"I can edit my work."
I hear this all the time, and while it may be true for your blog posts, it's definitely not the case for your books.
Some fellow writers claim they don’t have to worry about edits such as misspellings, grammar mistakes, or even plot-holes because once their book is accepted by a publisher, their editor will fix any errors.
Hmmm… That wasn’t true when my agent was sending my first novel out to publishers almost 30 years ago. In fact, if you weren’t already a bestseller or a celebrity with an established audience, no agent or editor would even look at your book unless it was already well written and well-edited.
If you self-publish, your readers will expect your work to have the same quality editing that traditionally published books have. You know how to write your own book, and no one else could write it better. But can you edit it yourself?
THRU MAY 15
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If you’ve taken a creative writing class, attended a writing conference, or turned your manuscript over to beta-readers or members of a critique group, you’ve been exposed to developmental editing. No matter which genre or type of book you write, developmental editing is important at a very early stage in the book’s development, after the first or second complete draft.
The people in the groups I’ve mentioned can point out areas where you could strengthen your plot or make characters more realistic, indicate where you should delete or add dialogue, show you how to emphasize certain themes, etc. Even the most skilled writer has people they rely on for feedback at the developmental level.
I don’t know how I would have become a published author without my beta readers, all of whom still provide valuable critique on my books.
Prepare to be challenged and encouraged at this stage. Paul D. McCarthy writes:
“Successful collaboration allows the author to feel sustained and liberated by knowing that she doesn’t have to bear the burden of creation, development, and refinement alone.”
At some point, you need to make a list of people who will be available to you for developmental editing.
Some people mistakenly refer to “proofreading” as “editing.” When traditional publishing houses talk about proofreading, they mean the final check for any typographical errors after the book is laid out in its final, designed format. It’s an author’s responsibility to proofread the book for the very last time.
For that reason, any typographical errors are blamed on the author, not on any of the book’s editors.
If you are publishing your book yourself, you will need to have at least one person (even if you have to pay them) who can proofread your book after it’s formatted for print or e-book, before you do a final read-through yourself. You should make a list of people who will be able to proofread your book for you.
Edit Your Own Book?
As an author, you have control of the quality of your product by telling a great story that the readers can’t put your book down. Good editors ensure that the story is its best and that nothing jolts the readers out of your book’s story.
As the author, you can write and revise your book, but you need editors to ensure the high quality of the final product. Reader reviews for both traditionally and self- published books are quick to indicate when a book has been poorly edited. Bad reviews can hurt your sales.
As soon as you start writing your book, you should start planning (and budgeting for) the editors you’ll need.
Copy Edit (first 10K words) of any novel, novella, short story collection, or memo book
Please note that Dr. Alexandria Szeman will copy edit only the first 10K words (approximately 40 pages typed double-spaced) of any novel, novella, collection of short stories, memoir, or non-fiction book. This prize is not developmental editing, i.e., the book excerpt you submit should be in a revised and finished format.
The submission will be copy edited within 1-3 months of Dr. Szeman’s receipt of all requisite materials. The manuscript will be returned to the author as a Word docx with editorial Comments.
Though every precaution will be taken with the author’s manuscript, computer glitches can happen: do not send your only copy of an original manuscript. We cannot be responsible for its loss.
• Manuscript of first 10,000 words (approximately 40 DS typed pages) of the beginning of a novel (or novella or memoir or nonfiction book). If you are submitting a short story collection for copy editing, please be sure that the stories submitted are complete: this is for comprehension; only the first 10K words will be actually copy-edited.
• Author’s name, complete mailing address, phone number, and email must be on the first page of the manuscript submitted for editing. Proposed title and genre may be supplied at the beginning of the manuscript but are not necessary: if you include them, they are not considered part of the word count. (Note: your contact information will not be shared with anyone at any time.)
• Author’s name must be in the header, on each page of the submitted manuscript, and submission must be paginated.
• Manuscript must be supplied as one Word docx, with page breaks between chapters, sections, individual stories, etc.
• Manuscript should be typed double-spaced in Times New Roman font size 12 only
* Author’s software version of Word must be current or author will not be able to open and read edited manuscript* (current version 16.24)
• No footnotes, indexes, glossaries, bibliography, list of resources, Works Cited, etc.
• No children’s picture books
*Please note that Read & Write Permissions must be granted or manuscript cannot be edited: [To allow Read & Write Permissions in manuscript, choose Review in the ribbon tabs > Protect Document > Protection, and be sure the box in front of Protect document for is unchecked so that all the choices beneath that line are greyed out]*
Want to win this giveaway? Simply leave a comment WHY below!
All comments must be left prior to midnight on Thursday, May 14th, 2020 in order to be eligible to win. Winners for the week announced on Friday, May 15th.
Dr. Alexandria Szeman
Dr. Alexandria Szeman is an award-winning author who founded her own publishing house after retiring from University where she was a Professor of Creative Writing, World Literature, and Professional & Technical Writing. After learning book design and distribution, Alexandria began publishing other authors. The advent of e-books allowed Alexandria to put her own out-of-print books back into the market while allowing her to continue to publish fellow literary authors in all genres
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