As you may have gathered, I am in the middle of editing and prepping a manuscript for self-publishing sometime this fall//winter. I’m sure you authors and writers out there will be able to commiserate with me on the whole “editing” thing. I love editing. It’s part of what I do for my Maiedae job, but editing your own work is, well, hard. It is hard to tear something you love apart and put it back together again in the neatest and most dynamic possible way. It is hard to see every error you’ve made in your writing, because you look at it with “parent-eyes”. Your writings are your babies, after all! It’s hard to fix mistakes you’ve made when they’re not obvious. That’s why having an external editor for your work is such a valuable thing. However, for most of us newbies out there, editing can be more expensive than we can reasonably afford.
So, what are we to do? We edit the darn thing ourselves. OVER and OVER and OVER again. You have your spouse or significant other look at it for you. You have trusted friends and family read over it to give you their suggestions or notes. It takes a whole lot longer than the traditional route, but the results can be just as good, IF you are willing to put in the time, effort, grammar//language//structural//developmental research required, and you’re willing to rip apart your baby yourself, knowing that in the end, your book will be better for it. I once read on Amanda Hocking’s blog that it doesn’t matter how often you’ve edited or how much, “you didn’t edit enough.” I second that. I am now on my third or fourth edit of my 100,000+ word manuscript and I am STILL catching stupid punctuation errors or grammatical confusions.
It is hugely frustrating, but it is also rewarding once you’ve got an entire page “perfect” (in your mind.) My advice to you today, if you’re like me and cannot yet afford an editor, is to take everything a day at a time. Take breaks from your editing (for at least a week) in order to give yourself “fresh eyes”. But then get right back to it. Again. And Again. Until you’ve got it to the point where friends and family cannot notice anything amiss no matter how hard they try. Such is the plight of the poor self-publishers. But, in the end, you’ll be better for it and so will your book. 🙂
I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday! Thanks for stopping by! Got any other editing tips for our readers? I’d love to read them in the comments!