As a writer, my stories are my babies. If I lost one, I would be devastated. Like, slip into a severe depression and contemplate quitting as a writer altogether, kind of depression. I have known MANY fellow writers who have experienced this. Their hard drive dies with all their manuscripts on it, and they’re lost forever. Their physical notebook was left on the bus or destroyed when someone spilled a drink on it. Their flash-drive went missing. Their file became corrupted. Their cloud storage got hacked, or everything got cleared out. Nightmare scenario after nightmare scenario. I’ve heard of writers losing their life’s work in some of the most devastating and permanent ways, leaving them distraught and defeated. But, thankfully, I can say the worst I’ve ever had was losing maybe a few too many valuable paragraphs (usually due to always living in areas with brownouts and working from a desktop computer). I have never lost a significant amount of my work before, but the fear of that happening is real – very real! Fear of losing my work is right up there with my fear of losing teeth, June bugs, and lasers (some of my fears are weird). So how have I, who have been writing for 19 years, managed to avoid such calamity? Well, here is my system to ensure you NEVER EVER lose your writing.
A couple of years ago, when I was still considering getting Torn Apart traditionally published, I submitted my manuscript to every agent and publishing house I could find that I thought would even remotely be interested in my book. To my surprise and delight, I was actually offered a publishing contract from a small publishing house. But after reviewing their contract, asking many questions, and some careful consideration on my part, I declined their offer. Why? Who would turn down an offer to be published?
Well, the thing is, Small/Indie Publishing isn’t quite the same as Traditional Publishing. Don’t get me wrong, many are great, and most can do a lot to help an author start their career, but they can’t do everything that traditional publishing houses can, and they’re not right for every author. So what are the differences, and is Indy publishing right for you?
It’s no secret that most writers are starving artists. There are few who have won the best-seller Lottery and can afford to live on their royalties alone. Most of us struggle just to afford the up-front expenses involved in being a writer. Arguably in today’s modern world of self-publishing, you can do a great many things for free, but not everything. If you want a leg-up in the publishing world, you’re going to have to drop some coin, even if you’re a small-time self-published Indy author – there will be expenses. What expenses? How much?
Well, here’s the truth of how much it really costs to be a writer.
It’s crunch time. You’re behind on your writing. You don’t know how it happened, but everything just piled up on you at once, and your writing has paid the price by being placed on the back-burner of life’s other priorities. We’ve all been there, and it sucks. What can you do when you’ve fallen that far behind?
A writing blitz! Buckle your seatbelts, bitches, ’cause you’re gonna write SO GOD DAMN HARD!!
So you just finished that manuscript you’ve been working on, and it’s anywhere between 80,000 and 130,000 words. Editing such a large body of written work is quite a task, which is why you need to hire an editor.
Except, in reality, a good editor is very expensive, and a lot of small-time writers can’t afford to pay $600-3000 for a professional editor. (These are averages based on editors with credentials who accept work between 80-130k words.) There are those willing to work for less, but you risk getting what you pay for.
For most poor starving writers, dishing out that kind of cash for professional help is just not within their means, and many of us find that we have to go it alone. If you are one such writer, who has to be a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to editing, there are many ways for you to be a better and more thorough self-editor.
So sit back and let the J share her guide to self-editing!