There is a lot that goes into writing an e-book than just typing words on to a document and sending it to a publisher. I was naive in thinking I already knew this. I was naive in thinking only one or two revisions would be okay. I researched many blogs and other e-books to see if it was worth it. I thought, sure why not? Once again, my journey continues and here are some of my growing pains I have endured so far in the editing process
Editors and Proofreaders… you get what you pay for
I am new to the game and thought I could save a dollar or two here and there. Many of the e-books and blogs say it is easy to find free ways to save on certain areas of your self-published book. All of the blogs and books request some type of editor/proofreader for authors. It is nearly impossible for a writer to be objective about their own work. Most of their friends or family will not be up front.
I looked online and found that many editors/proofreaders were a lot more money than I anticipated. I found one that gave a free sample for the first 1000 words. I decided to take advantage of this freebie. It took two weeks to get the sample back but it was worth it. I cannot afford to use this editor at this time but I plan on working with this company in the future.
The company I decided to go with is very cheap. I felt good using them because they had a package deal. I should have known better. I will remember from now on, package deals usually mean “a jack of all trades is a master of none.” The company hyphenated high school. They crossed out a comma and wrote ‘although’ then ‘and’ back to back in a sentence. It was obvious they were not taking much care in my work. I only skimmed through a few pages of the changes and e-mailed the company back requesting a refund or a new editor.
I could not afford the editing company that I preferred, but I was able to get useful information from the sample. They helped me a lot. Once I implemented their suggestions throughout the manuscript, I took an idea from another blog and use Grammarly in my work. I was happy I did. I found many mistakes I did not see earlier.
One blogger warns of too many reading your work until it is ready, but you need input, find trusted individuals to help out after you completed the story. The third draft is when my cousin read my manuscript. I agree with not letting too many readers see the story. I also agree not to let others read your story until you have an ending. I let someone read one of my stories and there were questions that would be answered once the ending was written. Too many criticisms that I was not sure because of the ending or the work.
I was lucky, my cousin is honest and straightforward. After a bit of coaxing and specific questions, she gave me real ideas on where I needed some work. Here are some examples in case you need to pull the truth out of your ‘revision readers’:
- Where is the story lacking focus?
- Is there any place in the story you were confused?
- Did you see any areas I could take out or add details?
- (If you have ideas on a title) What do you think about these titles? A, B, or C do you have another title that might be more effective?
These questions may not be perfect but I received a lot of feedback from my cousin. She and I were able to discuss many issues I had I did not realize. Be open and honest, take the criticism and don’t try to explain the story. The readers that buy your book will not have that option once it is out for all to buy. (This last sentence I learned from a blog, It is common sense, but I needed to read it in order for it to sink in.)