As an avid reader nothing bothers me more than reading a really good story that hasn't been properly edited or proofread. What do I mean by properly edited? One edited by someone other than you, the author. This is the problem that has plagued self-publishing since its inception and has given self-publishing its reputation.
Editing/proofreading can be expensive, but it's an important part of writing. I belong to a critique group that is very helpful with flow and plot consistency. Then all my writing goes to an editor. Many authors I know say they don’t self-edit because they miss too much. Even my posts need more editing after I’ve given them time to settle. I’m so thankful for the many sites that give me the ability to correct errors after hitting submit.
No matter how hard you try mistakes in spelling, word usage, grammar and plot consistency will be missed because your brain loves you. You know the story well and your brain easily overlooks the errors. I also discovered, while working on a picture book, that your brain is about two lines ahead of the point at which you are reading. I was having particular difficulty with flow and a teacher friend recommended “the” be added a couple of lines from the hiccup. I and anyone I could get to read through the story didn’t falter at that part anymore.
Another thing working against you is something called, typoglycemia. This word has nothing to do with glucose or any medical conditions. It’s believed to be a pun on hypoglycemia, but refers to the following examples:
I’m sure you’ve received this or something like this in the past. This is often sent through email:
cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.
Read more about this HERE.
And I recently received this through facebook:
7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7HNG5! 1MPR3551V3 7HNG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 L1N3 Y0UR M1ND 15 R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3VEN 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PR0UD! 0NLY C3R74IN P30PL3 C4N R34D 7HI5.
If you must self-edit/proofread, please do so slowly. Give yourself time. A couple of days to a week should be enough time between finishing and editing. Read a short passage, stop and put it away. Get back to it 24 to 48 hours later and continue reading short passages each time until you finish the piece. You’re more likely to catch most errors this way. When I’m ready to throw my manuscript out the window, I give it a rest and do something else. Either work on another piece, read a book, listen to music or watch a movie. These help refresh my editing abilities and allow me to feel like I am reading it for the first time.
Long gone are the days when a promising manuscript is accepted despite needing major changes. Most publishers and agencies rely on the author to provide a print ready or near-print ready manuscript. Even the best publishing can result in a book with errors, however, I can look past a few, but soon give up reading a book with too many. (unless I’m critiquing with a full edit)
A quick google search has prices of $15.00 per page down to $ 3.00 per page all claiming to do anywhere from a cursory look at your manuscript to a full blown, line-by-line edit.
In future blog posts, I’ll research editors and let you know what I find. In the meantime, if you’d like an edit done by me, let me know. I charge $ 2.00 per page (one page is 250-300 words maximum) (minimum $ 50.00) Tell me you follow and read this blog and I’ll half the charge to $ 1.00 per page. (Payment to be made through PayPal, so don’t finish paying until I adjust the invoice.)
- Six years editing various types of manuscripts, from picture books, middle grade to young adult novels as well as many in the fiction and non-fiction genres. (I do not confirm accuracy of information given in non-fiction manuscripts.)
- More than 40 years reading different genres (it’s frustrating because I go into edit mode with every book I read.)
- Published short stories as well as posts to blogs and forums.