In which we obtain an editor/editors.
You’re writing and writing. Maybe you have a couple of chapters done, following your synopsis (see my series on writing a novel). Maybe you’re halfway through your book. When you go for editing help, and how?
If you’re using Google Docs per my earlier suggestion, sending a book out for edit is really simple. In Drive, multi-select all the chapters that you’re ready to have edited, right click on them and choose Share. In the dialog that pops up, enter the email addresses of the people who will be editing your work.
Change the widget on the right from Can Edit to Can Comment. This will let your editor add comments as well as to suggest inline edits, which is the way that the pros do it.
Add a little message so the person knows what they’re getting, hit Send and off you go. You can communicate with your editor entirely through the comments system within docs.
But how do you find an editor? That’s going to be tough. There are plenty of web communities that let you source freelance help, but I’ve found results to be mixed, even for people who are well reviewed. In the self-publishing scene, a lot of people aren’t able to actually evaluated quality and will leave a review for a good experience even though the actual work itself might not be the greatest.
The best way to edit is to get yourself some beta readers and ask them specifically to flag typos, wrong-words, etc. Make sure a couple of your beta readers are the ridiculously detailed-oriented type. This will help a lot.
Don’t expect this to happen all in one pass.
A number of people read LFBD during the writing process, and flagged a bunch of stuff for me, yet each time I re-read it, I found more. It’s hard to get this right.
What I did (and we’re not there yet in the process, so you can’t do this yet) is to let the book “soak” for a while. In my case, this was about six weeks. I’d finished it and put it out of my mind so I could focus on other things. Near the end of that time, I had a cheap-o print edition made (Createspace.com) and read it like I’d read anyone else’s book. Even after multiple rounds of edits, including from a copy editor whom I had hired, I found one typo/dropped word/etc for about every five pages. I marked up the physical copy and dog-eared the pages with edits.
It was extensive.
The point is that ultimately the final edit depends on you, and you and your betas are going to have to read the book multiple times. I’ve read mine ten times since it was “finished.” Sounds tedious, but you know what? It’s your name on the cover.
In the next installment, we’ll look taking all of your edited chapter docs and putting them together into a single .epub, followed by a .mobi.Amazon.com right now, or get the first half for free right here if you're still on the fence (.epub download to read in iBooks, Google Play Books, etc.)