Editing – A Vital Neccessity, Like Underwear

Editing Software
I had a choice: spend three thousand dollars with one of iUniverse’s editors to clean up any problems in the manuscript that I had missed and/or couldn’t recognize for whatever reason or buy this program for something like $25(it may cost more now). Of course, there was a third choice: do nothing and leave the errors in so readers could point them out and bad mouth the novel. One feature measured the readability level of the writing: like fifth grade level or fourteenth grade level, etc. It measures the average number of words in overall sentences per document/chapter and the average syllable counts. I edited my novel down from grade fourteen to somewhere between seven and nine. After all, the average reader in America reads somewhere between a fifth and sixth grade reading level. Imagine all the readers you lose because they can’t understand what you are writing?

With Serenity software, you still have to do some work. It is very interactive. I spent at least three to five hours a chapter going over all of the possible errors the program found and ended up making several hundred changes of one kind or another before I was finished. It covers a lot more than just grammar or spelling errors. – Lloyd Lofthouse

Advice on editing
I have only published one book so far… As near as I can tell, you get what you pay for — but since I believe traditional publishing houses use multiple editors, it’s a challenge to equal their accuracy. I went with iUniverse’s best package, which included an editorial review. It was a very thorough review and it made several suggestions for revision which would improve the marketability and also the literary value of the book. It also suggested a professional copy-editing, which of course was at extra cost. I did pay for this, and they did a good job. But it certainly wasn’t perfect. In spite of the cost and the amount of time it took, I still found errors on my own. I don’t know if this speaks to the quality of their editors, but I think it is more likely that it just takes more than one editor to do the job. However, I did fix the remaining errors that I found, and I believe the published version has very few mistakes. However, this was very costly.– Diane Salerni

Buying editing package
I thought the professional copy-editing was important enough to pay a lot of money.. With the copy-editing, I was in line for Publisher’s Choice at iUniverse, and potentially Star Book — awards which could get me noticed. Without the copy-editing, I was out of the running for those honors. I would be completely on my own and probably didn’t stand a chance.– Diane Salerni


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