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A big mistake many indie authors make

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Feb 20, 2018 5:10:35 AM


If there's one issue I encounter more than any other reading indie books, it's the lack of editing. And by editing I don't mean just proofreading. Developmental editing and copy editing are different than proofreading—and also different from each other.

Here's a quick explanation of the two:

Developmental editors help identify and fix problems with the major elements of your book, such as plot, character development, pacing, and style. A developmental editor takes a bird's-eye view of the story and makes suggestions - granular as well as broad - on how to improve it.

An example of a granular suggestion: "When Joe and Stephanie go to the coffee shop, it doesn't fit with Joe's character to order nonfat milk."

An example of a broad suggestion: "Consider eliminating the Andrew character. He seems to play the same role as the Sam character."

Copy editors, like proofreaders, have eagle eyes for typos, missing words, punctuation mistakes, and grammatical errors, but they also pick up excessive repetition of words/phrases, timeline inconsistencies, geographical inaccuracies, etc.

Good copy editors also catch random mistakes such as:

"When Joe and Steph go to the coffee shop, Steph is wearing a red dress, but when they are at dinner afterward she is in a pink dress."

I recommend hiring a developmental editor (the pros at Girl Friday Productions are amazing), but you can probably beg a friend or two to copy edit. Before I submitted my first novel to literary agents I printed out three copies, bought a box of red pens, and handed the manuscript to three friends who love grammar and writing as much as I do. I was floored when I saw how many mistakes they found! It's amazing how after so many hours of writing and rewriting, your eyes see words that are not there - or fail to see extras that are.

-Maria Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at

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Feb 23, 2018 7:21 AM Derrick92    says:

Great pagaraph about copy editors, i like it

Feb 26, 2018 6:07 AM Jaggi    says:

a very good article that you have shared here. Paragraph is very clean and neat

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Apr 24, 2018 2:27 AM AnnaMid    says:

Thanks for pointing out on this issue. Indeed, this is quite a common mistake. I also found one useful article and think you will also be interested in reading it.

Jun 4, 2018 5:59 AM keerthi    says:

I have read most of your tips and it has really helped many authors immensely!




Jun 10, 2018 6:06 PM Enigma58    says:

Excellent advice! Thanks so much. I'm going to make copies, buy some red pens and get a few of my friends to look for mistakes. After spending hours editing myself, I just went back over my work and found major mistakes! My eyes are tired, my right arm hurts and I need to enlist another pair of eyes at this point! LOL

Jun 11, 2018 6:38 AM keerthi    says:

great article and very informative!