Today’s guest post comes from Matthew Turner, who is the author of the new book Beyond Parallel (which sounds great! I love the premise of the Sliding Doors type love story).
The 30 Day Books blog usually focuses on marketing and promotions tips, but I feel very, very strongly about having a well-edited book way as the groundwork of your promotions. Self-editing doesn’t replace editing by a professional, but it is important to do your fair share of self-editing to make sure you’re happy with your final product.
Matthew is going to walk us through how he edited Beyond Parallel with his Kindle to save his sanity (we all need a break from the computer!) Take it away Matt!
I love the writing process, but would you like to know what I hate? Self-Editing!
Some writers love it, but I’m not one of them. I find it difficult to concentrate on the words and not get lost in the story. Seriously, I’d make the worlds worst editor!
However, Self-Editing is 100% needed for every writer. I’m not saying you don’t need an Editor (you do), or BETA Readers (you do), or proofreaders and critique partners (you do), but self-editing is something no writer can escape.
Personally I found two rounds of self-editing:
- Pre Editor: to make sure it’s not utter awful
- Post Everything: to make sure you’re 100% happy before publishing
This post is for the latter part of self-editing; the final effort before you release it to the big wide world.
Use Your Kindle…
or Nook or iPad or any other E-Reader you may have lying around.
The point here is to get away from the computer screen and see your book in a new light. You can, of course, do this by printing off your manuscript. However, that’s expensive and kills trees, so this is the perfect time to use your Christmas Kindle.
By the time your Proofreader and BETA Readers have finished, you will no doubt have read your book fifty-times. The thought of reading it again is tortuous, but you must. To be a self-published author means more than publishing by yourself. It means you take responsibility for everything, and you’ll be damned if you let that baby of yours free in the world without it being ready.
I was sceptical, but a few people suggested I read Beyond Parallel on my iPad before publishing. I reluctantly did, and guess what… I discovered sooooooooo much!
- Numerous typos
- Grammatical errors seemed to scream out
- Repetitive words were practically in bold
- Formatting issues
- Sections that were boring/dragged the story along
These issues remained hidden for months. I couldn’t believe it.
How To Self-Edit Via Kindle
Trust me, it’s a life saver. The thought that I nearly released Beyond Parallel without reading on my Kindle App first… well, it isn’t worth thinking about. It’s a no-brainer folks.
This is how you do it:
1: Prepare Your File
There are several ways to create your manuscript. I personally use Scrivener (which I endorse 110% – it’s brilliant), but you could use something else. Whatever you use, don’t worry, simply create a file that will upload to your Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.
Make it as complete as you can though. I found a lot of formatting errors, and I thought I’d done a good job in the first place. If you simply upload a draft, you may have a large task on your hands.
2: Use Your E-Reader
When I say use it, I mean use it. Most versions allow you to make notes, highlights, and a number of other things to keep you on top. You’d be amazed how quickly you can make notes and read, which if your anything like me, is key.
I need to keep the momentum going!
I also suggest keeping a notebook close by. Use the E-Reader as much as you can, but sometimes you need to expand on your thoughts. You’ll hopefully only find minor issues at this point, but be prepared for anything.
3: Make Changes
You’re now at the final hurdle. You’ve made your notes and it’s time to add them to your manuscript. This is when you need to become a perfectionist (unless you’re hiring someone else to format it, but I still suggest making it as perfect as possible).
This is last chance saloon. Go through your Kindle page by page and make the final round of edits. After this, it’s time to let it fly.
Self-Editing – Conquered!
People always talk about the need for editors (I totally agree), but rarely discuss the process of Self-Editing. This is the one thing all writers must become competent at. Self–Editing Beyond Parallel has taught me a great deal!
It’s a torid time for some (aka, me), but reading via your Kindle helps. It’s not only effective, but environmentally friendly, which let’s face it, is very important.
Keep yourself sane and help save the whales. Like I tell you, it’s a no brainer :)
How about you?
I’d love to hear your editing stories. How do you edit your work of art?
Matthew Turner is a writer from Yorkshire, England. His debut novel, Beyond Parallel is OUT NOW and it’s the perfect time to download. Until midnight tonight (10th January) you don’t only get the book, but over $50 of extras.
In the same mould as Sliding Doors, Beyond Parallel flips between two parallel tales. Grab yourself a copy and be part of a true coming-of-age story that everyone can relate to.
Connect with Matt here…
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.