Saving Money on Editing: Tips on Self-Editing
Hiring the right editor for the appropriate edits can often be one of the most challenging as well as the most expensive steps in the publishing process for an author. So what are one of the many things an author can do to save money?
Janell E. Robisch, the owner of Speculations Editing Services, an editor with more than twenty years of experience in the publishing industry, has a new book in which she not only shares tips on how to find the best editor for you and your specific writing projects, but also how to save money.
One of the ways an author can save money is by self-editing before submitting their work to an editor.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter Two of her book Saving Money on Editing & Choosing the Best Editor, which offers helpful advice on that topic.
Self-editing can also save you money, and it definitely requires some of that patience. If you are an indie author, when you complete the first draft of a book, especially your first book, you might be tempted to dive right into formatting and publishing your new book through Amazon KDP, Amazon CreateSpace, IngramSpark, Kobo Writing Life, or one of the many other avenues for self-publishing. If you are going the traditional route, you might be tempted to start sending your manuscript out to agents or publishing houses as soon as you type “The End.”
By doing so, however, you are taking a dangerous gamble. Not only is your book likely to be full of typos, but it may also contain plot holes, character and plot discrepancies, contrived endings, and glaring inconsistencies that may kill the interest of readers, agents, and publishers.
As an editor, I am, of course, in favor of editing before publishing, but I am also in favor of at least two rounds of author self-editing before that professional editing takes place.
So, before you start looking for that stellar editor at just the right price, let your book sit. Fill your mind with something else for two to three months so that when you start working on it again, you are no longer seeing what you think should be on the page (a.k.a., experiencing author blindness) but instead are seeing what is actually on the page. You will be able to better see errors and inconsistencies and address them early on.
Your process might look something like this:
- Finish the first draft.
- Wait three months. (You could write a first draft of a new book during this time.)
- Send the next draft of the manuscript to volunteer readers and get feedback.
- Self-edit according to the feedback from step 4.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 with alpha and beta readers until you believe that you have done as much for the manuscript as you personally can or are willing to do without an editor’s help.
- Send the next draft of the book to an editor or editors for an evaluation to see how far you’ve come.
If your chosen editor recommends developmental editing (i.e., structural editing), you can work with her on this step if you’re not sure what to do, or you can do another round of self-editing yourself, focusing on structural issues.
If said editor recommends copyediting, you’re good to go on structural and big-picture issues and are ready to move forward.
My point here about self-editing is that by taking your time and fixing as many errors as you can with the help of readers, you can get a price on the lower end of your editor’s rate range and maybe even skip structural editing altogether.
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* Please be aware that this promo/coupon code expires at the end of October 2017
Janell E. Robisch began her career in publishing by working for an author in college. Later, she worked for several publishers, including Oxford University Press and Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. In 2001, she began her current career as a full-time independent editor and later added book formatting and cover design to her portfolio. She regularly publishes posts on writing and publishing on her blog, Wordy Speculations, writes fiction under the pen name J. Elizabeth Vincent and is the facilitator of a satellite group of the Virginia Writers Club, a board member for her local community theater, and a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association.
But most of all, she’s a wife and a mother to three kids. Her family has lots of adventures together, homeschooling and following all of their various passions in life, which to this point have included writing, karate, medieval longsword training, gymnastics, dance, piano, art, singing, and many, many, many video games.