Interview: R.C. Rutter on Editing

I’ve seen it; you’ve seen it. Self-publishing nightmares where authors take Do It Yourself (DITY) to a new level as they attempt to edit their own works. 🙂 Please welcome R.C. Rutter as he reveals pitfalls and helpful tips on editing.

Tell us a bit about your work.

My name is R.C. Rutter and I am the author of the fantasy novel Cave of Forlorn which is available in Kindle (ebook) and Lulu.com (paperback). When considering all the options of publishing, it became obvious that the best method to publish is as an indie author/writer. Yes, there are challenges but the rewards far outweigh the negatives.

Okay, I’m an indie writer; I’ve bypassed the editors at the traditional houses. Now I’m stuck finding a way to get my own work edited. How important is editing for indie writers?

Lack of editing or poor editing are the main reasons indie book writers have a bad reputation. Imagine trying to read a book that is full of grammatical errors. Or perhaps, the verbiage is correct but the story line falters; characters appear and disappear at will; or change locations
without moving. It would be very difficult to read a book like this. Yes, I have personally seen all of the above and more. Editing is a must!!!

Copy editing, line editing, proofreading, etc – what’s the difference?

All of the above terms define different levels of editing. Definitions will vary somewhat depending upon the person asked but we can summarize editing as follows:

Line editing is another term for copy editing. This is the tedious editing that looks at spelling, style, punctuation, grammar, and usage. This is done line-by-line in the book.

Overall editing: Story flow, character development, etc. Is it well written? Is anything missing?

Proofreading: final check of layout and punctuation (final step of editing to possibly catch anything that was missed in the line editing).

How much can a writer expect to pay for editing?

The cost for editing will range from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending upon the services requested.

Money’s tight. What are some cost saving techniques for writers wanting to present quality work?

This can be a very dangerous route to take. With very few exceptions, a writer cannot edit his or her own book. When writing the book, you already have an image of what the characters and scenes look like so you will have a tendency to gloss over or fill in the words in your book, ergo missing errors. If you take this route, I would recommend that you set aside the book for a minimum of thirty days. Don’t look at the book, don’t think about it. Then pick it up and do a quick read through, marking any problems. I am a firm believer in the barter system.

Do you have a service or product that you can trade for editing? Use your imagination!

An alternative is to give your book to someone for editing, perhaps a friend or family member. Can you trust that person? Would they give out copies of your work? Would they put their own name on it and publish it?  Would they steal your characters or storyline? Think carefully before you answer. You have just spent x amount of months and years writing.

As a test of your writing, give the first few chapters to people who are well read on your subject matter. Try to avoid anyone who thinks you are wonderful as that will cloud their judgment. Ask for constructive feedback. If they ask for more to read; that is a great sign that you are on the right track.

Do not overlook the title. That is the first impression! (And cover art as well!).

Where do I find editors?

The unemployment line! Yes, the major publishers have all reduced their editing staff and freelance editors abound. Local sources can be found at writers groups. Unfortunately, there is not one concise list and anyone can claim to be an editor.

It seems like people are advertising their editorial services at every turn. What are some tips on choosing an editor?

Experience and efficiency are paramount. A timeline should be discussed regarding the approximate date of completion. The date has to be fluid. The more work required, the longer it will take. An editor should have experience in the genre of the book. You must check references and examples of pre- and post work.

Any additional advice on editing?

When you think you are done, put the book aside and leave it for a few weeks. Then go back and do a quick read checking once again for story flow. Once you are satisfied that it is ready, you can then scope out the different ebook publishers to ascertain their required formats for uploading books. Will a MS Word document suffice? HTML? PDF?

Did you think writing a book was going to be easy?

For more information, where might folks find you?

www.rcrutter.com
Facebook

Cave of the Forlorn is available at Amazon

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