Edit Like a Writer

editingI have been working diligently on book three, Avenged. And of course, this doesn’t just mean writing the missing parts, but it also means editing what’s been written. The one part most writers hate, usually because they never want to take anything out. It’s kind of like the idea of killing off a character that you’ve given life. Is it weird that I don’t have a problem with this?

I don’t hate editing. Now, I’m not going to say it’s my favorite, but I do enjoy it. I love going back over things because I get reminded of what I enjoy about the book. I get to see all of my favorite characters again! And there are a few. I get to go back and live through their pain. Sometimes that’s hard, but it reminds me of where I’ve been and where I’m going. I also get to see how far my characters have come. And to me, THAT is awesome!

It also reminds me of what’s coming next. THAT is my favorite part! Especially for this series. The Dark Road series deals with a lot of dark issues. writing-adviceA friend of mine described it as gothic work and believe you me, she’s one of the most honest and opinionated people I know. But when I think about it, she’s probably right.

And honestly, I think it’s the reason why Avenged is my favorite of the series thus far. I don’t want to give everything away, but I can’t wait to share some of the book with you or even the cover. I just the final cover from my designer and I’m so EXCITED about it! Not that I’m going to share it with you just yet, but I promise you’re going to think it’s just as awesome.

I don’t want to leave you empty handed. If you’ve stuck with me thus far, then I’m going to tell you a little about the upcoming book. It’ll release in a couple of months, so you won’t have to wait too long to get the whole thing.

Here we go!

AvengedAvenged will be filled with …. is the suspense killing you?

Hmm, maybe a little gore? Or a whole lot of answers? A bomb? How about a new character that’s on the run? Or a detective with a dark past?

What if I told you, it’s all of the above?

Book three will bring Bella and Jeremiah’s story full circle. It will also introduce a new character that IS related to a detective with a dark past. And because I LOVE cliffhangers, it will all lead into the fourth book, Burned.

I hope you’re as excited as I am. Though you may also be wondering what all of that has to do with editing? A lot actually.

Writer’s are notorious for NEVER thinking their work is good enough. c443490f9e3f86fb769e6442c9b3b793--funny-writing-quotes-writer-humorYes, sometimes, I’m the same way. This is why we need editors. As writers we can only take our work so far. While it’s necessary as a writer to go back and edit, it’s also necessary to have an outside pair of peepers look at our work. Because the fact is, they can take out all the crap and leave behind the best parts.

For example, I called my editor the other day because of a part she in Avenged that she told me she couldn’t get to work. I went back and I found the part and we discussed how she had changed it. I listened and understood that it worked better without the small heartstring I was trying to incorporate, especially when a few scenes later it re-appeared. Except in that scene it flowed better. She even read the changes she’d made, strengthening the scene and I’ll admit it, I cried.

She had taken out the crap and made it tight and gutwrenchingly beautiful.

Writers may be the heart and soul of the book, but editors are the spine.

Let’s Get Real

bigstock-Money-Laundering-Cartoon-Illus-64544617The other day I was going through my Facebook posts and I came across one that had a generator for self-publishing. I took the quiz just to see if it would even come close to what I had spent. It wasn’t entirely accurate, but it wasn’t too far off either. Later that day I’m reading some of the comments and I read this one where the author (and I use the term lightly) stated the lowest amount he came up with was $1800. He went on to say he doesn’t pay for editing, he just puts it out there.

I had to stop because the # 1 rule for writers is you NEVER forego editing. And there are a multitude of reasons why. imagesIn fact, if you’ve ever read Fifty Shades of Grey you know what I’m talking about. Now, I’m not saying I’m perfect. No writer is and no writer will ever claim to be perfect. Perfect does not exist in the world of writing. The closest any of us can get is “just right.” That means it is “just right” in the eyes of the author. No offense to E.L. James, but the writing was atrocious. I read the book once and it was enough to make me question if an editor even glanced at the novel before it was published.

That’s a major difference between self published authors and traditionally published authors. There is almost a guarantee that traditionally published authors have gone through the editing process. Self published authors don’t have to pay an editor to look at the work. Some, like our aforementioned “author” prefer to do their own editing. cross-eyed-kidHere’s the thing, writers can only look at their work so many times before their eyes begin to cross. It’s the reason a break is often suggested after the first draft. Then again after the second and third and so on. This is also one of the many reasons why an editor is NECESSARY. An editor can find things the writer can’t. They can correct grammar, take out unnecessary prattle, and strengthen the work.

The reason why some authors refuse to use an editor is cost. On average an editor charges anywhere between $0.015 and $0.035 per word. That may not seem like much, until you realize the typical novel runs between 70,000 to 100,000 words. This means an author can spend anywhere from $1,050 to $3500 for the edit of one book. Seems like a lot, huh? Yeah, it can cost a pretty penny, but if the editor is awesome (like mine), then the money is well spent. And this is only if the author self publishes.

Editing isn’t the only thing to think about. A self published author also has to consider their novel’s cover. There are a number of ways to handle this. One, the author may be someone who can put together a good cover, but let’s say for arguments sake they aren’t. The next option is to use a generic cover provided by some of these free sites an author uses for publication. tumblr_mwq9bqqHOD1t06k0mo1_400For example, www.createspace.com or www.draft2digital.com. Both sites offer a walk-thru cover set-up. The last and final option is to pay for it. Now, depending on who the author uses, this can range anywhere from $50 to $200. This is on top of the editing cost. And let’s face it, readers do judge a book by its cover.

There’s also the interior design, but that’s limited to two choices. Either the author learns how to configure their novel or they pay someone to do it. If an author chooses to pay for the interior design, it could run another $400 in cost. So if the self published author has decided to pay for everything, then they have spent anywhere from $1100 to $4100 to publish one book.

And that is just getting the book out there. You’re probably thinking, what’s left? They’ve done everything right? Wrong.

There’s still advertisement, which is always optional. Creating ads isn’t necessary, but it helps get the information about an author’s book out there. This doesn’t include free advertisement, like friends sharing information about the author’s book or readers who leave reviews. Mobile-App-User-Acquisition-Increases-Through-Aarki-Social-AdvertisingOr if an author gets blogs to review their book in exchange for a free copy. There are a number of ways to advertise and not all of them are expensive, some are even free. But if an author chooses to pay for ads, this cost could range from $150 to $500 or more.

Let’s review.

Editing: $1050 to $3500, Cover Design: $50 to $200, Interior Design: up to $400, Ads: $150 to $500.

In total, a self published author can spend between $1250 to $4600 to publish one book.

Suddenly it makes sense why a self published author might chose to cut corners.