Editing Tip #102 – Advice for Indie Authors

You’re not done editing even after you ‘hit’ the Publish button. Honestly, I’m not kidding here. Even if you’ve “done everything right” (like I did): put your book through substantive/content editing, line/stylistic editing, copy edited it and then proof read it (yourself and with paid professional help) – things are still likely to slip under the radar.

It’s been nearly 1 year since my book Time’s Tempest: The Chronicles of Xannia has been “out on the shelf” and just yesterday my 68 year old neighbour (who just happened to be a retired English teacher – like me) said she, “loved my story” but did I know there were a few errors to consider?

babysurprisedA few errors?!

My initial thought was to ignore her comment because multiple sets of professional eyes had been over this book multiple times… (and I know I can’t include myself here because I’m too close to the text to see stuff now).

But then I got to thinking of all the advice I’ve read since starting on this journey, and it occurred to me that now was not the time to start ignoring it.

If someone finds an error in your grammar/sentence/paragraph structure (or, god forbid, a glitch in your plot line) then take the time to consider what they’ve found. If you agree that it’s significant enough to warrant fixing (something more than the occasional misplaced apostrophe), then fix it.

But what if you actually tried to support another starving Indie Author by hiring her to format your book’s interior and now it’s saved in a program you don’t have access to in order to make those changes?

Two things:

  1. If, after six months (and I say six instead of 12 because that’s the usual time frame that someone will spot this stuff and I really only hired the typsetter two months ago when my small publisher and I parted ways and I became 100% Indie) you have collected enough comments about “little fixes” from readers, contact your interior formatter and beg for her to make the changes on your behalf… play the struggling artist card if you have to but be honest.
  2. The next time (or first time if you’re not published yet) you hire a typsetter/interior book formatter see if they will include a clause that permits one final revision to the text within six months of the launch of your book. If you can get this squared away right from the start then you can save a modicum of dignity after the fact 😉

So remember, you want the best possible version of your work out on the market. If someone takes the time to mention to you about a possible error in your book, it means they want your work to shine just as much as you do and you should seriously consider what they have to say. However, there comes a time when your book will have to grow and live on its own without your constant supervision 😉 Just always keep an open mind.

As it is, I’ve yet to sit down and have a “chat” with my neighbour about what she found… it’s on my To Do List and with the start of school tomorrow I fully plan on tracking this woman down to find out exactly what’s wrong with my baby book 😉

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Categories: Editing

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5 replies

  1. Yes! And even years later, a typo may pop out here or there (depending on the size of the book!) I’m not someone to give away control. I go back and fix and update (almost) every time. Can’t handle if someone else holds the files. That doesn’t work at all.

    Even in commercially published books by large houses, typos abound. More so than “Back Then”. I blame Winword and a general drive towards getting books out faster and therefore taking less time to edit. On the contrary I tend to find fewer errors in well-edited indie books than in shop-bought commercial ones. But even here, the longer a book is in print (second run, third run…), the more the mistakes are smoothed out. See: The large houses do it too.

    Like

  2. Thank you for more great editing tips. Shared to FB.

    Like

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