While there may not be any real “secrets” that work for every author, I found one of mine this week. Like many other writers I hear from, especially those attempting to self-publish, doing the formal editing of the Disruption has been a real challenge. I did several initial edits myself, used a top-rated piece of editing software, asked two other writer/editors to check it out, and paid an experienced “consultant” to go through it as well. I thought we had it in good shape…until this week. But fortunately, I now know my secret.
I spent the past week recording Disruption to release as an audio book. I had read through it many times as I edited. I had even used the little trick I had used editing my dissertation; reading the sentences backwards so I didn’t get caught-up in the story and stop paying attention to the editing part. But recording for the audio book was different. The goal was to make sure that what I recorded was word-for-word the same as the written manuscript…cause, that’s the point of an audio book I guess. It wasn’t long before I discovered that our previous editing had left a few, um, holes.
There were a few issues with tense, a few reversals, even found where I had mixed-up character names a couple of times. They were all things that looked OK to the software, and apparently didn’t detract from the story since none of my readers seemed to be bothered by them. I made corrections as I recorded, and then updated the manuscripts online…so future readers wouldn’t have to suffer through my goofs. I also made the vow to myself that “next time”, before any eBook or print-on-demand book goes online, I’m going to record the audio book version and really make sure the editing is finished.
This self-publishing thing gets more interesting by the day. And watch for the audio book version of Disruption…coming soon!