Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Bad Reputation of Self-published Books! Editing Services Giveaway

You ever picked up a self-published book and the story was good, but the editing was bad?

And I'm not talking Michael Jackson BAD!

You STILL want to finish the book!

The characters are well-developed!

The world building is amazing!

But DAMN IT.....  at times you are missing out on the story because of wrongly placed punctuation, misspelling, etc

Of course this is not to say that traditionally published books don't have errors. I find problems in almost all books I read, but sadly I must admit there are more grammar problems with self-published books.

So I've gathered three of my editors together to discuss common editing mistakes and ways to correct them. 

The three editors are:
 Susan Gottfried from West of Mars Editing 
 Lea-Ellen Borg from Night Owl Editing Services 
 Melissa, Executive Editor of There for You Editing Services.

Additionally, WEST OF MARS Editing will be giving away a FREE 30 page edit of a manuscript to any lucky winner of our giveaway! All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter below to win the free editing!!! (Note: Manuscript must be 12 font and double spaced)

Susan, what is a common mistake that would put a book on the Poorly Edited List?

It’s funny that you ask this question because as I’m answering this question, I am reading a book for a professional review that I’d consider badly edited. The book shows no understanding of how to use a semi-colon, and commas are missing, which leads to frequent misunderstandings of what the author is trying to convey. It slows down and frustrates the reading experience.

One thing I rarely pick on but is evident in this book, as well, is poor plotting. The book reads more like a list of things that happen. The characters are not focused on their quest, and they are not even trying to make progress toward accomplishing it. They even complain about that lack of progress!

Susan, what is one way writers can fix the poor plotting problem? 

Working from a strong outline—even if the outline was made after the first draft—would have helped alleviate this meandering plot.

About the Editor:
I offer content editing, line editing, proofreading. Descriptions of what each entails are available on my editing page, along with my rates. I also am willing to work as a coach or mentor, with details worked out on a case-by-case basis. 

Links: homepage:

Lea-Ellen, what is a common mistake that would put a book on the Poorly Edited List?

When readers comment on self-published books being 'poorly edited', in most cases they haven't been edited by a professional editor at all before being published. This is the biggest common mistake that would put a book on the 'poorly edited list'.

Additional common mistakes are due to: incorrect spelling of words, incorrect word usage, syntax errors, too many repeated words, using the characters names too much in scenes, point of view errors, incorrect punctuation, and incorrect tenses of words.

Lea-Ellen, what is the best way for writers to fix these common mistakes? 

The best way is to hire a qualified book editor.

The use of beta readers for the story before it goes to an editor is also helpful in providing authors with feedback as well as having beta readers go over the manuscript after the editor is finished with it and before the book is published.

About the Editor:
I provide Full-service editing with a Style Guide for your manuscript. This includes: grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, sentence structure, repetition, consistency, anomalies, word usage, plot holes and paragraph spacing and visual layout; chapter page breaks; correct font and alignment; correct tense. If a contract is desired by either party, I will draw up an agreement laying out what’s expected on both sides and how payment will be structured.

Melissa, what are common mistakes that would put books on the Poorly Edited List and how can writers fix this?

There are 3 common mistakes in self-published books.

The first is spacing. The standard, during typewriter days, was two spaces at the end of each sentence. Now, thanks to Word and it's self-adjusting spacing, the standard is only one space. A lot of self-pubbed, unedited books have either two spaces or random spaces throughout the book. If a gap between your period, comma, or question mark looks a little wide to you double check, using your arrow keys, how many spaces are there.

The second is the proper use of commas and capitalization in character speaking. For instance the sentence: "I love you," he said. I commonly see people write it as: "I love you." He said, which is incorrect. The other common mistake in speaking is: "Do you love me?" He asked. Again, the H should not be capitalized because it is still technically the same sentence.

The final most common mistake is the use of there, their or they're, along with were, we're or where. It is really hard to give a best way to fix this, except to maybe suggest a notecard by your computer with the meaning of each. Then take the context of the sentence to decide which is best.
About the Editor:
My name is Melissa, the Owner and Executive Editor of There for You Editing Services. We offer high quality editing with affordable pricing. At this time the only genre's I do not except are erotica and zombies. Odd, I know, but zombies truly scare me.
You can find me at: Here you will be able to see a few covers of some of the books I've edited. Or I can always be contacted via email at:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This isn't really spectacular advice. Not to burst anyone's bubbles or anything, but "hire a book editor" isn't quite what I have in mind whenever I'm trying to fix a paragraph. I'd prefer some advice on whether or not I'm using too many adjectives, or if that adverb right there is necessary, or if that sentence is more telling than showing. Bad grammar isn't; the end, of the world. Redundantly repetitively awfully badly redundant phrasing is. Because those you have to re-read, and re-reading breaks the flow of an engaging story.

    But I'm no editor--I'm not even an author!--so feel free to disagree.

    1. Uloveflash!

      Bad bad commentor! Go on time out!
      lol! No. I'm just playing.

      You really made some valid points! I am going to have the editors do three more posts about editing. Would you like to join the discussion? You say you're not an editor or author, but I believe you still have something to add to the discussion. IF you're interested email us at!

      Love ya!

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