Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Self-Editing, What I Have Learned

I have always believed that editing is hard work, for me harder than writing. For many, to self-edit is almost impossible, but I think it can be done. I recently had my eyes opened by a simple fact – if you are self-editing, order a proof of the book and edit from it. Editing from my computer screen is the most difficult for me. Printing a hard copy and editing from that is a bit better but still not as good as looking at the book.
Talking about my CCC book
Which brings me to publishing eBooks, not sure that I could self-edit and publish eBooks without an editor. I have my readers, and I self-edit, but most of what I find are in the book proof.
 So what have I learned from this? Read the work in another form to finish the self-edit. This helps in finding, too long paragraphs, and too long sentences and misused words. I also read my novels and nonfiction works out of order, random chapters, last chapter first, and then skip around and read, and I read the chapters slowly. Some suggest reading the entire work backwards, this works, and for many works well, but not for me.
One of my chapter books for kids - fun read

From my self-editing experience, I have found two tips to be the best. First, know when to stop, sometimes I put in a comma or hyphenate a word then re-edit and take them out – Stop already!
Second, read aloud, hear yourself. And now I have a third, look over a proof of the book.
 If I were to put a fourth here it would be, now you are finished, send it off to an editor.
This is the proof of my western, still finishing final self-edit
I am not like writers that believe all works must be professionally edited. There are so many editors selling services it is important and hard to find a good one, and one who charges a fee that is affordable.  It takes quite a few sales to make back a thousand or more dollars in editing costs. Everyone that writes expects or hopes to have a best seller, but if you believe that the book will sell only a hundred or fewer copies stick with a good self-edit and get on to your next book.
So far my best selling book - several hundred copies

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