Editing is a whole new process all together. One should never expect to edit his/her own writings perfectly. Some people write well enough to get by, I don't. I have at least two editors checking up on me and each other on every book. My editors also act as proof readers which is a little dangerous, but my work seems to get by this way. I have one and sometimes two readers go over each book before sending it to the first editor and sometimes the books get sent back for clarification, but at the very least, after the book is written, it goes through a four step process before getting to the publisher and then, sometimes we still get it back. It is very rewarding to write, more rewarding if you do it well, and outstanding if what you have written sells. Good luck to you and your efforts. Dr m
PS this has not been proofed I will let you find my fast typing errors. I make enough mistakes for both of us.
I also had two people to edit mine, plus about 15 people who read it for anything they could find wrong with it. It didn't matter what it was, personal, professional, opinion, I wanted their feedback. I think the end result was its own reward because the published book was far better than anything I could have done without the input of others.
Concerning your getting it out to 15 people, I couldn't agree more. I think it's often a mistake to write something and immediately pay a professional editor to perfect it.
I gave manuscripts of my last book to about 30 people - family members, my children, my insurance agent, people in specialized fields, people who love to read, people who don't read much, anybody who owed me one, even a chapter for an 8th grade advanced writing class to critique (although it's a book for older teens and adults).
All of them gave great input and a variety of suggestions. I didn't do everything they suggested (some of their suggestions contradicted each other), but I made a lot of changes and had a much better handle on how different people would react to different portions of my book. As Solomon said, "In a multitude of counselors, there is safety."
J. Steve Miller
President, Legacy Educational Resources
Author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
"The money book for people who hate money books." http://wisdomcreekpress.com/press_kits.html
I agree with what you say. Writing feels like a solitary endeavor, but if a writer tries to go it alone the way become very perilous. I was desperate to get feedbak on my fist novel. On my seond novel I have arragned for ongoing feedback and review, As a result, the first draft of my second novel is more advanced than the fiveor sixt draft of my first novel. Amen to spelling and small error checks.
I am about to self publish my own book, printed by a local printer and discovered the UPC number I have is not the right number for book publishing. I see to get one with Bowker is very pricy $150 for a first book, I may do more books but definitely do not want to put out for a bunch of number until I have success with one.
I hear there are other third parties that offer numbers but Bowker is official. Is it reliable to get it from other companies and are there any recommendations of who to deal with?
Bowker is the official source for ISBNs. There are other options, but by the time you investigate the different alternatives, track it down and purchase the ISBN, will you really save that much money? What is your time worth?
Look at it this way. If you sell 5, 000 copies of your book, the cost per book of the ISBN is 3¢ per book. Is that really an unreasonable amount to pay?
Edward, don't feel bad about the grammar thing, I have a PhD and I have the same problem. It can be cultural or territorial but I was raised in the deep Ozarks where we had our own grammar. I have two fine editors that go over everything I write four times. Many a ship captain never put a ship together either, he hires a crew to do that. Good luck, if writing is in your blood, you will get it done and love what you do.
If you're aspiring to be an editor, you'll have to be an expert on Grammar. But if you're wanting to write books and articles, that's what a writing team is all about. Whenever I write an article or a chapter, I read it over and over it, trying to perfect it. Then I give it to my wife, who's a fast reader and can give me big-picture ideas. Then I make corrections and give it to my mom, who's a stickler for grammar - she's the comma queen, agonizing over whether this or that comma is really necessary. If you're in a writer's group, that's where they come in handy.
For a book, I'll give the manuscript to many other people to critique. They keep finding errors - some of fact, some of grammar, some of consistency or logical development. These are not typically professional writers - just people who like to read. (They're typically glad to look it over, honored that I respect their opinion. I give them a free book after it's published, then ask if they'll give me a review on Amazon. Since they've already read the manuscript, I get reviews right after it comes out.)
By the time I give a book to a professional editor, she's having to look hard to find mistakes.
Sure, there are some writers who can do it all, then turn it in to an editor for final polishing. Steven King used to teach English on a college level, so he can do it that way. But many, many others think of it as a team approach. James Patterson will "write" 9 books this year. He's the idea person, then he gives it to a team member to flesh it out. George Lucas can't spell worth anything - but he's a great idea person and can tell a great story. Lloyd Braun hatched the idea of the TV series "Lost." He hired Abrams and Lindelof to do the writing. And they involve others in their writing sessions as well.
I guess that i would have to use a professional editor or something. The problem would be that it would be very expensive to have them around. I would prefer to cut down the errors by doing a few rounds of checking myself before proofread by another two friends before i submit to the editor so that they can reduce the editing.