Do Self-Publish, DO NOT Self-Edit

Read the following two sentences:
When my dad’s Audi turns onto the drive, my stomach instantly begins to churn with a year’s worth of anticipation …
When my dad’s Audi turns onto the drive, my stomach instantly beings to churn with a year’s worth of anticipation …
Did you catch the difference?  If not, re-read.  And if you did, then your eyes and brain have a superior relationship that a number of other’s brains and eyes do not.
The difference (you should have seen it by now – is begins vs. beings) is an easy word exchange to glance over; even for the trained eye of an editor.  And it’s one of the errors that still exist in my book – pg. 20, top paragraph for those of you that have it.  There are others.  Minor exchanges if you would.  Nothing, I have been assured, that takes away from the integrity of the story as most eyes will read right over the few errors that exist.
I have read some general commentary about self-publishing errors and while there are some that think the mistakes make the book “cute”, I completely disagree.  I think it makes it sloppy and shows a lack of care for the final work that is produced.  Even though the errors in my book are far from erroneous, still I am mortified by their existence.  (Given, there are some indie books out there that have so many heinous errors that the authors should be sent back to fifth grade – there vs. their, whose vs. who’s, it’s vs. its, weather vs. whether, and my personal favorite: use to vs. used).
So what’s an independent author with a budget supposed to do about the editing game? The answer is different for everyone … but one thing is for certain, you can NOT self-edit your own work and having a few friends read your novel is not the same as line editing.  Line by line examination is not an easy task and it is not something that can be done by someone who is also “reading the story”.  It takes a trained editor, one that isn’t vested in your success, to do the job correctly.  And in my humble opinion, if you can heed that lesson you will put a better work out there for your readers.
EDIT, EDIT, EDIT … and then edit again!!
Thoughts?  Did you catch the begins vs. beings??
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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Gail Akeman says:

    I had to read this post as inspire to be a published writer some day. I am now following you.

  2. Loni says:

    thanks for stopping by my blog. new follower :)

    check out my giveaways :) http://www.babypmakesthree.blogspot.com/

  3. Scather says:

    I'm in the process of writing a book myself (and just handed a draft over to a friend for editing) so this was very timely advice!
    Following you back now from scathingweekly.blogspot.com

  4. the Mrs. says:

    I have to admit I had to read it a few times. LOL. Oh dear…

  5. Debs Dealz says:

    Hi Shauna! Thanks for following, I am now following you back! Another Indy person, yay!!! :-)

    Yes, keep in touch!

    Debs Dealz

    http://www.debsdealz.blogspot.com

  6. Thanks for the follow! Following back! I love all of your tabs at the top of the blog. Fun idea! :)

  7. Good advice. They used to call me Eagle Eye at work and yes, I spotted the difference the second time I read the two sentences. Just goes to show, spell-check alone isn't enough.

    And thanks for finding me and the follow. I checked and I'm already following you.

    Happy Friday!

  8. Lindsay says:

    Following back from the Blog Hop! Thanks for the comments. :)

    Lindsay
    http://www.youaretheroots.com

  9. Sarah says:

    Awesome article and I completely agree. Even if it's just friends and family reading it, you have to have someone else edit. There are some mistakes you will never catch simply because you wrote it.

    P.S. I noticed the difference in the two sentences. Woohoo! lol

    ♥ Sarah @ I'm Loving Books

  10. I have to say that I edit and edit and STILL miss things! I rely on spell checker (isn't good) and I shouldn't! Following you back!

    Hop'n by from 'Terrific Thursday Blog Hop'. I'm following your blog now, wont you please come and follow me back?? ~KM

    Krafty Max Originals

  11. I do a ton of copy editing, and it's crazy how something so little can be missed. I think your eyes just fill in the words that are supposed to There. I read about some study that says you only need the first and last letter to be right and your mind will fill in the rest. Kind of random.

  12. Veronica Lee says:

    You are so right about self-edit. We fail to see the errors of of own writing even when we read them a thousand times but it's so easy to spot someone else's. I think it has something to do with our eyes seeing what our minds want to see! Makes sense?!!

    New follower!

  13. Leovi says:

    You're right, these errors may haunt you even in dreams. I understand.

  14. Totally agree with you, whatever you wrote, it must be re-read and edited. Thanks so much for stopping by and joining in my blog, will be back…

  15. Mom4Real says:

    I caught it immediately. It happens to everyone, and always drives me a little nuts. There are several errors in the Patricia Cornwell book I am reading now, but it also shows that nobody is perfect! Following back!

    Jessica
    http://mom4realky.blogspot.com

  16. DeDa Studios says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog….new follower!

  17. mfay2 says:

    I have to admit I didn't see it at first. Then I read VERY slowly comparing the two sentences.

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