Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Editing and converting for Smashwords

The biggest pain I find with self publishing is that you don't get a pro to hold your hand and correct your punctuation, discover spelling errors and other boobs.  I've paid for a freelance editor and found it didn't work - too many errors just weren't picked up.  Now I have a friend who proofreads (thanks Julie!) and I've developed an editing system.

First I write my MS in Word.  I don't use headers, footers or page numbers.  Just plain old text.

When I'm done, I run a spell and grammar check through it.

I go through it again, looking at the dialogue for punctuation mistakes.  It's very easy to see a full stop where a comma should be and visa versa.

Then I run thought it again and put in a global change that replaces every full stop and two spaces with a full stop and one space. This is one of my "best" errors.

I highlight the entire text and click on Format, Auto Format. I fix any visible errors.

This is the end of the first edit.  Now I convert it to an epub (thanks Calibre!) and I read it on my iPad, highlighting any errors or changes that have to be made.

I wait two days, then do it all over again.

Now Julie gets to have a go.  She picks up the rest of the problems, and sends it back to me.

I accept or reject her suggestions, and put together a table of contents, front matter and other sexy stuff.  I convert it, and read it again.

Then I upload to Smashwords.

I know my books will have the odd mistake.  Hey, I find them in books put out by Penguin, Harper Collins, Norton and other fantastic publishing houses!  I don't think a tiny errors here or there is a disaster but it is better to avoid them.

Blackmail Bride had the attention of a paid editor, but Julie and I found several mistakes.  Do read it!  And if you see a mistake, email me?

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