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Preparing Your Book for the Editing Phase

If you’re selling a car, you are likely to wash it, clear all the junk out of the boot, and wipe down the dashboard, vacum even under the seats, and ensure you’re going to get a good price for it.   If you are selling a house, then you’ll likely fix those irritating little dripping tap and sqeaky floorboards, paint the spare room, and maybe replace the curtains in a couple of rooms, right?

Why do you do this?  It’s not only because you want to present your car or house in it’s best view, but because you know those things need doing, and so you do them, because you know there’s maybe a little more money to be made by doing so.     When it comes to getting your manuscript ready for an editor to go through it, you need to think like you’re selling your house or car.  The things you know are there that need fixing and can be taken care of by you, will translate into two things:

  1. A lower fee charged by your editor for him or her not having to take care of the obvious tasks.
  2. A little more respect from your editor for your having taken the time and made the effort to present your manuscript as ready for them to work their magic.

Why are these both so important?

If you check with your editor and /or publisher before the professional editing phase about things like use of ” or ‘ to show dialogue, UK Evs US English, various spellings of some words, how they like to treat footnotes, indexing, or references etc, you are going to save perhaps hundreds of dollars invested in their time and efforts by their not having to change simple things.   Some things you can even line up on with your editor or publisher from when you start to write.   This will also save you a lot of time to get right at the start.

Your editor needs to be able to focus on the sentence structure, the content that flows, the parts that don’t work, and the things that don’t make sense.   That’s what you use an editor for.   However, every editor I know  – and I’ve worked with quite a few now –  hates having to do simple and obvious corrections all through a manuscript – it slows down the process considerably. And can be frustrating.

Having your editor respect your efforts to get your manuscript ready for them, means they are more likely to love doing your editing, and given how much reading they have to do for a living, having them love your work just makes for a better relationship all round.   And that’s worth having don’t you think?

Your editor should be part of your team – work closely with them and you’ll find your writing improves signifiantly over time too.

 

Happy Writing…

 

 

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Publishing a Book is Like Having a Baby

For all parents who have been through that final stage of pregnancy, then the birth of a child, you know that sometimes it’s a matter of things not always going to plan right at the end.

Then finally, jubilation at the arrival of that new life, and the pain and anguish of the delivery are soon forgotten – well somewhat forgotten! 😉

It’s the same with books.   You can get right up to the wire, have everything ready to upload your book into Amazon, or send off to the printer, and then BAM!   A curve ball comes smashing through your plans and everything gets delayed.  For a few hours, days, or even a week or two.

This past week I’ve been busy with THREE books in various stages of release.  One was derailed  while uploading to Amazon Create Space because:

  • First the there were some unidentified errors that needed fixing.  And no, the editing and proofing stage is not always 100% – in face I’ve read books by some of the highest selling authors in the world that still have the odd error in them.
  • Then the page numbers for some reason kept ‘irritating the margins’ so they had to be fixed.
  • Then there were a few minor other wee things that needed attention, but were easily fixed, but still delayed the process.
  • The files were fixed but showing as still needing to be looked at, and we couldn’t figure out why.  But they seemed to come right once we just reloaded the (same) file.

And of course on CreateSpace, you have to allow for their own process of checking files before you can go further into the completion stages of uploading.

Another book – one of my own – was giving me grief at the final stage of uploading because:

  • First there was an issue with the inside cover page,
  • Then something wrong with the contents list, and finally the cover was not loading properly.   This was addressed by my asking the designer to check and resize, and he laughed and advised that it was definitely already the correct size. So back to the helpful people at Createspace, who advised that the cover was ready, which it wasn’t, and some flapping about with that debate, until suddenly it all came right.   We’re blaming technology and lack of caffiene on that one. 
  • Finally the ordering of the proof copy got stuck in the system.

Finally, one more book is so far seamlessly uploading, everything is going exactly according to plan – textbook perfect!

So you just never know exactly how the final delivery is going to end up.  

All you can do is trust the process, the helpful souls at Amazon – who by the way are brilliant when there is an issue – and that you will get there.

 

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