Thursday, April 14, 2011

E-books and Editing

I'm really getting into this e-book thing.  I love being able to find free or less expensive books at the touch of a button.  What's even better is that I don't have to leave my house or search aisles and aisles of books to find what I'm looking for.  I simply click and start reading.  I didn't think I would like e-books.  I was reticent to even try them, but try them I did and now I'm in love.  Now don't get me wrong, I still love to hold a real book and see it's beautiful spine on my shelf.  But with e-books, I can read a book and then decide if it's one I want on my bookshelf at home.  I don't have an e-reader, I have an iPad.  I enjoy it because I can download the apps to all the bookstores including Borders, Nook, and Kindle.  I also discovered that Deseret Book just launched their own bookshelf app as well.  The e-store hasn't launched yet, but the bookshelf came with eight free books right off the bat!  I'm not sure how people with e-readers would access this app, but for those that don't live near any Deseret Bookstores, this new app could really be convenient. 
Now on to another train of thought.  My friend Sarah Eden has a podcast with Robison Wells and Marion Jensen called "The Appendix".  I was listening to one of their podcasts about self publishing.  And since our blog will be self publishing an anthology soon, (featuring YOU!). I thought I needed to pay special to it.  The one thing that stood out to me when they talked about self-publishing (and e-publishing) is that the editing needs to be good.  They even suggested that you may want to spend the money on professional editing services.  I'll get to that later.  But I thought about my Nanowrimo book I wrote this past November and how daunting the task of editing feels.  I'm much better at helping other people fix their books than I am at fixing my own.  It's been difficult for me to even begin.  This is where a wonderful writer's group comes in.  My local ANWA chapter had Aprilynne Pike, author of "Wings", (which is free on e-book format for a limited time!  I've seen it on both Nook and Kindle!) come talk to us about editing.  She showed us the edits her editor sends and even showed us a manuscript that had edits in the margins.  It was interesting to see that the editor first sends pages of suggestions before she ever starts with inline edits.  I asked April how I could apply this to my own edits.  She said that after working with her editors these past few years she has learned a new method for her editing process.  She writes the outline, then writes the book.  After the book is written she checks it against the outline and makes any changes.  Then she reads her book and without making a single change, she takes notes.  Hmmm, that sounds kind of easy to me.  You mean the first step is just reading my book and taking notes?  It sounds simple enough for even me!  Then she takes the notes and categorizes them by things such as voice, plot, character development, etc.  When she goes back through her story, she checks off each bullet point as she completes it, then she does it again if needed.  This system really sounds like something I can do and I dove right in.  I have already read my story while taking notes.  Now I will be writing an outline (because I'm a panster and don't start with silly things like outlines!).  I will be categorizing my bullet pointed notes as well.  For the first time ever, I'm actually excited about editing a book!  I can visualize the final product and am ready to do the work to get my book there!  I don't know yet if I want to e-publish or traditional publish, but the step of editing is necessary in both choices. 
I'm excited to edit my book and get it to a product that I will be very proud of.  Once I do that, I will have to decide if I will send it to agents or think about e-publishing.  If I do entertain e-publishing, I think I will want to pay for editing services to help me polish my book.  One such service that I know of is Precision Editing services.  Heather B. Moore is one of the founders of this service and other LDS women are part of it as well.  Do you know of any other editing services out there?  What services would you pay for if you were e-publishing?  What system do you have for editing?  I really would like to get a discussion going, for some reason I'm missing all my virtual friends and need some stimulating conversation!  So be sure to drop me a line in the comments!  Oh, and I can't wait to see all the stories you will all be submitting really soon!  Be sure to pass along the contest to all your writing friends!


  1. Excellent info! And Precision Editing is awesome. The editors they have are all published authors with experience and great advice.

  2. I agree one-hundred percent about paying for professional editing if you decide to e-publish. No matter how good of a self-editor you are, paying a pro to give you professional feedback is a good idea. I have a project that I might e-publish one day, if my publisher never wants it, and I would want to hire a professional editor before I released it.

    I actually love editing my books--I like rewriting far more than drafting. I'll write a messy first draft, leaving myself notes when I realize I need to go back and change or add something. Then I'll do a second draft, trying to get the book to a readable state :) After the second draft, I'll read it through to see how it flows and fits together--you notice different things on a read-through than you do when you're working slowly through a book. Then I'll do a third draft, send it out to test readers, get their feedback, do a fourth draft, then submit it to my editor.

  3. Cheri, and Stephanie, it's really good to hear from authors who have been published. I remember when I first realized that published authors do rewrites too. I had thought it was only inexperienced writers like me. I thougt that if I were really a writer I'd have it right the first time I wrote it. Hahaha! I have come to realize that editing really is my friend and doesn't mean I'm a novice, it just means I'm a writer.



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