Monday, March 5, 2012

The Joy of Editing (Not!)

One of the first things I remember learning when I was in journalism school was that no one should edit their own work. This is great if you work on a newspaper because there are copy editors who do that for you. But if you are an aspiring author, and an indie author at that, what do you do? Editors are pricey, and most of us just starting out don't have the funds to allow us to hire a professional.

The first thing I do when I have finished a manuscript is to put it away for a couple of months. I work on my next book, take care of things that got left as I was absorbed in writing, whatever. When I pick it up again my eyes are fresh to be able to give it an initial edit/rewrite pass and make it as good as I possibly can.

The next step for me is to get some of my beta readers to read it and mark it up for me with the problems they find. After all that than it needs another fresh set of eyes to look at it and edit it. But, as an indie author who hasn't quite hit the big time, what do I do?

Swap with other authors who are in the same boat I am, or ask friends who are good editors to edit for me in exchange for being able to be one of the first to read it. Sometimes I promise a free copy of the book after it's published. Also offer to mention their efforts in the acknowledgements in the book whereby they may be able to get some work from other authors.

I'm sure there are other resources out there and ideas that I haven't tapped into yet, but there are always ways. My goal is to, at some point, be able to hire a professional service. But until that happens I have to be as creative in editing as I am in writing. We'll see what happens next!

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