So, here I am, the Monday following receipt of my professionally edited manuscript. And I have to say, it didn’t take very long to go through the document. I managed to look over all the edits in a single day.
Like I said last week, the lady had nice things to say about my writing. Clean writing is a goal of mine, and it looks like I did a fine job here this round.
On the other hand, I have to say, I’m a little disappointed with the outcome. I’m not sure what I expected, but I think what I got was a little…well, I’m going to say it felt like I got a little less value than I hoped for.
Granted, I could have, and some might say should have, paid for a content edit or a more in-depth edit of the manuscript. The editor I chose did offer other things, such as the one where the editor looks over your entire story and searches for problems and helps you work through them. I only asked for the proofing and copy editing portion.
I also could have paid a lot more money for an edit than I did. I’m also looking at someone who was working hard to build a client list, and willing to offer services at a discounted rate until she had that clientele in hand.
But I’m not sure I’m going to do it again. What really convinced me was the changes were so minor, and most of them optional. I accepted plenty of them, if I thought that particular sentence benefited from the change. But I also rejected plenty of them. I don’t want someone’s editing to interfere with my author voice, and some of the changes might have done that.
Also, some of the changes were…well, not to put too fine a point on it, incorrect. To be honest, I had to look up several of them, and found there are rules for dialog which may or may not differ from rules for narrative. Interesting.
The use of an apostrophe in the possessive form of “it” was the one that jarred me most.
I liked having the choices. I thought the editor did a nice job of providing me alternatives, so I could see how the sentence might look to readers unfamiliar with my style or voice. So, there was a lot to go over, but none of it major. Then again, I didn’t ask for that level of editing either.
At the same time, I think my beta readers and friends did a pretty spectacular job of finding and fixing issues with the book. I don’t know if I actually needed this service. I know most indie writers say you need an editor. It’s the one thing you can’t skip, can’t sidestep. I guess I’ll see next time I approach that phase of a project. Maybe, after doing a spell check through the document, I’ll be able to send it off to someone like this so I don’t have to bother friends and family to read it.
So the decision is made this time. I’ll live or die by my choices with this book. If the reading audience likes it, I’ll know I was right. If they don’t, I guess I’ll have learned something. Either way, we go forward.
And by forward, I mean back, because my wife and I did some brainstorming this weekend on the first book of this series.
I originally called the first book Ghost Hunters. Then I chickened out of that title, because a really popular TV show by that name was airing on SyFy (I think it still is, but don’t know for sure). Then I discovered a couple of nights ago some other indie writer used that title for his book. So now if I revert to my title – from 2007, mind you! – I look like I’m copying that guy.
But worse still, and I mean orders of magnitude worse, I discovered that same indie author has another book, called Witch Hunt. That’s the name of book three of this series. Originally, it was book two, which I started back in 2008, and anyone who’s known me that long will testify to it. But I can’t use that title now. It will look like every book I wrote is a rip off of his books.
I got hot about this. I was – and am – so flippin’ mad about this. I swore a blue streak which lingers over Lake Michigan this morning.
I’ve no one to blame. If I’d gotten off my big fat behind, I’d have my stuff out there instead. I bet that guy wouldn’t have cared, and would have named his books what he wants to call them anyway. I might too, but I’m so angry I can’t think straight. Now I don’t have any titles worth a crap for any of my books. None. Well, in this series at least.
That’s what I get for being slow and not moving this along. It’s my punishment for dragging my feet on getting my stuff done and out there.
So, now that the editing of this book – which has no title – is finished, I guess I can put it into a format acceptable to create the PDF for print. When that’s done, it’s time to design the cover and the back cover copy. After that, I can think about how to get hardback copies for my amazing and thorough beta readers.
If anyone has an opinion on the book titles, I’m open to hearing it. And, you know, grousing about it some more.