self-publishing · writing

Editing Is More than Spell-Checking And Grammar…

I’ve read a lot of posts, blogs, gossip and advice on various social media sites and there is a lot of second guessing about what an editor really does by those who are just starting out in the world of self-publishing.

It’s something I’ve been reasearching for a while now, seeing as I want to be taken seriously as a writer, but also want my work to be the best it can be. This is by no means an easy thing to accomplish as editing services can range from suspiciously cheap to heart-attack inducingly expensive. I’ve managed to filter out what I would consider cons, like the sites that don’t have an active website, there are just the editing prices, but no testimonials, no references, nothing but pay us now and we’ll basically take your money and leave you stranded without a life preserver…! There is an editor I am considering at the moment for my novella, Vastian Lore, and I’m hoping we will be able to work together and produce a really amazing, well polished story that readers will enjoy.

Back to the whole business of editing and what it really means for your work. Well, there are several different processes when it comes to editing. You, as the writer, can edit your final draft and try to weed out all those pesky little spelling mistakes, but an editor is much more than that. At least a decent editor is anyway. So, there is Line Editing, which is basically where the story is checked for tone, style, and consistency. The manuscript is literally gone through line by line, hence the title. This included checking for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. There is also Copy Editing, this is where the manuscript is checked for formatting and accuracy of text. Basically, this is to check that the text is, clear, correct, concise, comprehensible, and consistent. Many editors also offer advice on narrative, or plotholes, whether the dialogue is lagging etc. A good editor works with the writer/author in order to produce a story that is readable and works as a whole.

Obviously, such a service doesn’t come cheap. Often the case with self-published/indie writers there is a whole lot of paying out before anything, if anything, comes back financially. There are covers, editing, ARC’s and whether or not you decide to purchase promotional material, such as, business cards. This doesn’t include all the work that goes into social media, showcasing yourself as likeable person that folks want to follow and read about, and maybe, just maybe they might purchase some of your work, but that isn’t guaranteed. Admin is also an issue when choosing the self-published route, but I suspect it is also more of an issue with traditional publishing that most would like to admit. Personally, I have a website to run, a monthly newsletter, two FB pages (one being my author page), a Twitter, WordPress, two blogs, and also my published short on Amazon to keep keep an eye on. I’m also a part of The Scriptorium, which is a joint project between myself and several other writers. It’s a lot of work with very little returns, except reviews and comments from readers, the interaction between myself and fellow writers, and the determination and love I have for my writing.

Writing won’t make me rich overnight, heck it might never bring me much in the way of money, but I love doing what I’m doing. I get to do something I really enjoy every single day! That’s nothing to be sniffed at by any means. I get excited by every sale because I’m hoping that somewhere, someone is reading my story and, fingers-crossed, they are liking what they read. I hope they want the next installment and are looking forward to the next project just as I am. That is all I ask, and dream of.

A snippet of gossip…I’m currently having a stab at a secret project that involves a short story and potential to get critique from a bonefied author…Someone I admire. I’ll keep everyone updated on how that goes…

Thanks for reading!! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Editing Is More than Spell-Checking And Grammar…

  1. I find editing my work to be the toughest part of the writing process. But, it is also the most rewarding. I find if you force yourself to work within a word limit, it helps to trim back unnecessary words, sentences… etc… Good luck with your writing endeavors!

    1. Editing is the toughest part of writing because creativity has to make way for practicality and they’re often like oil on water, but I generally do quite a bit of cutting, such as, removing fillers, like uneccessary words, repetitions etc. It’s certainly not been easy, but after ten years of striving to improve, I think I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel! 😀

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