On enathansisk.com, I have been detailing my efforts in my final edits of Sorcerer Rising. I have been reading it out loud and as of last week was at page 113 of 308. My wife and son went out of town Tuesday, and what with the holiday and the free time the two occurrences would provide, I wanted to edit the remaining 195 pages.
So how did I do?
Not what I wanted, but a lot. 100 pages exactly, putting me at 213 behind me. Reading out loud really puts things in a new perspective for sentence structure, dialogue, etc. but it is exhausting, at least for me and takes a lot longer to complete. The changes aren’t drastic, and have no bearing on the story, but make it easier to read. I’m still kicking this idea around, but I think my final edit will be to put a proof together on Createspace to read through. I would just put it on the kindle, but I hate that damn keyboard and I’d rather take notes by hand. It sounded like a good way to edit a year or so ago, but I forgot all about it until I read a recent blog post which recommends it as a good way to self-edit.
And while on the topic of editing, I would love to hear anyone’s experiences on that. Most everyone says an independently published author needs to have their work professionally edited, but there are a few outliers on this. My position on this I can’t drop $800-$5000 on anything that’s not an emergency, let alone a side business or passion. Everyone’s position is different, but I know I don’t have the money to do this. If that’s the barrier, well, than I’m left out in the cold.
I’ve read several outlier articles that go the other way, and from different sides of the spectrum. One was Rachel Gardner (I’m almost positive it was her, I remember being surprised, but I can’t find the article), who I usually don’t agree with on a lot of things but respect her opinion immensely. She talked about how as the business of publishing changes, publishers are going to continue to give editors larger and larger workloads, and editing will becomes less involved as that occurs. She talked about authors needing to learn how to be their own editor. Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Katherine Rusch (personal favorites) both state unequivocally that they don’t believe in the process for a multitude of reasons. They have stated they use beta readers to edit their stuff and that a good deal of their early works either received very light editing, or the professionally done, publisher back editing inserted mistakes.
I’ve read a few independent books, I don’t know if they were edited or not. I never felt like the problem was editing, typos or grammar errors, at least not major ones or ones I didn’t see in traditionally published titles. It was either story or writing, the core of the writing. While I do agree that basic editing is essential, a given in fact, I don’t think it needs to cost thousands to make that happen. I’ve spent a lot of time editing, I’ve brought in people whose eyes I trust, sought help online at Critters.
I’ve made the first chapter available online. That’s my writing. It’s up. If you think it looks rough, tell me, I’d love to know. When I finally push that button to publish, it will have a sizable preview as well. I’m unsure how much I can do, but hopefully the first three chapters. If you read those chapters and like what they see, you’ll get that same level of quality in the finished product. It’s a gamble, but sometimes that’s the only way to play.