The final edit of THE HORSEMEN was completed an hour ago.
The prohibitive cost, for a small indie author, has forced me to conjure up a method of producing a decent edit to publish my work.
The problem of course with editing your own words is familiarity. So it takes a combination of discipline and mechanical/psychological tricks to get the work done.
The first thing I've found to do is basically, perform the first edit as I go. As each "scene" in the story is completed I take a quick break then go back and re-read and edit that section.
The second thing I do in the editing process is done each morning before I start in on that day's writing. I re-read and edit the last chapter or two written the day before. Two things are accomplished with that. First I get my head firmly back into the story for that day and second, when the -THE END- is written on the last page I have effectively already completed two solid editing passes of the manuscript.
With a completed manuscript I then read through aloud - line - by line - hunting for awkward wording, misspelled words, doubled words, punctuation etc. If something "sounds" odd in the outloud reading I work it over until it flows well to my ear. Only then do I move on.
The last and final edit is what I call my Kindle Audio edit. The manuscript is emailed to my Kindle. That lil' gizmo has a sweet lil' ability to convert text to speech. I use the ear buds off my Ipod and follow along on the lap top as it reads it back to me.
The computer generated voice sounds a bit strange I suppose, but, it tries to ready just how you put it down. So... if you have doubled words that you missed or badly misspelled text or commas in the wrong place, that JUMPS out at you as the Kindle reads it back to you.
It also shines a pretty bright light on awkward sounding phrases or too long sentences that you might miss. It's an idea I've not heard anyone else use... so unless someone else can claim an earlier inspiration I claim to be the Inventor of the KINDLE EDITING TECHNIQUE! :)
All that remains is building a table of contents and some final formatting and my fifth novel will be prepared for publishing. Mid to late next week seems a very reasonable release time at this moment.
I'd thought of trying a pre-order release but I think it more likely I'll just announce when it will be available and try to get as many to secure their copy on the same day as possible. Doesn't change the price for those who will be buying a copy and gives a great boost to the author's ranking in the lists.
So... it's back to work for me!
- BK Gore