Seven things I learned from writing and publishing my memoir (Part seven - Edit, edit, and edit again)

This week is the Queensland Writers Festival and as my tiny contribution, I am writing a post a day in a series called seven things I learned from writing and publishing my memoir. This is part seven.

7. Edit, edit, and edit again 

I have noticed a worrying trend for books to have spelling mistakes in them, even when they have been published by a company. Usually there is just one, but sometimes books have many mistakes. I have read two recently where there was a crucial mistake was on the first page.

It really makes a book look cheap and unprofessional.

I consider myself a good proof-reader of others work and I always use the computers spell check and grammar check when I write, but even though I read my first book over at least four times before I published it, there were many embarrassing mistakes in the first version. I wrote about this in a previous blog called "New book proves it, I know the proper English."

 There were missing words, and extra words. There were missing commas, and extra commas. I read what I thought I wrote instead of what was on the page.

As a writer you need as much help as you can get to proof-read your work.

For my second book I had Karen from EyeProof read it over and she found a similar plethora of mistakes but this time I was able to correct them before I published.

It is so easy to miss things in your own writing, and so important to have as many people look at it as possible. Or you could hire a professional like Karen for a reasonable fee.

It might also be helpful to have an editor look at it. I used the editing service on CreateSpace and for few hundred dollars I got six pages of really helpful feedback.

If you are submitting your book to a publisher you will be one of hundreds, if not thousands, vying for the publisher’s attention and a well edited book will improve your chances of being read and then picked up.
If you are self-publishing, then you still want your book to look professional. A good editor will help. Here are the two links I use and one blog post you might find useful.

Editing service through CreateSpace 

Eyeproof for seriously good proof-reading from a friend of mine

Tommorrow. I am posting a bonus blog with some tips I discovered about setting up and using CreateSpace to self publish.

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