When should a professional editor be used? When a writer of words wants to become an author.

Perfection in Editing

Many editors learned professional skills initially to support their own writing, but we quickly found out that we are not the best judge of our own work and probably the worst possible proofreader. All functions of our organic brain. Those biological functions we were born with that are impossible to disengage.

I recently saw a statistic on Twitter that most writers/authors are “editing” and “proofreading” their own work. And a large percentage of them aren’t editors or proofreaders . Yet, even if they were, doing it for yourself is a fool’s errand.

I get it … we have an idea; we start a book; it’s thrilling to be so engaged. But we have to make a living too. So we write at night, in the wee hours of the morning, get caught up in word counts and number of pages where “Haste makes waste” and quality may suffer.

Okay, then we think our book is finished. We think we have a best seller. Our friends and even our families sometimes support us. All good. Then, we supposedly start “editing”, finetuning. If I could change one inaccurate perception in the definition or connotation of one word, it would be this one.

You are not editing when you go through your own manuscript. You are “checking” your writing for all kinds of things. Yet, your brain sees what it expects to see, so missed words, wrong words, misspelled words, discrepancies in plot, inconsistencies can all go unnoticed. That doesn’t even take into consideration verb tenses, grammar, punctuation, and pace, flow, readability. But that’s okay since its accepted in the industry to have a few little flaws, isn’t it? We find them ourselves in other books, but not in “our books” because our brain reads right over them.

Those “little flaws” can stop an agent or publisher from reading any further. Reject it and move on because they have an inexhaustible supply of manuscripts to wade through. 

I also get it that money is tight. We need to get this to press in a hurry, start making money right away so we can write full-time and become one of the great writers of our generation. If only that were true.

The most productive use of a writer’s time and investment is in using a professional editor. Editors who are also authors use other professional editors for their own work. It is so true that we need an unbiased second set of eyes.

Do I use a professional editor and proofreader other than myself after I am finished “checking” my manuscript?

I answer you with  a definite, “YES”.

Don’t sell yourself or your writing short. The facts are out there. Your manuscript must be written to full industry standards. Your query letter professional.  Format must be correct.

“What? You mean as an author I need to know how to format my own book? Isn’t that what the agent and publisher are for?”

Ah, no, the market is too clogged with books for an agent to do anything but look for the one diamond that may someday come across their desk.

It’s a totally different market out there than our predecessors knew. The competition is brutal. Everyone is writing a book because with current technology, they can. This was not true in the past. The sheer numbers are daunting.

My most important advice? “The market is oversaturated. Put yourself on an even playing field. Submit a professional product.”

I am willing to work with authors offering affordable rates on a case-by-case basis. A 5-page read/ professional critique is free. Questions are free. I’m trying to help writers become authors.

–Deborah A. Bowman, bowmaneditor

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Publishing and Editing Services … “The Pick and Shovel Work of Perfection”

Every one who comes to my blog, bowmanauthor, knows I write poetry from abstract to antiquity to the absurd. I write tips and tricks of the trade in publishing trends, and my passion: books of fiction, usually with a paranormal vein. I also try to post some book reviews, but not so often of late as I also do fiction editing, graphic design for business promo packages, and ghostwriting for nonfiction. My dance card has been a little full. Reading for pleasure has taken a backseat to the heartfelt world of mentoring other writers: the “Pick and Shovel Work” of plot and content development.

That’s where bowmaneditor@outlook.com comes in. The job everyone hates to tackle in their own writing where the “Elements of Style” meet English Composition. The not so creative necessities of making sure everything gels together in accuracy, clarity, and cohesiveness. The part that us creative authors hate to  do! Pesky rules on punctuation, grammar, and verb tenses, word definition and choice, and flowing syntax. Yuck! Knowing the parts of speech and diagramming sentences. But it really does help your writing if the sentences really do make sense.

So you never know what you will find when you stumble into my blog. I just hope you’ll contact me when you need a little assistance with a manuscript that needs a little polishing. Picks and shovels also mine precious gems from congealed ore. Let me help you take your diamond in the rough and release its brilliance in all its multi-faceted glory.

Happy writing as well as creativity and polished editorially correct manuscripts to everyone!

Deborah A. Bowman, Publishing Advisor, Writer/Editor/Ghostwriter, Formatting and Critiques

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Tuesday…

Some think that Tuesday is an uneventful day,

But the day is what you make it!

Save some interactive times, come what may,

In which to remember and organize your to-do list.

The week is set up; you’re back in the groove;

You can make things happen; you’re on the move!

Business is growing; ideas are flowing;

Your unique confidence and capability is showing.

Let the world see your true self … on Tuesday!

by Deborah A. Bowman

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Monday…

A serene rain drips from the sky

Washing the world clean in silent tears,

A soft beauty under full gray clouds.

Workers will dodge through sodden crowds

As the business week begins again…

Breathe in the crisp air.

Close the umbrella, if you dare.

Feel the chilled droplets of autumn

As rusty leaves slither to the ground.

by Deborah A. Bowman

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Photo by Ali Pazani on Pexels.com

 

Speaking Engagement for Deborah Bowman, www.bowmanauthor.com, Washington, DC; 16-17 June, 2017. I’ll be talking about my 5-year professional progression, writing and editing tips, and ghost-writing/how to write your own story: Title of Presentation–“True Synergy Works!”

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New Project … in all my spare time

I’m branching out a little now that my third book is published on amazon. I’m ghost writing a transformational business book. It’s exciting making someone else’s words work for them. I’ll still be writing fiction, my passion and my dream. I’ve already started two new novellas and 3 new series books, and I’m always working on a full-length novel as time permits. As always, I’m available for questions, suggestions, and publishing through Clasid Consultants Publishing. My blog (www.wordpress.com/Bowmanauthor) will continue to share tricks of the trade on how to be a better writer/editor/proofreader/publisher/author. I thank all my followers and look forward to hearing from you in the future.