AMHERST, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - If you've always wanted to publish your own book, but weren't sure where to start, Kitty Axelson-Berry from Modern Memoirs publishing gave some tips about writing.
Writing, editing & proofreading tips:
Editing is the process of reading and changing words or images so that they serve your purpose. Your stories should be accurate, understandable, and easy to read.
Edit first for repetition, inconsistency, contradictions, logic, and tone -- too much bitterness, irony? not enough heroics for your taste?
Edit next for paragraph and chapter breaks. Re-think chapter titles and subtitles, book title and subtitle.
Edit next for accuracy (fact-checking). Did you type 9/12 instead of 9/11? Is president Lyndon Johnson's name spelled correctly?
Create a styleguide so that you are consistent. E.g. Oxford comma, numbers (money, streets, time), abbreviations, asides (italics? parentheses?) Idiosyncratic grammar or vocabulary?
Edit for styles you have decided on.
Read text out loud to others. Reading your manuscript in the presence of others makes you aware of the affect of your writing on people and its implications. Do they understand what you are saying? Do they feel what you wanted them to feel?
Edit for extra spaces, tabs, spelling, grammar, curly quotes, other technicalities.
If you hire a professional, think of four levels of copy editing and proofreading:
- Light Editing focuses on spelling and punctuation;
- Medium Editing addresses issues of clarity and consistency, as well as spelling and punctuation;
- Heavy Editing considers logic, accuracy, tone, and unwanted repetition, as well as clarity, consistency, spelling, and punctuation;
Proofreading looks for errors in text before it has been formatted, and in appearance after the formatting has been completed. It is normal for manuscripts to be proofed twice before formatting and twice after.
Example of Publishing Costs
Light Edit: $600
Medium Edit $1,800
Proofread Text $300
Page Proofs $260