Publishing on a budget, part 1: Editing
Hello again! You might have seen the post last week talking about the expenses that come with being an independent author. Since it might appear daunting to read this and see some of the figures, I wanted to follow up the post with some ways to cut expenses. Here are some of the things I’ve used. Try them out and see what works for you.
Let’s start with editing. Whether you are going the independent route or through more traditional one, you can’t get away from this one. You can make the editing process go by a little faster (and possibly cheaper) by starting with a cleaner manuscript. There are several ways to get your manuscript looking as nice as possible. One method I like to use is editing by hand. Sometimes, I can see things a lot better when I’m looking at paper versus a screen.
Another way to get a better grasp of your manuscript is reading it aloud or using one of those voice programs that come on a lot of computers. Hearing the part you’re working on can alert you to spots that are awkward or just don’t sound right.
I was doing some research once and came across a post suggesting that you look at your text backwards, starting at the end. The theory is that by looking at the words in reverse order, you’re forcing your brain to process the information differently. This helps you to see things you might otherwise miss.
There are also a lot of sites out there that go over your manuscript and flag different things such as passive words, frequently misused words, and other potential issues. I personally like using EditMinion and Grammarbase, which are both free. There are other services like Grammarly and AutoCrit, but those two often are more useful if you have a paid subscription.
Finally, I’d like to recommend picking up a copy of Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips and The Chicago Manual of Style. They can answer a lot of questions you might have when editing. Also, don’t underestimate the power of critique groups! Bring in some chapters and see what they catch.
Now that you’ve got your manuscript in the best shape possible, there’s another way to cut editing costs. Do you have a special skill that might be in demand like graphic design, marketing, or photography? Consider bartering services with an editor you trust to help each other out. There may even be other skills you have that may be needed other than what I listed. Ask and see what happens!
Stay tuned, because I will be talking about some of the other points in future posts. See you next time!