20 Ways to Make Book Editing Easier

20 Ways to Make Book Editing Easier

Being a writer can be pretty overwhelming. Especially if you are a self-published writer. Being self-published you are expected to do technically everything. Not only that you are expected to shoulder all the expenses of having your book published.

If you have the ample funds all’s well and good then. But what if you don’t have the extra money to pay for all the publishing expenses. Foremost among these expenses is hiring people to edit your book. With the usual price going as high as $50 an hour having your book professionally edited can be pretty pricey.

Which is why it is a very good idea to self-edit your book. True if you do a bad job, it might hurt your book’s chances of being sold. But who’s to say that you can’t do a good job. A good many writers do their own book editing and have had no problems. Here are some 20 easy to follow tips on how to edit your own book.

1. Don’t rush the process

One of the biggest mistakes you can ever do if you edit your own book is to rush the process. Book editing takes a lot of work. Not only do you have to do the usual grammar checks on the book. You also have to make sure that your work makes sense. Which is why when you finish your work don’t immediately rush to edit your work. Take a rest, go out and have a change of scenery.

Take a week off and go on a short trip. Just as long as you change your routine. You may not notice it at first but after finishing a book, you are most likely suffering from mental fatigue. And to start on them immediately won’t do you any favors. You will inevitably make mistakes because you are not fully prepared for the process.

2. Have family and friends read your work

The best thing about writing your own book is that it can be a family event. Having family and friends read your work can help you gain a whole new perspective on your work. One of the setbacks of editing your book is that you might have a narrow outlook on the story.

Which is why it is a good idea to have someone who is not fully invested look at your work. By having someone else read your work, you can have an unbiased response and make the necessary changes.

3. Eliminate overused words

One of the most common mistakes done by writers is that they tend to overuse certain words. Consider them as your favorite words and although there is technically no limit on the use of certain words it can be quite annoying for readers if they have to see the same word in every sentence.

The type of book writing software that you use is also a factor because they have different functions that can help you locate overused words. Two great examples is Scrivener and Microsoft word. If you are using Scrivener there is a function wherein you can see the frequency with which you use words. Microsoft word also has a free Word Usage and Frequency add in that makes it even more efficient.

4. Be consistent in your spell checks and grammar lapses

Although most book writing software already come equipped with a spell check function, it always pays to be vigilant. When you edit your work always make it a point to double check your spelling. With the enormity of the task of editing your book you may miss some misspelled words. Which is why you should always set aside some time to double check your work.

This also goes for grammar. There are various Automatic editing tools that you can use to make your grammar more refined. Some great examples of these editing tools being Grammarly and Autocrit.

5. Replace unnecessarily complicated or obscure words

When you edit your book try to identify unnecessarily complicated words. Sometimes in our wish to impress readers, we end up using words that normal readers would usually have to look through a dictionary to know. You can of course use complicated words, but only if it adds something to the manuscript. If it does not, it would only look awkward and unwieldy. Using them too frequently would only make you look pretentious to your readers.

6. Refrain from going overboard in your attribution

Although it is okay to be colorful in your attribution, going overboard with it can be annoying for readers. Try to be more subtle in how you use attribution. It is enough to use said or you don’t even have to sue attribution at all.

7. Also refrain from going overboard with punctuation, fonts and sizes

Some writers have the habit of overusing punctuation, fonts and sizes in order to add emotion to their sentences. Try to avoid this practice, because it is technically a way to hide the lack of emotion in a dialogue. Here are some examples of overusing punctuation, fonts and sizes.

  • He lost…… HIS HAND!!!!!!
  • I WAS WRONG!!!!
  • He broke the vase….I AM SOOOOO ANNOYED!!!!!

8. Refrain from using old cliches

Nothing annoys readers more than cliches. Old and overused tropes that do not anything to the story. If you want to really impress your readers don’t rely on them. Think up something new and exciting.

9. Use established writing styles

If you want your book to look professional you should follow established writing styles. One great example is the Chicago Manual of Style. This is considered to be one of the best editorial references ever and is widely used by most writers.

You can subscribe to the Chicago Manual of Style for only $35 a year. Of course you don’t really need to religiously follow it. But it is still advisable that you follow the format and learn more about it because it would help you improve your writing style.

10. Make sure your punctuation are used correctly

Have you ever had a problem with punctuations? Overused or used them incorrectly? Don’t worry it is a common problem for most writers. Just brush up on proper punctuation and make the necessary changes if you see them.

11. Don’t go overboard on the editing process

It’s okay to be thorough in your work but there is no need to go overboard with it. Although you should be critical of your work during the editing process, overdoing it would ultimately do more damage than good. Try to find a good balance between being vigilant with your grammar and spell checks and completely rewriting the book out fear that it is not perfect.

12. Read it out loud

Take the time to read your book aloud to yourself. This will allow you to properly scan your work for errors in grammar. Try to get the flow of the dialogue and see which parts you can improve. Take note of the errors as you read them and make the corrections accordingly.

13. Cut out unnecessary words

Try to make your work as concise and direct as possible. Don’t make your sentence composition too flowery. Unnecessary and superfluous words will not do your writing any favors. It is better to write sparingly but clearly than to write extensively but the sentence composition ends up complicated.

14. Make changes on the story structure first

One common mistake that some writers make is that they pay more attention to the sentence composition than the structure of the story. Thus when they find out that there is something wrong with the story structure, they will have to cut out huge chunks of sentences from the first draft. Thus wasting hours of editing work. This is why when you edit your manuscript always start with structure first then the sentence composition. This will save you a lot of time and effort in the end.

15. Take a systematic approach to the editing process

When you edit your work, take it slowly but surely. Although it may seem tedious at first it is important to remember that editing requires you to be meticulous and patient. Because if you hurry the process and there are errors in the final draft you are still the one who will lose readers.

16. Ask for advice from fellow authors

If there is a part of your book that you are discontented with or have trouble with, it is a good idea to ask fellow writers for their advice. Book editing is a very engrossing and work intensive bit of work. If you ask other authors for advice you can have a fresh new outlook on your book.

17. Use an editing app to be more thorough

Although editing apps are never as accurate as a human editor, they are still useful. This will help you to refine your manuscript’s overall tone. One great example is the Hemingway Editor app.

18. Keep a checklist of corrections

It is understood that book editing is very complicated work, which is why having a checklist of past corrections will really come in handy. It does not matter if it is your first or second draft. Always have a checklist so that you can make corrections as soon as possible. Having a checklist also helps you to make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

19. Work on your writing style

True, you are writing your book and you are technically way above the level of a beginner. But this should not dissuade you from trying to improve your writing style. On every draft that you make, be it the first or second always try to learn from past mistakes.

20. Trust in your skill as a writer

One of the biggest challenges a writer could ever face is self-doubt. This is a challenge because doubting your skill will slow your growth as a writer. Always remember that you chose to be a writer and any setback can be overcome with hard work and determination.

Truly Unique Ways to Motivate Yourself as a Writer

Truly Unique Ways to Motivate Yourself as a Writer

As a writer you are following a path that has been tread by many great men and women. Great writers have made great contributions to humanity by creating inspiring works of literature that have not only entertained and educated a huge number of people through the centuries, but has also shaped the mindsets of an entire generation of writers. Great writers like Alexander Dumas, Arthur Conan Doyle and a multitude of others have undoubtedly left their mark on history. And believe it or not so can you. All you really need is to have the proper mindset. Here are some truly unique ways to motivate yourself as a writer.

Think long term

Most people are perpetually locked in the present. Their decisions are overly influenced by the most immediate event; they easily become emotional and ascribe greater significance to a problem than it should have in reality. ― Robert Greene, Mastery

One of the most frequent mistakes done by some writers is that they have a short sighted look on the art of writing. Although it is good that you are focused and optimistic about your present book. You have to take a more forward looking approach. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If one of your books does not sell well, don’t dwell on it. Learn from your mistakes and keep going forward. Take the writing process as a journey. With many pitfalls and obstacles. The most important thing is that you always keep looking forward and enjoy your journey as a writer, triumphs and failures all.

Think outside the box

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. – Erich Fromm

Do not limit yourself to the parameters of conventional writing. Remember that only those who have the courage to try new thing are the ones who truly succeed and innovate in their work. Take for example the Wright Brothers. They are credited as the inventors of the world’s first flying machine. But their journey is not an easy one. Not only were they given the gargantuan task of figuring how to get their airplane up and running, they were also given a lot of criticism for the many failed attempts they conducted before their eventual triumph. Thus you should always try to think outside of the box, Innovate in your writing. Don’t let yourself get bogged down by naysayers and doubters.

Take inspiration from your own roots

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. – Marcus Garvey

Be proud of your heritage and culture and draw inspiration from it. This is important because in order for you to create your own style of writing, you have to be firmly grounded on who you are. Your culture and upbringing will tell you who you are and will also form the foundation of most of your stories in the future. One such example is Bernard Cornwell, who is the greatest Historical novelist of his time. He grew up in Great Britain and developed a love of military history through the years. He has always dreamed of being a soldier. These dreams were unfulfilled because of his bad eyesight. Instead he used his love for military history to create great literature.

Visit art exhibits and listen to classical music

When I say artist I mean the one who is building things … some with a brush – some with a shovel – some choose a pen. – Jackson Pollock

As a writer you are also an artist. The pen is your brush, your book your canvas, your word is your paint. This is why you should also take time to enjoy other forms of art. Go to art exhibits and breathe in the culture and passion that have been poured into these magnificent works of art. Listen to Beethoven, Mozart and Bach. Compare their works, make notes and bask in their genius. As a writer you should be able to appreciate their work and use it as inspiration for when you write a story.

Pick a genre and master every facet of it.

The truth is that creative activity is one that involves the entire self – our emotions, our levels of energy, our characters, and our minds. ― Robert Greene, Mastery

Although a good number of writers have crossed over to different genres they each have a specialty. Which is why you have to master your chosen genre. If you want to write a poetry book, master your poetry and write poems every day. If you want to write a religious book, read the bible and make new discoveries and concepts that will make your readers think. In short be fully enmeshed in the process.

Great writers such as Stephen King and Neil Gaiman have made their careers by writing horror and fantasy books respectively and although they did branch out and wrote books for other genres, they are still remembered for their specialties. Master your genre and you will reach great heights as a writer.

Challenges in Writing a Book and How to Face Them

Challenges in Writing a Book and How to Face Them

Writing is both an easy and difficult process. It is easy because it is a very enjoyable process and a way for you to open yourself up to the world. You can express yourself in a myriad of ways through writing and it is through your own passion that makes the writing process easy. And yet the process can also be very difficult because there are so many obstacles that may come up in the future.

True you can start out the writing process without any difficulties but in the long run these obstacles may come up. So before you think of starting the writing process here are some examples of common challenges in writing and how to face them.

Writers Block

Of all the writing obstacles that you will face in the future, writers block may be one of the most difficult to combat. Imagine that you are just about to start working on a new book, you are so excited and everything seems so clear to you. You just sit down and type down the words on your laptop. You start out great, you make the setting of the book very intriguing and you are really enjoying yourself. Then out of nowhere you can’t seem to put two words together. You shrug it off at first then you stumble out a few sentences. They don’t seem to make any sense. You feel annoyed, then helpless and it dawns on you how uncertain you now feel. This is how writers block usually feels. It is an uncertainty on how you should proceed with your work. It will feel as if your mind is a blank and you can’t seem to think clearly. You can’t seem to make a coherent sentence no matter how hard you try.

Writers block in truth may stem from a lot of factors. It could be stress, overwork, anxiety etc. But no matter the factors though you should always tell yourself that you can still write. Writers Block is a challenge for any writer but it could be made even worse with self-doubt. The best way for you to face writers block is to calm your mind and look at it from a more logical perspective. Don’t obsess over the problem and take in one at a time. If you feel agitated with the situation you should try a change of scenery. This can help you look at the world through a whole new perspective on your writing.

Another great way to combat Writers block is to go out and take a walk, travel if you can. Do anything that will help you gain a whole new perspective in life. It is also good advice to take up a more healthy way of living because having a good overall wellbeing makes the writing process so much easier. It is also a good idea to refrain from writing for a while because writing with writer’s block is akin to an athlete who competes with an injury. You will not only be ineffective but you will also damage yourself as a writer further.

Loss of inspiration

Writing a story is a very intensive activity. This is because you not only have to work at it constantly and master your craft, you also need to have inspiration to write. Inspiration is like fuel for a writer and should be cultivated as much as possible. This is why the loss of inspiration while writing a book is a very hard challenge to overcome. If you are writing a book and you lose your inspiration don’t panic. Although it is difficult to regain inspiration when it is lost you should not lose hope. One of the best ways to regain your inspiration to write is to open yourself to new things and having a well-balanced state of mind. Just stay positive and try to look at life in a positive manner and eventually you will find your inspiration again.

Lack of confidence in your work

When you write you open yourself to the world. Your thoughts on life, your ideas and philosophies are broadcast through your writing. This is why confidence is extremely important when you write. If you don’t believe in yourself how are you supposed to convince others that your book is worth reading?

Bad work ethic

Yet another challenge for a writer is bad work ethic. Writing a novel is a difficult process and if you lack the drive and work ethic you will find yourself floundering the whole time. This is why you need to develop a good work ethic.

Having a good work ethic means being able to work at a consistent pace, to be able to will yourself to work no matter how difficult the process may seem. The best way to develop a good work ethic is by having a rigid work schedule. You should stick to this work schedule no matter what whether it is the holidays or a work day. Through this practice you will be able to develop a good work ethic.

Lack of support from family

Your family is your very first form of support and most of your creative ability and inspiration stems from them. Which is why it is so important that you have their full support. There are so many ways for you to get support from your family.

It could be through emotional support such as them cheering you on, encouraging you during hard times and just simply being there for you. You could also ask for their feedback on your book and any tips that they could give. All in all having your family’s support is very important when it comes to your continuing career as a writer.

Emotional problems

We all have chinks in our armor, no one is exempted from emotional problems. You could be going through a hard time or even going through a traumatic moment in your life. And because of these emotional problems your writing may also suffer. But in truth writing can be a solace to you. Think of writing as a form of therapy where you can let out your pain. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is.

In truth writing a book is a difficult process and takes a lot of dedication and patience to get through. But always remember that as long as you work at it and do your very best you will accomplish your dream of writing your very own book.

Amazon KDP Select? Let's Take a Closer Look

Amazon KDP Select? Let’s Take a Closer Look

There have been so many changes in the publishing landscape through the years. Some years ago traditional publishing was the only viable form of Publishing. But as the years passed publishing has changed drastically. Self-publishing has emerged and author’s nowadays have a lot more options to choose from.

With the rise of popularity of eBooks the book market scene has become even more innovative. With the invention of the Kindle eBook device people can now store thousands and thousands of eBooks in their devices.

This innovation is truly a game changer in the publishing world. This is because the eBook format has the potential to change the book format forever.

A good number of authors are having their books written through the eBook format. Companies have grown because of these needs. Foremost among these companies is Amazon Kindle which is a series of e-Readers designed and marketed by Amazon.

The company has released a number of eBook programs that have proved beneficial to eBook readers everywhere. One great example of these programs is the Amazon KDP Select.

What is KDP Select?

KDP Select is an optional program that gives you the opportunity to reach more readers and earn more money. You can enroll a single book, your whole catalog or anything in between.This program also gives you access to various services that will help you sell and distribute your eBook.

In layman terms if you enroll with Amazon KDP Select you will receive five days to make your work free and also get paid for your eBooks that are lent through the Amazon Prime Library. The five free days can be very useful if you know how to use them. Such as garnering reviews and offering free reads to your fan base. You can also offer free reads to those who sign up for your mailing list. KDP is truly the most effective when it comes to increasing sales.

How much can you get in Royalties ?

Enrolling in KDP Select makes your book eligible for 70% royalty earnings on sales to customers in Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico. Even better you can even earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers choose and read more than 10% of your book from Kindle Unlimited, or borrow your book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

How do you enroll?

All authors and publishers, regardless of where they live, are eligible to enroll their books in KDP Select.

The only books ineligible for enrollment are those for which you do not have exclusive rights for the primary content of the book. Other factors, including royalty option, price, genre, etc., do not impact a book’s eligibility.

Who should enroll in KDP select?

Although KDP Select is a great program for authors everywhere, its exclusivity rule may alienate some authors out there. Which is why it is a good idea to know if this program is really for you. Here are examples of people who should enroll in KDP Select.

  • New authors who want to set up a larger readership for their books.
  • Well known authors who want to jump start a new book.
  • Authors of a series of books who want a steady readership.

What are its features?

  • It allows you to market your book in a more efficient manner and earn more money in the long run.
  • Signing up in KDP Select gives you the opportunity to use a new set of promotional tools such as Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotion.
  • You should keep in mind though that should you enroll with KDP Select your book will remain for sale through the Kindle store only.
  • You have the option make up to 10% of your books available on other sites as well and you can also distribute your book through any form other than digital.

Advantages

  • You can earn a share of the KDP Select Global Fund based on how many pages costumers read of your book
  • Enrolling with KDP Select also includes your book in Kindle Unlimited which is a subscription program that allows readers to read as many books as they want.
  • Being enrolled in KDP Select also includes your book in the Kindle Owners Lending Library which is a huge archive of books that Amazon Prime members can choose one book from with no due dates.

Disadvantages

  • The exclusivity rule for Kindle may prove disadvantageous to you as a writer. Although Amazon may be big in the US and UK, there are still other countries that your book may not reach. This is because some countries use other devices and retail stores.
  • The exclusivity rule may also limit your book’s range. Although your book is well represented by being part of Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners Lending Library, being unable to sign up with other eBook publishers stifles your book’s potential for growth a bit.

Should you enroll with KDP Select?

It all really depends on what you are looking for in eBook publishing. The KDP Select program does offer various advantages that would help increase your readership and earn more money. But there are some aspects of the program that you may find too constricting. Such as the exclusivity rule and the limited marketing range in some countries. All in all, it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of the program and decide if it is really for you.