Hi, I'm Ray Evans. I'm a certified copyeditor and proofreader.
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You've finished writing your book.
You've written it, changed it, edited it yourself, and re-read it.
If you want to get your book published, the work doesn't end there, especially if you plan to self-publish.
After all your hard work, it's time to have it edited by a pro. Editors don't just use a digital red pen to mark up your manuscript. We are a neutral third party, a new set of eyes that can help you polish your manuscript.
But where do you begin? What kind of editing do you know you need?
Cliffnotes of the Editing Process
Editing usually goes like this:
1) Your editor will do story-level edits.
2) Once you get the manuscript, you will make changes to the story.
3) Your editor will do language-level editing.
4) Once you get the manuscript back again, you will make changes to the language.
5) Your proofreader will do the proofreading for you.
6) Your proofreader will do the proofreading for you.
7) Starting with the big structural changes—the ones that affect the story as a whole—is about being efficient.
It might not seem like the best way to edit a manuscript to separate each step, but it's the best way to do it.
When you edit at the story level, you'll make big changes even if you're not rewriting the whole thing.
When you rewrite chapters and make changes, you add new words that need to be checked for spelling and grammar.
When editing at the story level, that doesn't mean you can't fix typos and change words and sentences as you go. When your story's being edited at the story level, typos will definitely be fixed. But a full copyedit shouldn't be done until the story is pretty much done.
In the long run, it will save you time and money to separate these steps. So let's break down what each of these steps are in detail
Developmental or Story-Level Edits
Developmental editing is a deep look at your story's plot, characters, pacing, worldbuilding and setting, themes, and overall manuscript development. This kind of editing usually includes comments and suggestions in your manuscript file as well as an editorial write-up.
This type of editing is subdivided into to distinct types: line editing and copyediting.
In general, copyediting is the process of checking things like grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The goal is to fix mistakes and make the text easier to read.
Line editing is a deeper dive. It's more about style and flow, so it's more subjective(which is why you should always request a sample from an editor to determine fit before committing to a doing a full story with him or her). Line editing looks at the tone of different parts, how one sentence flows into the next, how sentences are put together, and so on.
Language edits are never about changing your author's voice. Instead, they should try to improve your writing, push you to improve your style, and make it easy for your readers to read your story.
The last step in the editing process.
The last step in the editing process. This means looking for mistakes, making sure everything is clear, and going over basic grammar.
Proofreading is a light edit that is meant to be the last step before putting something out in the world.
Proofreading is always helpful and important, and having good proofreaders on your publishing team is a great idea.
A thorough proofread will help you find as many last mistakes as you can before you send your work to be published.
And fewer mistakes means better reviews, more readers, and more sales!
And those are all the step you need to follow to ensure your book it ready to publish.
Next up we'll talk about how to find the best editor, or proofreader, for your story.
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.As a kid, one of my favorite movies was The Terminator.
The concept about robots taking over the future was a such cool and excited concept to me(even though I had not business such movies when I was six years old)
And now in 2022 we almost there...
Not killer robots, but Artificial Intelligence, AI, is here and can help authors like you to proofread your books so you can publish faster
If you've been on YouTube any point in the last 5 years you've seen an ad for Grammarly.
It's touted as an AI assistant that can find and fix the spelling and grammar errors in any written work.
Can it really make your writing better?
As a copyedit and proofreaders I'm actually NOT against you using a service like Grammarly at all. Today we're going to take an unbiased look at the pros and cons of using Grammarly to help you with your next project.
1) Speed: Grammarly can quickly and efficiently check large amounts of text for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and other issues. This can be especially useful when working on tight deadlines or when you have a lot of writing to do.
2) Convenience: Grammarly is available as a browser extension, a desktop application, and a mobile app, making it easy to use no matter where you are or what device you are using.
3) Customization: Grammarly allows you to customize the types of errors and suggestions it displays, so you can focus on the issues that are most important to you.
Cons or Limitations to Using Grammarly
1) Limited Accuracy: While Grammarly is good at catching basic grammar and spelling mistakes, it may not always catch more complex errors or nuances in language. A human proofreader is more likely to catch these types of errors.
2) Limited Context: Grammarly does not have the ability to understand the context or purpose of your writing, so it may make suggestions that are not appropriate for your specific document. A human proofreader, on the other hand, can consider the purpose and audience of your writing and make more informed suggestions.
3) Dependence: Relying too heavily on Grammarly can lead to a lack of attention to detail and a decreased ability to catch errors on your own. It is important to not become overly reliant on any automated tool and to continue to practice and improve your own proofreading skills.
So is Grammarly bad for authors to use? No.
It can be a useful tool for quickly and efficiently checking written work, it is important to consider its limitations and to supplement its use with human proofreading when necessary.
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Free Tools Every Author Should Be Using
Writers have to do besides just writing these days, like make great graphics for social media, have an email newsletter, make ebooks, and post professional images on their websites.
But where to start? How can all of this be done without spending a lot of money?
Today, I'm going to show you some of my favorite free business tools.
It should not be hard or expensive to make images for social media and your website. You can use two of my favorite tools for making images for social media for free.
Canva: It gives you access to thousands of templates.
Canva probably has everything you need, whether it's graphics for Pinterest or Instagram, a new cover for your Facebook page, or anything else you can think of.
Even if you aren't a designer, you can still give the pre-designed templates a professional look by making changes to them.
Adobe Spark: Adobe Spark is kind of like Canva in that you can use templates to make images for social media. I also really like that you can make and edit videos with Adobe Spark. I've begun experiment with short videos in Spark myself. FYI: t The free version of the software does add watermarks to the videos, FYI (which is not a dealbreaker for me)
Free Stock Photos
It's important that you don't break any copyright laws when you start making graphics for social media and adding photos to your blog posts (unless you book is making enough revenue to post bail).
It's actually not okay to take a picture from a Google search, but don't worry—there are lots of great free stock photos you can use.
Unsplash, Pixabay, and KaboomPics are three of my favorite sites for free images.
Each have millions of photos for just about anything you can think of. just type in a word or two and see what comes up.
ust type in a word or two and see what comes up. You can even make an account and put together groups of images that you can easily find when you need them.
KaboomPics also let you search by color and by photoshoots. Many of the images are from photoshoots, so you can choose from a range of sizes, orientations, and levels of detail.
Keeping in touch with your audience is easier if you have an email newsletter. MailChimp is a good place to start if you want something easy.
I also recommend trying out Aweber for your email list because it has all of the features you would need. It's a good option if you have, or plan on growing, a big list and you need to make sequences, segmentation, and other things.
Social Media Posting
Scheduling posts on social media is a simple way to keep up with your marketing and brand. I post across my social with Later, but they only provide a 14-day free trial, but a better, forever-free option would be Buffer. They allow you to schedule 10 posts in advance on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It's incredibly easy to set up too!
This way you can just take one day a week and set-up all your posts in advance and save time for writing or anything else you may want to do!
Which tools do you like to use the most?
Did I forget something great and free?
I'm always looking for great new tools and resources for myself and for other authors. Tell me in the comments section below!
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As an author, having your work edited is an essential step in the publishing process.
A copyeditor's job is to review your work for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, as well as to ensure that your writing is clear and consistent.
While you may be confident in your own editing skills, it's always a good idea to have a professional copyeditor review your work to ensure that it is of the highest quality.
Always request samples before agreeing to a project
One, and the best, way to ensure that you are getting the best editing services possible is to request samples from potential copyeditors.
This will allow you to see the kind of work that he or she is capable of, and will help you to make an informed decision about which editor is the best fit for your project.
The Top 4 Reason to Request a Sample Edit
1) Quality assurance: By reviewing a copyeditor's previous work, you can get a sense of their level of skill level and attention to detail.
This will give you confidence that your work will be edited to your expectations.
2) Style Preference: Different copyeditors have different styles when it comes to editing. Some may be more hands-on and make a lot of changes to your work, while others may take a more minimal approach.
By reviewing a sample edit, you can get a sense of which style the editor uses and determine if it's a good fit for your story.
3) Communication: Good communication is key to a successful working relationship; requesting samples is also a great way to gauge the communication skills of a potential copyeditor. Are they able to explain their edits clearly and provide helpful feedback?
4) Helps you see the value of their work: Finally, requesting samples can help you to determine whether a particular copyeditor is offering good value for money: By reviewing the sample edit, and any previous work, you can get a sense of the level of service they provide and whether their rates are in line with the quality of their work you're expecting
requesting samples from copyeditors is an essential step in the editing process. It allows you to assess the quality of their work, determine their style preference, gauge their communication skills, and ultimately figure out ensure that you are getting good value for money.
If your toilet is clogged, you can hire an plumber in town to fix it but your book is far more important (unless you had tacos for dinner). Fit is important when looking for an editor or proofreader.
Don't be afraid to ask for samples – it will ultimately lead to a better edited book for you.
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As an avid reader, I have come across numerous books where the grammar was less than stellar.
While a few errors here and there are to be expected, we're all human (until AI replaces us 🤖), some mistakes are so common that they stand out and distract from the story.
Here are the three most common grammar mistakes that I have noticed in books:
Homophones: Words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Some common examples of homophones include "their" and "there," "your" and "you're," and "its" and "it's."
Authors often mix these up, leading to confusing or outright incorrect sentences. For example, writing "your going to love this book" instead of "you're going to love this book" changes the meaning of the sentence completely.
Punctuation Usage: Authors struggle with using punctuation correctly, leading to unclear or confusing sentences.
For example, using a comma instead of a semicolon to separate clauses can change the meaning of a sentence. Similarly, using an exclamation mark instead of a question mark can alter the tone of the sentence.
As a reference, I recommend The Best Punctuation Book, Period by June Casagrande. You can find it here
Verb tense: Many authors struggle with maintaining consistent verb tense throughout their writing. For example, switching between past and present tense within the same paragraph can be confusing for the reader. It is important to choose a verb tense and stick with it to avoid confusing the reader.
While these are some of the most common grammar mistakes that I have noticed in books, they are by no means the only ones. Other common errors include incorrect use of articles, misplacing modifiers, and subject-verb agreement errors.
As an author, it is important to re-read your work carefully and have it professionally edited and proofread to catch these mistakes and improve the overall quality of your writing.
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As an author, you have many options for promoting your new book, even if you have a limited budget. Here are four ways you can get the word out about your book for little or no cost:
Utilize social media: One of the most effective ways to promote your book for free is through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Create a social media account for your book ahead of the launch and use it to share:
3) behind-the-scenes glimpses.
You can also use hashtags and participate in relevant Twitter chats and Instagram challenges to reach a wider audience.
2) Connect with book bloggers: There are many book bloggers and book review websites that are always looking for new content to share with their readers.
Connect with these bloggers and offer to send them a copy of your book in exchange for a review. Be sure to also follow them on social media and engage with their content to build a relationship before asking them to review your book(comment, like, and then follow).
3) Utilize free marketing resources: Many websites and organizations offer free marketing resources for authors, such as free listings in online book directories or free marketing templates. Take advantage of these resources to get your book in front of new audiences.
Host a virtual book launch event: With the rise of online events, it's easier than ever to host a virtual book launch event. Invite readers, fellow authors, and media contacts to join you online for a reading or Q&A session.
You can even offer special discounts or giveaways to attendees to make the event more engaging!
By using social media, connecting with book bloggers, utilizing free marketing resources, and hosting a virtual book launch event, you can effectively promote your new book for little or no cost.
With a bit of creativity and hard work, you can reach new readers and get your book the attention it deserves.
Do you have any low-cost ideas to promote your next book? Share them in the comments below!
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First, Confession Time :\
Most of my favorite stories and books are in the first person.
But the third person a distinct advantages over the third(technically, narrative perspective is your choice, as the author, and any story could be written from either).
Here's why you should choose to write in the third person.
Third person narration allows for a more objective perspective: When the narrator is not a character in the story, they can provide a more objective and unbiased perspective on the events and characters.
This can be especially useful for conveying complex or sensitive subject matter, as it allows the reader to form their own opinions about the events and characters without being influenced by the narrator's personal bias.
1) Third person narration allows for multiple viewpoints: With third person narration, the narrator can delve into the thoughts and feelings of multiple characters, allowing the reader to gain a more well-rounded understanding of the story.
This can be especially useful in stories with complex or multifaceted plots, as it allows the reader to see the story from multiple perspectives and get a fuller picture of what is happening.
2) Third person narration can create a more immersive reading experience: Because the narrator is not a character in the story, the reader is more likely to identify with the characters and become more immersed in the story. This can create a more engaging and emotionally resonant reading experience for the reader.
I doubt Lord of the Rings would've been as epic if told from the perspective of Frodo.
3) Third person narration can be more versatile: Because it allows for a more objective perspective and multiple viewpoints, third person narration can be used in a wide range of genres and styles. It can be used to tell a dramatic, character-driven story, or it can be used to convey complex information or ideas in a more objective and detached way.
So What's the Verdict?
Overall, third person narration can be a powerful and effective storytelling tool, and it has many advantages over first person narration in certain situations. However, it is important to note that no one style of narration is inherently "better" than another. The best choice will depend on the specific needs and goals of the story being told.
So you do have a preference or predilection for using first or third person in your writing?
Let me know in the comment which you prefer using and why!
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First Person or Third Person: Here's the one that will make your next story a best-seller
As a professional proofreader, copyeditor, and beta reader I read A LOT of books.
And narration style definitely does make a difference.
Third and First person narration styles each have their strengths and drawback lets go over each them so you can make a better decision for your next novel.
Why First Person is Superior to Third Person
1) Intimacy: First person narration allows the reader to feel more connected to the protagonist and their experiences, as the narrator is sharing their thoughts and feelings directly with the reader. This can create a sense of intimacy and make the story more immersive and personal.
2) Reliability: First person narration can also make the story feel more reliable, as the reader is hearing the events directly from the protagonist's perspective. This can be particularly useful in cases where the protagonist is the most reliable or trustworthy source of information in the story.
For example in Dracula, Stoker uses the epistolary style to make the the event of story appear even more credible; the novel's supernatural ambience would've suffer if it were told from the view of a detached third person just observing all of the events unfolding.
3) Accesibility: First person narration can be easier for readers to understand and relate to, as it allows them to see the world through the eyes of the protagonist. This can make the story more accessible and engaging for readers.
But Third Person Does Have Unique Advantages
That being said, third person narration can also have its own unique benefits(even though I am personally biased). It allows the reader to see the events of the story from a more objective perspective, and can be particularly useful for stories that involve multiple characters or a large cast of characters.
And we're going to cover those in tomorrow's article!
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Writing a fictions book requires multiple rounds of revisions and as an author you simply can't do them all yourself.
You'll need the help alpha readers, beta readers, and critique partners to ensure you put out the best work for your audience. If you're unsure about any of these terms, and what they do, then this article is for you!
One of the first people to read your work is an alpha reader. In fact, they usually read your manuscript as you write it or see the first version without any edist.
Instead of giving reader/market feedback, their goal is to give feedback and look for problems with the story in general, such as awkward dialogue, plot holes, and characters who aren't fully developed. These kinds of problems are common in first drafts, and if you know your own story well, this feedback can help you make a great plan for later self-edits.
The next step is the beta readers. These are the people who look over your manuscript after you've made changes. Their questions won't be as complicated as an alpha's, and they'll be more about the "big picture" than anything else.
This is a great way to get feedback on your book before sending it to an editor.
Critique partners, or CPs as they're known online, are similar to alpha readers, but they don't have to read your first draft or keep up with you as you write. Instead, you could trade half-revised drafts of your work.
CPs are always other writers, and the two of you work together to fix problems in one other's manuscripts.
Can I Skip Editing if I use Alphas, Betas, and Critique Partners?
Short answer: no.
Longer answer: Alpha readers, beta readers, and CPs are very helpful and an important part of writing and revising.
But working with a qualified, professional editor is still better.
If you're sending queries, hiring an editor isn't necessary: agents know that your manuscript probably won't be perfect. But if you still aren't sure about your story or don't know how to fix it after getting other feedback, it might be time to hire a professional freelance editor for a developmental edit.
Can't They Just Steal My Work??
I can't promise anything about that. There are some bad people in the world. But this is why it's so important to work with people you know and trust.
Also, if you're working with other writers, keep in mind that they probably care about their own ideas and worry about the same things you do. Most people who are looking for feedback or want to give it to other writers are good-hearted and care about the success of the writing community as a whole.
You could give them the manuscript as a Google Doc file which cannot be copies, printed, downloaded or shared if you're that concerned but rest assured, the risk of theft is minimal.
Where Are You in the Writing Process?
If you're still working on your draft, it might be time to talk to a few trusted writer friends about alpha feedback! And if you're further along in the process, I recommend that you start working with a beta reader or critique partner. Getting feedback from other writers you trust and respect will only help you improve your manuscript and make you a better writer.
Tomorrow, I've got an article that will give you some great places to find trusted alpha, betas, and critique partners!