The good news is that the line edits came back from my editor, the inimitable Alison Dasho. The bad news is that I have to go through my manuscript as meticulously as she did and weigh her suggestions, then either make or disregard them (the latter does not happen very often). The impact Alison’s line edits have made are already obvious to me and I’m only a third of the way through.
One of the challenges facing indie writers is how to recreate the editorial support that a traditionally published author receives (or is supposed to receive). If you take your writing seriously, having a handful of volunteer readers isn’t enough; you need true editorial help.
There are many types of editors, however: substantive editing, line editing, copy-editing, proofreading. All of these steps and stages are important, but in my own case, I felt that there was no substitute for substantive editing since it requires a high degree of experience, knowledge of the genre I was writing in (crime fiction), and a kind of understanding of the whole project, not just individual pieces. Consequently, I hired my own at considerable cost and it was worth it.
Since I don’t live under a money-tree, however, I hoped to cut a few corners by looking for proofreading alternatives. This is still an important step, but one I hoped I could look for a more automated solution.
When the manuscript for my novel A Reason to Live was ready to move from critique groups to professional editing, I was lucky enough to land the wonderful Alison Dasho (nee Janssen), a former editor for Bleak House Books and Tyrus Books [visit her at http://www.alisonedits.com/].
She’s in Wisconsin, I’m in Virginia; obviously, this was going to be a digital relationship. But there are a million ways to exchange documents online. How best to get my 90,000 words to you? I asked. Just send the Word document, she said, I’ll put it on my Kindle.