Transition to Ebook - getting the editing one needs?

7 years ago | Wildbow (Member)

Ok, so Worm has enough content for about two ebooks (or one huge one), and I promised myself that I'd start looking into doing what it takes to get it out as an ebook or actual book (self-published) eventually. I'll probably make myself do it when I'm done the current arc/set of chapters.

My concerns, though, relate to editing. My thoughts are thus:

■ There's typos. Overall writing quality, according to my own feelings & what I've gotten from reviews, is pretty good, but typos persist. Missing commas, some doubled words, some missing words, etc.

■ My writing has improved a fair bit (again, personal opinion & what I've gotten from feedback) since I started, so I need to edit the original 10-15 chapters to bring them up to par.

■ There's also some consistency/factual errors. For example, I'm actually Canadian, while the story is set in the Northeastern states... I didn't actually think about it, but someone pointed out the main character refers to the U.S.A. as 'The States' (which Canadians do, at least in my area) when Americans refer to it as just 'America'. Other problems have arisen regarding my lack of knowledge when it comes to guns, or just situational issues (like forgetting that an armored truck was knocked on its side earlier in a conflict).

That last point is what gets me. I'd think I could go through it a hundred times and pore over it sentence by sentence, except that there's stuff that I simply couldn't hope to catch, because it just wouldn't occur to me unless it was pointed out.

How have you guys gone about editing your works as you stepped forward to publish it? Have you paid anyone, relied on your readers, or just done it yourself?

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Responses

  1. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 7 years ago

    A couple thoughts on this:

    1. 1889 Labs (run by MCM and Anna, both members of the web fiction community) specializes in turning web fiction into ebooks for a share of the profits. They do editing, covers, and arrange paperback versions as well. There are probably other people who would do the same. I'm going to be publishing Legion of Nothing through them.

    2. Paying for it yourself. Meilin Miranda does this. You might talk to her about her experience there. She hires people to do covers, proofreading, and editing. For what it's worth, she pays for it as a result of fundraising via Kickstarter.

    That's certainly better than paying for it out of pocket, something you'll definitely want to avoid.

    On the one hand, it's cheaper than it used to be. On the other, paying an editor, proofreader, and graphic designer adds up if you want to do a good job.

    You might read the blogs of Jon Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith for the basics of ebook creation.

  2. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I've got kind of a sweet setup for this now.

    Since I record a podcast of every chapter I post (I'm a little behind for The Points Between at the moment), I've found that the act of reading each chapter aloud lets me catch typos I normally would have missed otherwise.

    Also, for both Pay Me, Bug! and The Points Between I have a few readers who actually go through and post typos as they find them. It's Crowdsourced editing on a weekly basis. Very useful because it immediately improves the quality of the webfiction posts and also improves the ultimate quality of the future ebook. There are still typos in the Pay Me, Bug! ebook, but I don't think there are very many.

    As for creating eBooks (ePub and mobi) I use Jutoh -- http://www.jutoh.com

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  3. Shutsumon (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I'm in the middle of getting first arc of "The Dragon Wars Saga" ready for print.

    I paid a guy I know to go over it. He's done a bang up job and it cost be around $70 and I also managed to get the cover designed for $35. :-)

    I'm currently doing an IndieGoGo campaign/presale to raise the money to pay for the layout. I won't link it here because I don't want to spam the thread, but in the first two days I've made $65 of the $500 target, so not a bad start. If you feel it needs a good copy edit you could do worse than to try a presale either on IndieGoGo or Kickstarter or on your own site. It's how many webcomics finance their paper releases.

    Becka

  4. Wildbow (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    The more I think about it, the more I like the notion of what 1889 labs offers.

    There's something to be said for having the 'it gets made into a paperback book' bit. Maybe I'm a bit of a romantic, but being able to have a book on my bookshelf and say I wrote that? That's kinda neat.

    Still, it seems like they're packed, timeslot wise (Be at least a year before they could get around to looking at a new story, maybe a year and a half), and there's not a lot of information as to how much interaction they offer (how much call does the author get in, say, what the cover is?) or exactly what their cut of the total proceeds would be. I'm also wondering if they have any particular rules or restrictions on going elsewhere with that work (with them, of course, getting a cut of the proceeds for editing, cover, formatting, etc), or if you're locked into publishing via. the channels they allow.

    I'm leaning that way, anyways.

  5. Tim Sevenhuysen (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I write a serial for 1889, and I highly recommend them as reasonable, communicative people who are great to work with.

    Re: publishing channels, I don't think they'd have any problem with you wanting to make your book available through more different options. Don't quote me on it, though. :) I believe they work with Amazon, SmashWords, and GoodReads, and those are the three biggest sources of sales/promotion for ebooks that I know of. You could consider Barnes & Noble or the iTunes bookstore, but the sales volume there isn't as good, from what I've heard.

    Re: how much of a cut 1889 takes, it's pretty reasonable I think. I believe they base their percentage on the revenues, not the list price, so their cut comes after Amazon's cut (or SMashWords' cut, etc.). Way better profit margins in this than there are in any other form of publishing, one way or another.

    Special People: superhero fiction with a fistful of twists.
    http://SpecialPeople.TimSevenhuysen.com
  6. A. M. Harte (Moderator)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I suppose as EIC of 1889 I ought to weigh in here, hm? :-)

    Firstly: yes, our schedule for 2012 is packed. We had planned to do less books (2011 nearly killed us) and somehow ended up taking on more. Oops?

    As authors ourselves, MCM and I believe in keeping our authors happy. So our authors have final say on covers, help develop the back cover blurbs, etc. We like to think of ourselves as enablers rather than dictators, helping good webfiction authors publish ebook/print books of a better quality than they could alone. (We don't hesitate to say: if you're good enough to go solo, go for it!)

    We use Lighting Source for distribution, meaning print books generally are sold through Amazon, B&N, Indigo/Chapters, Powells & WH Smith; ebooks through Amazon (Kindle) and Smashwords (which then goes to Kobo)... and I'm probably forgetting some. We are looking to move from Smashwords though, to better alternatives which would mean we could also sell on Nook. If there's any other channels we've missed, we'd be open to taking a look at them and (if doable) rolling it out for all our books. More places you sell, the better!

    As Tim said, we take a pretty small chunk of net proceeds (after Amazon/Smashwords take their cut), with the majority going straight to the author.

    I would also like to branch out into publishing non-webfiction authors at some point, although what we like about webfiction is that the story has already been tested, and already has a fanbase, however large/small. It also means the author isn't afraid to promote and market their own work, which really is a big help.

    Any questions etc, feel free to contact me at aharte [at] 1889 [dot] ca

    Qazyfiction: fantasy fiction with a sinister edge.
  7. Wildbow (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I appreciate the reply.

    Have to say, I really do like the idea of what you guys offer. Chances are I'll spend the next little while working on getting some basic fixes done to the early chapters (and some general fixes throughout, for typos and whatnot that I've been putting off tidying up), and I'll get in touch with you after that.

    Thank you. :D

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