginning to fret over.

Sam
August 11th, 2014, 02:15 AM
Years of editing for a variety of e-zines has given me the ability and confidence to do my own editing. I only seek the services of beta readers or critique groups for advice on all things related to the story and not those of SPaG.

With enough practice, you can learn to edit your own work to a high standard. You can catch everything. A few years ago, one of my novels was accepted for traditional publishing. The publisher hired their own editor to go through the manuscript. She never found a single SPaG error. In fact, she commented that that had only happened on two other occasions in her editorial career.

Practice makes perfect, and all that jazz.

Dave Watson
August 11th, 2014, 02:25 AM
I'm a bit OCD about SPaG. Can't bring myself to write more than a few lines before going back over it and checking for mistakes. It seems to work, as I've also been complimented on the cleanliness of my scribbles, though I've still not got 5/5 in any of the LM challenges for my flawless spelling and punctuation!

bookmasta
August 11th, 2014, 05:45 AM
I've learned a lot about the process of editing by feedback I've received from those who have been gracious enough to beta read for me. That in of itself is invaluable and the above are right, practice makes perfect.

Dallionz
August 11th, 2014, 05:45 PM
Thank you for all of your thoughts and advice!

I used to edit some e-zines and I am very meticulous. I also think that, having had my first novel edited, it has given me even more to watch out for - things I hadn't even thought about. I would love to get to the point where I can edit it myself and then have some beta editors/readers catch anything that might be left. I'm just so OCD about it I don't want to publish it with any mistakes. Of course I know I'm human. But still, the fewer mistakes the better!

So at what point do you all send your work out to beta readers/editors? I figure I'll write the whole thing, go back and edit it, then send it out at that point. Hopefully all major SPaG stuff is fixed and only story inconsistencies or little things here and there are left.

Schrody
August 11th, 2014, 07:14 PM
It's easy for you to say, English is not my native language ;) I'll need an editor.

Dallionz
August 11th, 2014, 07:42 PM
It's easy for you to say, English is not my native language ;) I'll need an editor.

Understandable! If it were any language but English, I would be the same way. And I still might need one anyway LOL

Schrody
August 11th, 2014, 07:46 PM
Understandable! If it were any language but English, I would be the same way. And I still might need one anyway LOL

There are a lot of freelance editors in the sea :D

EDIT: I didn't mean it it's easy for you, I was referring to all of you ;)

Dallionz
August 11th, 2014, 08:27 PM
There are a lot of freelance editors in the sea :D

EDIT: I didn't mean it it's easy for you, I was referring to all of you ;)

Oh and I knew what you meant! ;-)

Yes that's true about the editors. Just not sure when I can get to the point where I could pay one! they deserve to be paid, but doesn't mean I can afford it lol

Schrody
August 11th, 2014, 09:13 PM
As I saw, you can get an editor for a $10 on freelance sites, depends on what you're looking for. Only thing, I don't know is it worth it, what's the quality?

I agree, every person needs to be paid for the job, but some people obviously decided to go under the price so they can attract clients ;)

Dallionz
August 11th, 2014, 11:57 PM
As I saw, you can get an editor for a $10 on freelance sites, depends on what you're looking for. Only thing, I don't know is it worth it, what's the quality?

I agree, every person needs to be paid for the job, but some people obviously decided to go under the price so they can attract clients ;)

Interesting, I may have to check into that. I agree, though. What is the quality? I've edited work before and it takes hours, especially if it's a novel. $10.00 almost isn't worth charging. Maybe that's just to weed out the people who aren't wanting serious critique?

Schrody
August 12th, 2014, 12:28 AM
Maybe. The way I realized it; You post a job, e.g. you need an editor, and you write your price, e.g. $10. Truth is, people will soon start bidding, everyone saying they will do it for lower price than the previous bidder. I've even seen some people offering doing jobs for free just so they could be selected and can put it in their portfolio. But then again, there are sites where the price is fixed/depends on what you're looking for, so I think that's much fair. If you don't like former, avoid sites like Freelance, and if you like the latter, Fiverr looks good ;)

Dallionz
August 12th, 2014, 12:45 AM
Thanks for the suggestions!

And good point about a portfolio. I did a lot of photography work and did some for very cheap or free in order to build my portfolio. I hadn't even thought of that!

Schrody
August 12th, 2014, 01:08 AM
You're welcome! While I don't have that much experience with those sites, I wouldn't pick the cheapest one (if it's biding for jobs), maybe find some middle/center between the price and quality? :)

Dallionz
August 12th, 2014, 01:12 AM
Probably a good idea! And if they have any kind of references or not, too. Even if just one or two where they've done work before.

Schrody
August 12th, 2014, 01:16 AM
That too. Maybe ask what's their editing experience; is it a degree, a large number of editing projects, or number of years spent in the editing...

denmark423
May 6th, 2015, 07:00 AM
I hope that you can publish more books. Good luck!

krishan
May 6th, 2015, 10:29 PM
There are many people on Fiverr (https://www.fiverr.com) doing good work for - to be honest - far too little money. If you want a decent editor but are on a tight budget that's probably a good starting point. Find someone with a good reputation, and hire them to edit a small sample of your work before committing to working with them on the entire manuscript. I would avoid any site where freelancers are asked to bid for jobs, as this tends to lead to people working for pitiful compensation, or even working for free in order to build up a reputation.

I've had several of my stories edited, and each time have found the experience invaluable. As well as catching typos and SPAG errors I missed, the editors helped me strengthen and develop my work in a way that I couldn't have done on my own.

denmark423
June 3rd, 2015, 10:00 AM
Just try to contact book publisher that can help you more.

Gavrushka
June 3rd, 2015, 10:07 AM
I think the biggest problem many people have with editing their own words is they read what should be there rather than what is physically written. - I do a hell of a lot of beta reading, and pick up so many mistakes that I wouldn't have in my own writing! Distance helps for me. - Although I edit yesterday's words before I start writing, I find it easier to do further edits a few weeks after I'm finished the first draft, as the story is no longer quite so familiar.

Try beta reading for others, and you'll find your eye will be better focussed when you return to your own words.

Patience, practice and tenacity will improve your edits. I wish you well. :)

David Gordon Burke
June 3rd, 2015, 05:57 PM
Sadly the Indie Author game is turning out to be similar to Race Car driving. The more money you have, the faster car you can buy.
Similarly, if you have a ton of cash on hand you can hire a top-notch editor and cover designer and go in for a huge marketing campaign with numerous of the
promo-blogs and twitter twits etc.
Don´t have the cash, don´t have the confidence in the services and in the end, if a reader is so thrown off by an occasional (hopefully very occasional) typo, then I feel sorry for them. Yes, the level of competition is EXTREME in this field and the bottom feeders have put it into everyone´s mind that a book must be perfect.

Case in point. I did a Review exchange with an author who contacted me because he read my review of ´All the Pretty Horses´ by Cormac McCarthy on Amazon.
His book was much in the style of Mr. McCarthey´s ..... with one major difference. While the material was in a similar style and of similar theme, period, genre .... his grammar and prose was perfect. Read something by Cormac McCarthy (one of my fave writers by the way) He burned the ¨Elements of Style´ Threw the damn book out the window. And then went on to desecrate it point by point in his work.

So what is one man´s grammar mistake is another man´s style. So be it.

The book that I was to review? Boring to the point of suicide. Just bloody terrible. Missed the entire point of the genre completely. No one wants to read about the flora and fauna of Texas. They want Comanche Indians ravaging small towns and Texas Rangers riding off to seek revenge. They want gunfights and fast draw heroes. It was like reading the yellow pages.

Yet this author went on to write a semi-acceptable review of my book but pointed out (both in the review and in a private letter to me) that I had made such and such errors in my book.

One that he mentioned was the use of Me instead of I etc. Well, if he had taken the time to notice, I only mixed up the I´s and Me´s in the dialogue sections. Seeing as I was writing about Mexican people yet I was writting in English, I decided to add in a few of the common mistakes that are made when Mexicans speak the language. Getting their pronouns mixed up is a common mistake. Obviously this went over the author´s head.

The moral of the story is a. Use and editor if you can afford one. b. Learn to edit well yourself if you can. c. there are always going to be nit-pickers and haters and detractors and university educated know-it-alls that will pick you apart. To the devil with them I say.

Read some reviews on Amazon. An amazing novel will have so many bad reviews. Read the reviews for ´The Life of Pi´ (what was it they called the Movie adapation? The one about the kid in the boat with the Tiger) If you can imagine writing a better novel than that .....???? Well, I wish you all the luck in that endeavor.

How about Marley and Me? A great book .... maybe not amazing prose but well written straight forward journalistic prose with a good story that MASSIVELY connects with the audience. Incredible number of negative reviews from people who are at odds with Mr. Grogan´s treatment of the dog. My god people, lighten up (This mostly from Dog Whisperer minions .... I hate that guy)

So be yourself. Tell a good story. I for one won´t be nagging you to death if there is an odd extra ´a´ or a mispelled word.

Let the detractors pound sand.

David Gordon Burke

David Gordon Burke
June 3rd, 2015, 06:50 PM
university educated know-it-alls



Not to imply that there is anything wrong with a university education. It´s a great thing as long as one doesn´t give up his free will, sign on the dotted line of ´this is the only way to think and conform to one and only one way of thinking / seeing the world. I´ve met too many grads that have.

David Gordon Burke

Sam
June 3rd, 2015, 07:49 PM
Not to imply that there is anything wrong with a university education. It´s a great thing as long as one doesn´t give up his free will, sign on the dotted line of ´this is the only way to think and conform to one and only one way of thinking / seeing the world. I´ve met too many grads that have.

David Gordon Burke

I have encountered grads who went into university believing there was only one to think and/or see the world, and grads who came out of it knowing that were dozens, but your point is no less valid.

By the way: Plato never said anything of the sort. That's an Internet meme.

denmark423
July 1st, 2015, 08:30 AM
There are a lot of editing tips and tutorials that will surely help you. It maybe longer but if you can't afford to hire someone, I guess self-editing would be your last option.

scrub puller
July 1st, 2015, 11:42 AM
Yair . . .

For what its worth . . . .

For editing I believe you need a portrait mode monitor or a wide screen that will display A4 at about 125% . . . you need to be able to edit a page without scrolling.

After the piece is "polished" I then start at the last line and read the whole manuscript backwards line by line.

It is amazing the stuff you pick up that slipped through a conventional read and edit.

It can take weeks but, if you are confident about the form, pacing and structure of the tale, it sure saves on paying for a line edit.

I might add that such methods have not resulted in publication but I do have an agent.

Cheers.

Terry D
July 1st, 2015, 02:38 PM
Should I ever decide to self-publish again, I will hire an editor (maybe two). I am an adequate grammarian, but, like everyone, I have idiosyncrasies that infiltrate my writing which I will never identify on my own. Professionalism is what separates books that sell from those which do not. A book with basic grammar, and structural errors reads like an amateur wrote it.

Sam
July 1st, 2015, 04:19 PM
Are you saying that not hiring an editor is unprofessional, Terry?

I've edited hundreds of pieces during my time as editor and chief editor on three different e-zines; I've edited articles and papers for college students who paid for the service; I've even edited novellas for my creative-writing students. And while I agree that you cannot pick up everything, that holds true for most professional editors as well.

At this stage, and with the experience I've had editing, if I'm not qualified to edit my own work, I don't know who is.

Terry D
July 1st, 2015, 04:31 PM
Are you saying that not hiring an editor is unprofessional, Terry?

I've edited hundreds of pieces during my time as editor and chief editor on three different e-zines; I've edited articles and papers for college students who paid for the service; I've even edited novellas for my creative-writing students. And while I agree that you cannot pick up everything, that holds true for most professional editors as well.

At this stage, and with the experience I've had editing, if I'm not qualified to edit my own work, I don't know who is.

Not at all, Sam. I'm just saying that I don't think most writers have that skill set. I know I don't. I can do a decent job of self-editing, but not a professional one. I'm sure there are some who can, but, for most of us, 'good enough' shouldn't be good enough. One of the advantages of trade publishing is the editing, layout, and cover design specialists they can offer. A self published writer needs to understand that those are difficult tasks to undertake, particularly if you don't have the experience. The alternative is to develop those skills oneself, or to hire them out. While I'm always looking to improve my self-editing skills, I understand my limitations.

David Gordon Burke
July 1st, 2015, 05:01 PM
Sadly, the public is just dying for your Indie book to suck. I doubt there is anyone here on the forum who has not found a typo in a traditionally published novel or book. Yet they still manage to make the bestseller list due to the author´s brand name.

Reading along we just skip. Ignore. Next. Most of us don´t have a huge problem with it.
But there are the GrammarNazis out there who just love to tear apart a novel in an Amazon Review due to an extra coma or some inconsequential grammatical infraction. And sadly, not all of them have a clue what they are talking about. So any review, whether the reviewer knows what he´s talking about or not, could affect your sales.

Just saying. Imagine spending big bucks for an editor and then some backwoods deliverance high school drop out slags your book and sales tank.

I had sales drop on my series of English books for Spanish speakers due to bad reviews from Spaniards that didn´t like my Mexican dialect.
Poop happens.

David Gordon Burke

Terry D
July 1st, 2015, 05:34 PM
Sadly, the public is just dying for your Indie book to suck. I doubt there is anyone here on the forum who has not found a typo in a traditionally published novel or book. Yet they still manage to make the bestseller list due to the author´s brand name.

Reading along we just skip. Ignore. Next. Most of us don´t have a huge problem with it.
But there are the GrammarNazis out there who just love to tear apart a novel in an Amazon Review due to an extra coma or some inconsequential grammatical infraction. And sadly, not all of them have a clue what they are talking about. So any review, whether the reviewer knows what he´s talking about or not, could affect your sales.

Just saying. Imagine spending big bucks for an editor and then some backwoods deliverance high school drop out slags your book and sales tank.

I had sales drop on my series of English books for Spanish speakers due to bad reviews from Spaniards that didn´t like my Mexican dialect.
Poop happens.

David Gordon Burke

Most self-edited books on Amazon have more than one or two errors. And you don't have to be a 'grammar Nazi' to be put off by poor editing. Yes, many readers may read over the flaws and keep reading, but the mistakes will have a cumulative effect. Bad editing just adds to the stereotype of self-published work being junk.

One or two grammar nazi reviews are not going to tank your sales. Consistently bad reviews will, and if reviews are consistently bad the author better be looking at his work rather than complaining about the reviews.

David Gordon Burke
July 2nd, 2015, 01:59 AM
And you don't have to be a 'grammar Nazi' to be put off by poor editing.

I might have been a bit clearer. Yes, I have read a few Indie books that were rife with grammatical and punctuation errors. But for the most part the Indie work I have read has been at least on par with the Traditionally published stuff. Of course, I gave up on reading the majority of paperback fiction years ago. Largely due to the same dull storytelling that I have found in Indie work. And I have found tons of ´Typos´ (for lack of a more derrogatory term) in both.

Of course there is a faction that considers grammar to be an objective issue. It must be a certain way .... period.
Much like modern art. If you throw paint over your shoulder yet have a degree from a fine university, it is visionary and gifted.
If your name is Bubba and you do the same with the illusion that it is art, you are an idiot.

88468847

So which of these works of art is a multimillion dollar masterpiece by a master? Which would you want hanging in your living room?
I prefer to see writing in the same way. Subjectively. Who is going to tell Cormac McCarthy that his grammar and punctuation is wrong? (which by English Lit standards it is)

I adore the idealistic faith that so many people have here. I keep coming back for a fill up on an almost daily basis. Sadly, the glass is broken.

As for your statement ¨One or two grammar nazi reviews are not going to tank your sales¨ you did read how I mentioned that my sales in Spain absolutely died after a few reviews that complained about my Mexican dialect? I wasn´t exagerating or lying. What was 10 sales a month have dropped to 1 or 2. Whether that applies to the fiction world is anyone´s guess.

David Gordon Burke
PS. The Flowers portrait was done by an Elephant. I kid you not. The other abstract shite is by Jason Pollock. Worth millions.

denmark423
July 15th, 2015, 06:25 AM
Doing it your way maybe the only option if you have no such budget after finishing writing your first book.

RJ_Parnell
July 19th, 2015, 01:57 PM
I struggled with how to approach editing on my first novel. I didn't have a lot of money to commit to it, so I shopped around and got a feel for what was out there. Ultimately, I decided to go with a grant writer who had offered her editing services. I was worried about how it would go since I wasn't dealing with a traditional editor, but it turned out very well in my opinion, and was considerably less expensive than most of the professional editing services that I came across. I'm certainly no expert on the subject of editing or editors, but this is what worked for me.