Typos

I was pleased to discover a few typos in a professionally published book I'm reading. Though I try to edit my books as carefully as possible, I find that a few typos still slip through. I don't feel too bad now.


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  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    It happens remarkably often. But you should feel very happy that you actually spot them.
    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • oncewas said:

    I was pleased to discover a few typos in a professionally published book I'm reading. Though I try to edit my books as carefully as possible, I find that a few typos still slip through. I don't feel too bad now.


    I had this problem big time, even when I had my books edited by my father. There were still numerous typos. I might write the word "They" instead of "The." Or else I would leave out small words such as "a" or "by" and so on. Now I went over my books three or four times before I published them. But still there were many errors.

    However I found a really good solution. I converted my word file to an epub using calibre. This then produces an epub on the edge browser and on this epub, you have a "read aloud" function. It reads out your book to you. Now it is painfully slow, that is the only thing. But it really does find those small errors.

    So i did this with all my published books and had to revise many of them. 
  • I make pdf's of mine and let it read out loud while I read as well. The MS doc I keep open so I can make corrections right away when I find them. I have been told by many people of misspellings etc in top selling books. I have one Christian book I'm reading that was done by a Harvard professor and professionally published that has terrible spacing's throughout the book. But the book is good enough for me to ignore the mistakes and keep reading.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    A related discussion was recently raised in another forum. I made a suggestion to writers that was inspired by the fact that Edgar Allan Poe wrote everything to be read aloud. There is really no substitute for reading your own work out loud. This forces you to pay attention to not only every word but the cadence, pacing and rhythm of your writing as well. I realize that many people try to substitute an automated reader...but there are a couple of problems with this. The first, of course, is the same problem Spellcheck has: it can't differentiate between homophones. "There" and "their" are pronounced alike. It is also too possible for your own mind to wander while being read to...or even to fall into a trap similar to that of reading silently: the tendency to hear what you think you wrote instead of what you did.

    Yes, of course, errors creep into professionally published books---and some publishers are better at avoiding this than others (you get what you pay for and there are, unfortunately, some publishers who skimp on the professionalism of their copy editors and proofreaders). Even so, there is really no substitute for having your MS read by an objective, knowledgeable, experienced copy editor and proofreader.
  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    editado 5 de marzo
    Ron,

    If you know of some copy editors and proofreaders who don't charge an arm and a leg and Lulu offers a freelancers' section, you might have them hang a shingle here.

    I would prefer to let someone else do the copy edit and proofread functions as it would free up a lot of time for other tasks, like writing. Unfortunately with my last release I was getting quotes that ranged anywhere from $1,400 to $35,000 for copy editing and proofreading services.

    There are some betas at GR, but as a rule the experienced ones who will do it for free are usually selective and booked many months in advance.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    You've pretty much hit the nail on the head when it comes to at least two of the fundamental problems with self-publishing: A. Publishing a book at a professional level can be expensive and B. You get what you pay for.

    The result of A. is that far too many authors will eschew proper editing, copy editing and proofreading (these are actually three different things), with the results you might expect. The result of B. is too often amateurish editing. Worst, of course, is the unspoken C., where the author undertakes these tasks themselves.

    I think that one of the real stumbling blocks the self-published author faces is the realization that if they want to be a publisher they have to take on the responsibilities of a publisher. Many of these responsibilities do not come free of charge---at least if they want to create a product that is at the same level of quality as a traditionally published book. And I think it behooves the author to do that: after all, if they are expecting their readers to pay pretty much the same price for their book that they would pay for a book from a traditional publisher then they have a responsibility to offer a product of equal quality. It is unfair to ask the reader to overlook faults simply because the author could not afford or was unable to correct them. It's a little like someone inexperienced in engineering who wants to create a new brand of automobile in their garage but is unable or unwilling to afford the necessary equipment, materials and personnel...and then asks a customer to forgive everything that is wrong with it while still paying the same price they would pay for a car from GM or Toyota.
  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    Ron,

    You've hit upon part of the reason I said "If you know of some copy editors and proofreaders who don't charge an arm and a leg and Lulu offers a freelancers' section, you might have them hang a shingle here."

    Consider the different symptoms of the problem.

    1] Some self-publishers think their work is a potential gold mine, an easy path to fortune if not fame. They don't need any assistance because it's so 'easy'.

    2] Some self-publishers realize their work would benefit from outside assistance, yet due to the fact most of the services are priced more toward the traditional publishing scale, they eschew what they can't afford.

    3] Some self-publishers realize their work would benefit from outside assistance, and since their personal finances allow it they pay for services regardless of ROI.

    There isn't much you can do about the first group. Even if readers post a review which includes "someone should tell this 'writer' not to quit his day job" they won't get it.

    The third group can already afford pricey services, though unfortunately some of them get sucked into the vanity press thing.

    The second group is where change for the better can happen, but it will take some editors, copy editors, and proofreaders who function professionally but are willing to do a prices on a sliding scale.

    I understand that people need to make a living, and many if not most of the professionals in the publishing business paid a high price for their educations. But I also understand wanting people new to the field to do better means nothing if they don't have a credible opportunity to do better.

    Consider, if I didn't have my current final duty station my contract rate [depending on venue and skill involved] would range from $60 to $250+ per hour. Using basic skills I learned before college I've built wheelchair ramps, replaced toilets, and done repairs for those who had the need without the ability to pay, gratis.

    I can appreciate [and do appreciate] the fact you do something similar for people who want a better book cover but can't necessarily afford better. After all, who wants to look at a lousy book cover when far too often said cover is a caricature of what it could have been.

    Perhaps some of the industry editorial professionals would be willing to help aspiring publishers get to the point they can afford professional pricing?
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    editado 6 de marzo
    Ron,

    You've hit upon part of the reason I said "If you know of some copy editors and proofreaders who don't charge an arm and a leg and Lulu offers a freelancers' section, you might have them hang a shingle here."

    Consider the different symptoms of the problem.

    1] Some self-publishers think their work is a potential gold mine, an easy path to fortune if not fame. They don't need any assistance because it's so 'easy'.

    All too true.

    2] Some self-publishers realize their work would benefit from outside assistance, yet due to the fact most of the services are priced more toward the traditional publishing scale, they eschew what they can't afford.

    Then they really have no business offering their work for sale. An author---or anyone else---should not expect anyone to pay for work that is not of the highest standard. I have used this example  many times in the past: Imagine a woodworker who has neither the skill nor the resources to build a chair properly. He asks a potential customer, "Would you please overlook the shoddy craftsmanship, the sticky glue, the runny paint, the loose joints and uneven legs and pay me as much as you would a well-made chair by an experienced craftsman?"

    3] Some self-publishers realize their work would benefit from outside assistance, and since their personal finances allow it they pay for services regardless of ROI.

    And that is the right thing to do.

    I understand that people need to make a living, and many if not most of the professionals in the publishing business paid a high price for their educations. But I also understand wanting people new to the field to do better means nothing if they don't have a credible opportunity to do better.

    This is one of the reasons I encourage people to submit their books to traditional publishers before rushing into self-publishing. If your book is good enough, it will find a home...and then it will benefit from all the professional guidance it needs totally free of charge. And if your book does not eventually find a publisher, at least within a reasonable amount of time, and many decent books do not, you can then think about self-publishing. But...there is also the excellent possibility that your book did not find a publisher for very good reasons. Reasons that might---or at least should---give one pause for thought. Is your book, for instance, really as good as you think it is? There are also many reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of a book. For example, is it redundant? That is, are there many other books similar to yours on the market? Publishers are not looking for yet one more urban vampire or zombie novel. They are not looking for another Harry Potter...they are looking for the next Harry Potter. 

    Consider, if I didn't have my current final duty station my contract rate [depending on venue and skill involved] would range from $60 to $250+ per hour. Using basic skills I learned before college I've built wheelchair ramps, replaced toilets, and done repairs for those who had the need without the ability to pay, gratis.

    I can appreciate [and do appreciate] the fact you do something similar for people who want a better book cover but can't necessarily afford better. After all, who wants to look at a lousy book cover when far too often said cover is a caricature of what it could have been.

    I sure don't!

    Perhaps some of the industry editorial professionals would be willing to help aspiring publishers get to the point they can afford professional pricing?

    There are already numerous people who do that, and they can be found on line. And, as you say, I have done my share in helping out some people with their book covers (both here and at covercritics.com/ )
     I think there is, however, something of a difference between "aspiring publisher" and "aspiring author." The latter is welcome to all the help they can get from wherever they can get it...but once you decide to be a publisher, I think you need to be willing to take upon the responsibilities of a publisher. The author should be helped when it comes to what in publishing comes under "editing"---that is, advice on content, style, characterization, etc. But an author does not need copy editing or proofreading. Those are distinctly part of the publishing process and I don't think that anyone should expect those services to be free or cut rate simply because they cannot afford them. Which is all to say that the decision to be an author is one thing, the decision to be a publisher is quite another. It's a little like someone who wants to be a painter. They solicit advice and critiques from more experienced artists or professionals, who---if they are at all right-thinking people---are willing and anxious to help a novice. But then the artist decides to open their own gallery in order to display and sell their work. Should they expect to get everything they need in order to do this for free? Should they expect a discount from their landlord? Should they expect their employees to work at less than minimum wage simply because the artist can't afford to pay them?

    I think what I am trying to say is that giving someone a leg up in developing their skills as a writer is one thing, giving them help in setting up business as a publisher is another. The first is really just editorial advice at bottom...the latter gets into details such as copy editing, proofreading, formatting, design, cover art, marketing, etc.

  •          I haven't been around much for quite a while now but I'm happy to see that there is a common concise of a more tolerant attitude made up of gratitude that someone would take the time to try to at least complete a novel of any length or understandably.

    I say this because I think that everyone operates on separate levels of intellectual prowess  and the sheer beat down that I received for writing a novel that was coming from people on this forum was truly painful and disheartening to me that almost made me feel like writing a book was not a good thing because of all the negative feedback that I received!

                 Which made me feel that I was given in an attempt to discredit my work that was something that was ruining my life. Which worked. So with all of the negativity I started to regret ever sharing my work, but after reading this thread I do appreciate the fact that the neanderthal mentality has softened your hearts and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the same open sharing of minds and kindness toward one another. KRB.CRC  
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    Kurt, good to see you back.

    It's important that none of us take criticism personally. That can be difficult, especially when we've poured our hearts and souls into a work. Still, we need to understand that the critic is trying to help us, and to make us stronger by showing the places where we need improvement.

    There is an old saying, "The wounds of [from] a friend can be trusted." -- that is, when a friend says something that hurts, it is to help us heal.

    I think that if we all take that into consideration, we will be better as writers and as critics.
  • One of my books has sold over 1171 copies. It sells around 100 copies a month. It has a 4 and 5 star rating mostly with some that gave it 1 star or 3 stars on Amazon. Of those not a one complained that I misspelled a word, had bad formatting, or forgot to capitalize something. The complaints were about the shortness of the book although it says right there on the page it's 32 pages long and in the "short read" section. Others complained about the topic saying there was nothing there that couldn't be found online. That is somewhat true but I had added some things most teachers won't and those bad reviewers didn't realize what they were reading. They wanted a shortcut for something that takes hard work. But my point is I've not gotten a single complaint about the book's spelling, grammar, or formatting. It was about the content. So what I'm saying is that although I'd love to have the book professionally done and have it as perfect as possible, it hasn't stopped it from selling. So don't freak out if one or two things are not perfect. Make the book so good that people won't care. If you can afford to get your book looked over professionally please do. But many like me can't afford to do so and I do the best I can with what I've got. I try to make up with content for what I lack in skill in editing. I'm working on it though.
  • Anymore I've just come to the conclusion that I have a different writing style grammar wise. No excuses but I just cant seem to grasp the concept. English is the reason I couldn't graduate from High School with my class so maybe there are deep seeded problems that aren't really my fault or something I can just work on.

    Although I did accomplish a diploma in 2002 but I was due to graduate in 1993 thanks to a positive high school level essay. Thanks for the feedback though but I still can't seem to see the light here. Besides, I enjoy my books just the way they are. So since I really don't need the aggravation of changing anything to please someone else, and because I have trust issues I've decided as I've said before, 

    "The books are finished as-is."

     Which may seem to me to be a foolish thing to do but I'm also tired. I just don't deal anymore. Haven't for a long time. This could also have something to do with social interaction. Something else I avoid. Thanks once again for the feedback. KRB.CRC.
  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    I was once worried I was too remorseless, now I suspect I wasn't remorseless enough in the pursuit of money. Now, I'm starting to get the feeling my mentors were completely wrong about doing pro bono work for the future good of society. I need to think about this.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    A little constructive and positive criticism can be useful and should be accepted as such, but criticism and sarcasm just for the sake of it is very negative, and should be avoided by those who do it. It's not a good state of mind.

    BTW. We are all different and I still state that reading out aloud does not work for everyone. Do what works best for you.

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • oncewasoncewas Publisher

    The trouble with advice is it is only useful if we wish to receive it. You will not reach those who don't want to hear your message.

    Many times I have seen the argument put forward that ...'there are too many self-published authors publishing dross; they should stop doing so because they are making it difficult for the rest of us to sell out books'.

    There is no evidence available to prove this. If there were just 1 000 self-published authors in the world, they would be competing with the guys at the top table, i.e. professional authors, and would probably sell no more than they currently do. Every aspect of life is a competition; we all compete for the same finite resources and you can no more tell someone to stop publishing than to stop breathing.

    I will often write a story in the morning, edit and proof read it in the afternoon and publish it in the evening. I sell about 100 ebooks a month; there is no way I am paying out anything for editing services from my measly $ 35.

    No matter how much you might repeat the mantra that books should be professionally edited and proofread, it will not have much impact here. We are all self-published authors on low-budgets. We have to be realistic. What is the point of spending even $ 3000 on services, only to sell 2 000 copies?


  • oncewas said: I will often write a story in the morning, edit and proof read it in the afternoon and publish it in the evening. I sell about 100 ebooks a month

    You are actually able to write a story? A brand new story everyday? And pump out over a 100 copies of it in a month? Boy, I'd like to see the full list of story books that you've written online! If I had numbers like that, I wouldn't have to worry about what everybody else was doing at the time, because I would be so busy with my own work to worry about something as trivial as that!. 

    Just don't get greedy by reading to much into what other people say in/on a forum thread. Especially if that's what you said about it, and how you feel about what the rest of us are doing to your bottom line at this time Please? Just take what you want from it and leave the rest of it behind! I hope this helps you, and you have many five star customer satisfaction ratings in the future! krb.crc

    By the way, does this happen everyday??? Shew... B)
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    oncewas said:

    The trouble with advice is it is only useful if we wish to receive it. You will not reach those who don't want to hear your message.

    Many times I have seen the argument put forward that ...'there are too many self-published authors publishing dross; they should stop doing so because they are making it difficult for the rest of us to sell out books'.

    There is no evidence available to prove this. If there were just 1 000 self-published authors in the world, they would be competing with the guys at the top table, i.e. professional authors, and would probably sell no more than they currently do. Every aspect of life is a competition; we all compete for the same finite resources and you can no more tell someone to stop publishing than to stop breathing.

    I will often write a story in the morning, edit and proof read it in the afternoon and publish it in the evening. I sell about 100 ebooks a month; there is no way I am paying out anything for editing services from my measly $ 35.

    No matter how much you might repeat the mantra that books should be professionally edited and proofread, it will not have much impact here. We are all self-published authors on low-budgets. We have to be realistic. What is the point of spending even $ 3000 on services, only to sell 2 000 copies?



    Well...

    You are probably right in saying that self-published authors don't constitute serious competition with professional authors. But then, I don't think anyone has claimed any such thing in this thread. 

    But regarding what you have said about your own work. You bemoan the fact that you sell only 100 ebooks a month which earns you "a measly $35." Have you ever considered the possibility that these figures might in some way be a reflection of the fact that your stories are written, edited, "proofread" and uploaded in less than a day?

    And in your case, it sounds as though you are writing and selling individual short stories (since you make less than forty cents a copy). I was speaking of full-length books, such as novels, which may sell from $15 on up to $30 and more. This makes them competitive with traditionally published fiction. Since these authors are charging the same amount for their books as a traditional publisher, I think this obligates them to offer the same quality.

    I fully understand and appreciate the fact that most self-published authors cannot afford to do this. But by the same token, they have to face the potential consequences as well and not complain. Whenever I hear a self-published author bemoan the fact that their sales are much lower than they had hoped, I can't help but wonder if that might be due, in part at least, to the fact that their books lack independent editing, copy editing, proofreading, formatting and design and effective marketing.


  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile

    A little constructive and positive criticism can be useful and should be accepted as such, but criticism and sarcasm just for the sake of it is very negative, and should be avoided by those who do it. It's not a good state of mind.

    BTW. We are all different and I still state that reading out aloud does not work for everyone. Do what works best for you.

    I try to be invariably courteous in here, regardless of the provocation.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    Skoob_ym said:
    Kurt, good to see you back.

    It's important that none of us take criticism personally. That can be difficult, especially when we've poured our hearts and souls into a work. Still, we need to understand that the critic is trying to help us, and to make us stronger by showing the places where we need improvement.

    There is an old saying, "The wounds of [from] a friend can be trusted." -- that is, when a friend says something that hurts, it is to help us heal.

    I think that if we all take that into consideration, we will be better as writers and as critics.
    I could hardly agree more with you! 
  • Solis Ron. You've been a good friend to me over the years. You've taught me a lot about making good decisions about the formatting of books. My books wouldn't look or contain the same formatting that they do now without you and "Just Kevin"s' help. So thanks for all your advice. Even though I must say,

    "They may be considered more of a, "work of art" at this time. Rather than that of any novelist that might be considered by a person with a good literary eye to be seen as a, "literary giant." as such."

     Enough said. Thanks again. krb.crc
  • oncewasoncewas Publisher

    No, I don't write a story every day; I'm not a machine. I can knock out 7 000 words in a day, when I am in the mood.

    The fact that I only sell 100 copies a month is probably unrelated to the quality of the writing, editing etc, and more likely down to the fact that most self-published authors do not sell many books. I should imagine that I would sell less than a dozen books a month if my writing was dire.

    Of course anyone wanting to sell more books will first need to look at the quality of their writing, editing, etc. but it is disingenuous to suggest that by improving these things you will automatically improve sales.

    I defend anyone's right to publish anything they like. However, they can't moan too much if they don't sell well. I'm not moaning that I only sell 100 ebooks; I am saying that I will not pay for services until the return on my investment is high enough. I am also saying that it is unrealistic to expect anyone in a similar situation to do so, even if one wants to sell the said services to authors.

    There is no real proof for any of the opinions expressed here. They remain just that, opinions. Sure an eye-catching cover and professional editing might help sell your book, but many a highly regarded literary work only has a print run of two or three thousand. How do you explain that?

    Ron, you could put all of this argument to bed by telling us how many hundreds of thousands of books you sell.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    Solis Ron. You've been a good friend to me over the years. You've taught me a lot about making good decisions about the formatting of books. My books wouldn't look or contain the same formatting that they do now without you and "Just Kevin"s' help. So thanks for all your advice. Even though I must say,

    "They may be considered more of a, "work of art" at this time. Rather than that of any novelist that might be considered by a person with a good literary eye to be seen as a, "literary giant." as such."

     Enough said. Thanks again. krb.crc

    You are very welcome!
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    editado 8 de marzo
    oncewas said:


    Ron, you could put all of this argument to bed by telling us how many hundreds of thousands of books you sell.
    Well, my best-selling book, The Grand Tour (now out of print, alas) sold about 240,000 copies (it also went through three editions and several printings, so I am counting all of those).

    Many of the biannual statements I receive from my publishers don't include the total units sold, just the number for that previous six month period, so it's hard to tell exactly what the grand total is for every book unless I go back and add up every statement or specifically ask the publisher. It's really never occurred to me to find out! I do know how well The Grand Tour did and that my book, Elements, has sold 21,000 copies to date. 

    One of my most recent books, The Zoomable Universe, has had a sales rank of about 20,000 on Amazon for the past few months (it started off at #10 overall in October and was at #1 in its category for a week or two) but I don't know what that translates into in copies sold. Another book which came out at the same time, Aliens, is creeping up slowly and is at just 143,000 now. Since both books came out so recently, the publishers themselves probably don't have accurate figures yet.

    To answer your question about the print runs for some books, that is entirely dependent on the expected market...it doesn't pay to have more books in print than you expect to sell. But you may be thinking of initial print runs, which are often fairly small unless the publisher is very confident of a book's selling capability (say, for instance, it is a highly anticipated new book from a best-selling author). Otherwise, it is simply much cheaper to start off with a smaller run and then order additional printings if necessary. 
  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    I sold enough over four years to finally get $25, now leaving me to suspect my mother was right. I have about as much talent at writing as a dead three-toed sloth.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    I sold enough over four years to finally get $25, now leaving me to suspect my mother was right. I have about as much talent at writing as a dead three-toed sloth.

    oncewas said:
    I don't know if that is necessarily true at all. Aside from the fact that I have read your work and think it's very good, there are a lot of questions I would like to ask.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    The trouble with advice is it is only useful if we wish to receive it. You will not reach those who don't want to hear your message.

    Very true, but there are times when people ask for advice and opinions, but then strongly dislike what is give.

    Many times I have seen the argument put forward that ...'there are too many self-published authors publishing dross;

    That is unfortunately true. It gives SP a bad reputation. But often can be a decent story ruined by sloppy editing and proofreading, or none at all.

     they should stop doing so because they are making it difficult for the rest of us to sell out books'.

    There is no evidence available to prove this.

    Well there is. SP has always had a bad rep and used to be classed as Vanity Publishing. Companies offering to 'publish' a story if you hand them a lot of money, often as much as ten grand. Very often they did not edit or proof read them, they just took the dosh, 'published' as is, and sent one a box full of books to stack in your loft.

     If there were just 1 000 self-published authors in the world, they would be competing with the guys at the top table, i.e. professional authors, and would probably sell no more than they currently do.

    I assume that 1000 is just an example? But there are in fact pro Self-Publishers also.

     Every aspect of life is a competition; we all compete for the same finite resources and you can no more tell someone to stop publishing than to stop breathing.

    No one is attempting to stop any one from publishing, what we here in the forum advise (and 100s of web sites too) is that one is competing with huge traditional publishing houses with lots of staff, and one's product has to be as good (if not better) than theirs is. One problem with POD is it is expense and hard to compete with mass-printing no matter how good the product is.

    I will often write a story in the morning, edit and proof read it in the afternoon and publish it in the evening.

    Are you joking? Do they only have 1 page?

     I sell about 100 ebooks a month; there is no way I am paying out anything for editing services from my measly $ 35.

    Well I have not read your books, but if you are churning out that many I do not think I wish to! But are you saying you only sell them for around $0.04?!

    No matter how much you might repeat the mantra that books should be professionally edited and proofread, it will not have much impact here.

    That's possibly true, but it does not have to be a paid for service, at the very least get a number of random friends to go over your works with a pencil. It should not take long ...

     We are all self-published authors on low-budgets.

    That is not necessarily true. I am sure Lulu make decent money selling their paid for services to those with the money.

    We have to be realistic. What is the point of spending even $ 3000 on service

    s, only to sell 2 000 copies?

    Well if you sell 2,000 with $3 profit each, that's a plus of $3,000 is it not? Although I do get your point. Some do pay that much for pro services, and not sell a one!


    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • oncewas said:

    No, I don't write a story every day; I'm not a machine. I can knock out 7 000 words in a day, when I am in the mood.

    Ron, 

    Why don't you finish the entire rough draft continuing on with one singular thought pattern experimenting with new and different ideas while tying up loose ends before you edit the book? That way if you find yourself on a good tangent but there are loose ends in the beginning or previously in your story you can correct them at that time. 

    Then, go through the entire story chapter by chapter separating the book into sections of paragraphs and chapters afterwards? This will allow you to provide a solid foundation to the person who is tasked with editing your document.

    Just like with NaNoWriMo. 50,000 word novel. All at once. Anything above that you should start a second novel in that series just so that your not underwriting yourself. I've even finished it as a compilation or anthology but all four books are available for sale individually. Any Questions?  


  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    I sold enough over four years to finally get $25, now leaving me to suspect my mother was right. I have about as much talent at writing as a dead three-toed sloth.

    oncewas said:
    I don't know if that is necessarily true at all. Aside from the fact that I have read your work and think it's very good, there are a lot of questions I would like to ask.
    Ron,

    The fact you actually read my work is a bit of a surprise to me. I would think you were just being kind except the Wife said somewhat the same thing about it being good. I'll stick with my work being okay but not noteworthy, due to them as helped shape my perceptions.

    Questions are another matter. If it's something sensitive, you have my email and you can fire away. In the world I've had to kind of sort of maybe function in there aren't that many secrets, only need to know versus want to know. If it's need to know you're out of luck, otherwise I'll answer as I see fit due to the needs of others.

    As for ordinary questions, ask away. I normally default to nice except when backed into a corner or when I try something I already know likely won't happen any differently than I expect. I usually don't start reacting like an a-hole until after polite suggestions to back off don't suffice. All in all for the environment I was raised in I'm a simple read and not so subtle.

    You decide whether to start a Q&A thread or do it privately.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    editado 8 de marzo

    The trouble with advice is it is only useful if we wish to receive it. You will not reach those who don't want to hear your message.

    Very true, but there are times when people ask for advice and opinions, but then strongly dislike what is give.

    Sad but all too true. 

    Many times I have seen the argument put forward that ...'there are too many self-published authors publishing dross;

    That is unfortunately true. It gives SP a bad reputation. But often can be a decent story ruined by sloppy editing and proofreading, or none at all.

    There have been too many times when I have gone to a book's storefront and tried to read a sample chapter...and stopped after the first page because the text was literally unreadable. 

     they should stop doing so because they are making it difficult for the rest of us to sell out books'.

    There is no evidence available to prove this.

    Well there is. SP has always had a bad rep and used to be classed as Vanity Publishing. Companies offering to 'publish' a story if you hand them a lot of money, often as much as ten grand. Very often they did not edit or proof read them, they just took the dosh, 'published' as is, and sent one a box full of books to stack in your loft.

    I once got into a debate with a Lulu rep because I tried to make the argument that self-publishing was in a very real way "vanity publishing." If nothing else, self publishing does---as you say---suffer from the stigma of traditional vanity publishing and some of this stigma is well-deserved: books that are poorly written with no editing, copy editing or formatting and cringe-worthy covers. One of the stigmas that carry over from vanity publishing is the not entirely unfair opinion that a book is being self published because no legitimate publisher would touch it. This is certainly not universally true, but it does carry some weight.

     If there were just 1 000 self-published authors in the world, they would be competing with the guys at the top table, i.e. professional authors, and would probably sell no more than they currently do.

    I assume that 1000 is just an example? But there are in fact pro Self-Publishers also.

    Indeed! I've lately been doing the covers for a science fiction and fantasy author who has taken to publishing her own work herself as ebooks (though they do eventually appear as traditional hardcovers). One of these recently won her a Hugo Award (her sixth, I might add).

     Every aspect of life is a competition; we all compete for the same finite resources and you can no more tell someone to stop publishing than to stop breathing.

    No one is attempting to stop any one from publishing, what we here in the forum advise (and 100s of web sites too) is that one is competing with huge traditional publishing houses with lots of staff, and one's product has to be as good (if not better) than theirs is. One problem with POD is it is expense and hard to compete with mass-printing no matter how good the product is.

    There are many things that make it hard to compete with traditional publishing. For an author, a traditional publisher can offer a non-refundable advance, professional editing, copy editing and proofreading, book and cover design, advertising and marketing. For the author-publisher, the fact that traditional printing can make unit costs extremely low is hard to compete with. Say, for instance, a POD book might cost $4 to print. This will be true no matter how many copies are ordered. However, with traditional printing, 100 copies might cost $4 each to produce but 1000 copies might be only $2 each (I'm just making these numbers up, but you get the point). This sort of thing is what enables publishers to freely provide copies for promotion and to reviewers, something that would be an unbearable expense for most self-publishers.

    I will often write a story in the morning, edit and proof read it in the afternoon and publish it in the evening.

    Are you joking? Do they only have 1 page?

     I sell about 100 ebooks a month; there is no way I am paying out anything for editing services from my measly $ 35.

    Well I have not read your books, but if you are churning out that many I do not think I wish to! But are you saying you only sell them for around $0.04?!

    Actually, I think that comes out to more like 40 cents. But that is still not very much.

    No matter how much you might repeat the mantra that books should be professionally edited and proofread, it will not have much impact here.

    That's possibly true, but it does not have to be a paid for service, at the very least get a number of random friends to go over your works with a pencil. It should not take long ...

    There are lots of ways to get decent, objective editing done. I, for one, would not necessarily count on friends unless they have some experience with English composition or writing. A couple of things I have suggested in the past is canvassing local schools and colleges. You might find a teacher or English major (ideally in creative writing or journalism) who might be willing to vet your MS for you either as a favor or for a small fee. Someone at a local newspaper might be willing to help you as well.

     We are all self-published authors on low-budgets.

    That is not necessarily true. I am sure Lulu make decent money selling their paid for services to those with the money.

    Absolutely! To say nothing of the countless editing and design services being offered on line.

    We have to be realistic. What is the point of spending even $ 3000 on service

    s, only to sell 2 000 copies?

    Well if you sell 2,000 with $3 profit each, that's a plus of $3,000 is it not? Although I do get your point. Some do pay that much for pro services, and not sell a one!

    No kidding! And there may be several different reasons for that. One, of course, might just be bad luck. Even the best books sometimes just don't click. Another, of course, is the quality of the book itself. It just might be plain lousy. And that is where a problem with some of the pro services comes in. First of all, there is a fundamental difference between editing and copy editing. An editor looks at the content of the book, its sense and structure. At a traditional publisher, this is as far as a book will get if it is unsalvageable. It's the publisher's money that will be going into producing a book and they are not about to waste a cent on something that is godawful. I am not so convinced that this would always be the case with an editor-for-hire, whose payment would be contingent on the amount of work they put into their client's book. Turning away dross doesn't earn them anything. (I freely admit that I am probably maligning a lot of perfectly honest freelance editors.) But what most pro services seem to offer is not editing but copy editing. This is the task of going over a MS with a fine-toothed comb, looking at spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, etc.---and sometimes even fact-checking. This is all well and good, of course, and absolutely necessary---but by the same token doesn't mean that the book is any good, just free of errors.



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