Tag Archives: editing

Thoughts on Editing for Self Published Authors

Within my writer’s group, we discuss methods of editing for self-published authors. This is a challenge for those wishing to keep costs low, but there are a few things I can offer to help in the process:

Understand the different types of editing. Not all editors are the same.

Learn how to edit. You must remember, as a writing, words, sentences, paragraphs, storylines, character development…all are considered your craft. If you don’t’ know it- learn it. With the Internet, you can find plenty of resources to master the craft of writing, so take some courses, write, write some more, read, read some more, and understand that the process can take a while, but worth it.

bettereditor.org

freelanceconfidence.com/50-free-online-writing-courses

Use programs. Although programs are stupid, you can still catch some errors, misspellings, and punctuation issues. It won’t catch homonyms. For instance, conscious or conscience sound similar but used in sentences to mean different things. But programs can help catch things like finding passive voice, weak verbs, punctuation, and other elements of crafting a story.

www.paperrater.com

textalyser.net

www.autocrit.com

Find an editor you can afford. I would suggest looking at colleges for English Majors who want more practice with editing, or check sites like Fiverr.com to hire someone to look at your manuscript. Other options include asking other self-published authors if they found an editor, and check how much for cost and is it worth it?

Fiverr.com

Writers Beware!

Warning signs you’re being scammed.

TheCreativePenn list of editors (check reviews and costs)

If you have any suggestions or have your own experiences you’d like to share, please post in comments.

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My Writing Process

My process-

Ideas pop into my head, to which I must race to find pen/paper, my computer, my smart phone to quickly jot it down before it fades into oblivion.

Can’t find a pen. Wow, my office needs cleaned. It’ll take only a bit of time to sort it out, and I need a break anyway. Finds a pen. Finds more pens. Finds a neat metallic gel pen, doodles. Story tugs at my brain. Yep, back to writing.

Writes for a while, finding frustration my fingers type too fast and so many many mistakes I have to work through before the next sentence. Types slower. Writes for a bit longer.

Hands ache. Time for a break. I get something to eat, watch YouTube. Learn some neat hacks I want to do.  Saves the video rather than try hack because I don’t want to get distracted. Realizes I’m distracted. Gets a cup of coffee and goes back to writing.

Have doubts. Rewrite, consider perhaps this isn’t the start of the story anyway. Restart in another part of the story. Question my skills as a writer. Question my existence.

Tell myself to just write, and ignore that inner voice telling me I’m a loser. Write and consider deleting whatever I hate later. Write some more. That’s not too bad. Wait a second. Is that word spelled right. Um… is that the word I even want? I think that word is similar but not what I’m looking for. I better go look it up. Yep, not what I needed. Looks up words for a half hour or more.

What the hell-? Get back to writing. Rethink some fact I’m using. Look up said fact to see if I’m right in using it. (for instance, shooting underwater). Oh… that won’t work. But look at this- blood in seawater turns green. That’s a neat fact. Can I add that to my story or does it make me sound pretentious? Better not. Better just make a note somewhere. Oh wait, there’s an entire article on interesting things about scuba diving. Reads article. Sees link about dangerous fish in the ocean. Oh, I might need to know that too.

An hour (or more) later….

Well this just sounds stupid. Rewrites a scene, finishes the scene. Thinks I might switch to Rum instead of coffee.

My cat, Max, decides to come into office. Not just a polite way, but shoving the door open that startles me. He meows when I tell him he’s being rude. “You’re hungry?” Meows again, disgusted I don’t know that. “Fine, I’ll feed you.” Feeds the cat. Goes back into the office. Starts to write. Rethinks the plot.

Rereads what I wrote for the day. Ugh, what was I thinking? I can’t submit this for feedback. Opens another projects, writes on that for a while before self-doubt ends my writing session.

Sometimes, my inner editor is a real bitch.

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Published our fourth anthology

Anthology cover 2016

 

My writer’s group publishes an anthology of our writing each year. Members submit, then I take their stories and assemble the book, design the cover, and upload to Createspace and Amazon Kindle Publishing.

The steps to publish an anthology is as follows;

  1. Edit and revise your stories so that it is the best it can be. As editor, this often means I go through to remove indents, line spacing, spellcheck, and run through punctuation. I then make sure the Title is formatted to HEADER 1, and the author’s name is HEADER 2.
  2. I add pages: Page Numbers. Title page that includes all authors. Copyright page for the book and include book cover design copyright as well. Book dedication page, which often is to the authors who submit, my writer’s group in general, and all would-be authors out there. TABLE OF CONTENTS- This gets added when I add all stories into a single document. This is where the HEADER settings are added into the TABLE OF CONTENTS field. I double check its layout and if its correct.
  3. I revise again for formatting issues.
  4. I download a pre-formatted file from Createspace that includes the gutter (that’s the book seam of a printed book) and margins. I cut/paste the book, then go through the document to check for formatting again.
  5. I send this out to all writers to check their bio page and story, and if they want, they can also check the rest of the book. It is always a good idea to get fresh eyes on the manuscript.
  6. I make revisions again.
  7. I work on book design while authors check the manuscript. Once I get their feedback, I put everything together and upload to Createspace.
  8. I often have to make more revisions if it doesn’t look correct under the online revision screen. This generally includes how the pages look in the book format.
  9. If it looks good, then I click ok, choose ‘channels, which includes book stores or online stores that might want to order the book, libraries, and of course Amazon and Createspace stores online.
  10. I adjust price. I generally keep this as low as possible since the anthology is meant to get the writers some exposure.
  11. Add the eBook version. I have to go through a similar process to get the eBook version up, editing the book cover as well. What I find frustrating is that Amazon and Createspace doesn’t play so well together and you can end up with two listings of the printed version and the eBook version.
  12. I then announce to group and hooray– we have another book released.

Printed anthology 2016

EBook version of anthology 2016

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Filed under Author, Editing, Publishing, Writer

Word Processing: 10 Cool Keyboard Tricks

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While editing a manuscript, I found a need to make the process faster with the use of hotkey (keyboard shortcuts), wildcards, and some keyboard tricks to get things done.

These work only in MS Word.

Doing this

Does this

Pressing the dash key 3x will create a horizontal line in your document

== =

Pressing the equal key 3x creates a double line in your document

Ctrl   H

Opens the Find/Replace feature.

Ctrl  E

Aligns text and graphics to center

=rand(08,10)

Type this in your document creates random text if you ever need to add random text.

^p^p

^p

Using Find/Replace, put ^p^p in Find and ^p and this removes manual spaces between paragraphs

Ctrl  SHIFT  m

Inserts a comment where you put your cursor in the document.

SHIFT  F7

Pressing these two keys open the built in Thesaurus. You can often find synonyms by RIGHT-CLICKING over a word. You will choices of words to use.

LEFT CLICK

The mouse

Clicking a word twice will highlight the word. Click three times, and you select the entire paragraph.

 

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