I am a supporter of self publishing. The last 4 books I’ve read have all been self published and prompted me to write this blog. Just because you self publish doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from the critique and editing process. Think of it this way…if you had a rocking outfit planned for an evening out, would you throw it on without the basics? Wearing that slinky black dress without a pushup bra, hose, heels and possibly Spanx takes that outfit from fab to ‘meh’ in a hurry. Even the rock stars of romance Nora Roberts, Debbie McComber, Gena Showalter and Christina Dodd have to edit their work. That is why they are great. The editing process gives your writing the foundation to make a great story something noteworthy rather than just one of thousands screaming for attention. The only investment required is a bit of time. There are paid editors if you have the funds, but there are also amazing critique groups that will do it for free. This is my favorite one: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Rom-Critters/info You can learn much from the other fabulous writers there.
Here are my 5 MUST DO’s:
2) Find your favorite word(s). We all have them, there is no escaping it. The key? Be aware of them. When you finish your manuscript, do a search for that word and I guarantee you will be shocked by how many times you repeat it even in the same paragraph or sentence.
3) Adjectives and Adverbs… They are like salt. They can enhance the flavor of your dish used SPARINGLY. If you use them in front of every noun or verb, you are throwing words on paper without thought. Yes, I said it. Each and every word matters. If you say “He ran fast.” Rather than “He sprinted.” You are being lazy and in too much of a hurry to get your book out and make that dollar. Sorry it had to be said. It’s okay to throw it down when you are in the thick if the action and your brain is racing faster than your fingers can type. BUT, you must go back and fix it. It is your promise to your reader.
4) He said/ She said… Dear Lord, no…Boring as boring gets. Can we say ‘See Spot run?’. Follow spoken words with action to delineate who is speaking.
“Touch me,” he whispered.
“Touch me.” His whisper caressed her cheek as he spoke.
You be the judge…
5) Proof reading….missing words, missing quotation marks, and the word ‘and’ with nothing following it. These are all indicators that a sentence was changed and never read again.
Keep in mind, in today’s self publishing world, there are literally more books to read than could be done in a lifetime. When a reader chooses yours, it’s an honor. Fulfill the promise you made to them with the blurb by taking an extra moment to polish the gem that is your story. They will return the favor by telling their circles about you and purchasing your next endeavor.