I wrote previously on the subject of How I Wrote Perished. In that blog I covered how I was inspired and about Research. Today I take a deeper dive into how that book came to fruition.
I had the facts, and I was able to recreate the world prior to the Flood based on those facts. Plus, I talked referred to grammar and editing. Since grammar really comes under editing, I want to spend some time on Self-Editing versus a Professional Editor.
More on the other side of this break.
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Now back to the article.
There is little doubt that if you can afford it, having your book professionally edited is the best way to go. The problem is that few authors can afford professional editors. Here are some reasons why you would not use a professional editor:
Cost. This is the biggest reason. This is the professional editor’s business and he or she is not likely to give away their skills. Again, if you can afford one, then go ahead and look for editors that give good value for the buck.
Some editors, not all, insist that you abide by their rules and decisions. For instance, publishers, including self-publishers have editing departments. These involve a fee and, in my experience, require adherence to their decisions. I ran into this in my first book, and since I didn’t want them to say I couldn’t use the King James Bible or some other feature of my book, I chose to self-edit.
While the arguments against self-editing are valid, they are not absolute. It simply means you will have to work harder. It comes down to choice.
How hard is it?
I found it extremely hard. One of the arguments against self-editing is that the author is married to the work. The author is the author. Rather basic, but that means you may overlook errors.
For example, you may have used the word ‘there’ instead of ‘their’. Both are legitimate words, but have totally different meanings. You as the author will have the tendency to supply the correct word though the wrong word is used. We don’t like to admit that, but it is a blindness that we have to our own work.
That was a simplistic example, but it is one I have made more times that I care to admit.
How do you correct that?
The only way I know how to correct that is to really focus on the reading. Errors like the one above are not found by grammar checkers. It requires reading and understanding the context. So, I have to take my time and read the text slowly.
Another aid is the use of beta readers. They will spot your errors a lot easier than you and they are less expensive. Remember, when using Beta Readers or any other aide that this is your book. If you are an Indie Author, then you are taking responsibility for all aspects of writing of the book. It is your book and you have the final say.
But the key here is hard work. You are taking on a serious responsibility and that means focus, focus, and focus. And it will likely take multiple edits.
When I started out editing my own books, I soon learned how fallible I am. Whether I used readers or my own efforts, I still made mistakes. This taught me the value of multiple edits. And I might add, different types of edits.
Yes. I have reviewed my work looking for grammar mistakes. I have also reviewed my work looking for spelling errors. I make extensive use of Microsoft Word’s Spelling & Grammar checker. But when using such tools, it is always wise to remember the context. You don’t want your character to sound like an English professor unless the character is an English professor.
I want my characters to sound normal. So, I allow and purposely put in wrong grammar in a character’s spoken word (surrounded by “”) and their thoughts (which I use italics to indicate).
Are my books perfect? Doubtful. But neither are other authors. I have read masterpieces and I have always found errors. Few and far between, but there are errors.
Your goal is not perfection, but a book that is as error free as you can make it.
I have mentioned being an Indie Author. I will discuss this in greater detail in a future blog, but I am a fan of Indie Author, or more accurately, Indie Businessperson. There are pros and cons on the subject, but for me the pros outweigh any of the cons.
So, briefly, there are traditional authors, self-publishing authors, and Indie authors. A traditional author follows the traditional route: write the book, get an agent, and get a traditional publisher. This is still the choice of some authors, but there are some major obstacles which I won’t cover here.
Self-Publishing is a misnomer. The name attracted me, and my first book was self-published. But it is really more of a vanity press than anything else. It cost me $400 for the package and now the cost is double or more. It is, in my opinion, better than traditional publishing, but you the author still don’t have control.
The Indie Publisher is in control of the writing, editing, proofing, publishing, and marketing of the book. As the publisher you could hire out the marketing aspect if you want. The key is that you are the boss, and you are responsible.
The choice is yours. We publish a Guide to Writing which covers the basics in writing, publishing, and marketing. The link takes you to the bookstore.
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.
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T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.