8th May 2020
Is your book ready for publishing?
"The first draft is just you telling yourself the story."
Orton is here to make self-publishing easier, but we can’t stress the importance of getting your book to a good standard first. Professional authors have their own editors who read through their work correcting those pesky mistakes and offer notes on how the book can be improved. Although professional editing is available to anyone, it can be expensive. This means that many new writers try to do their own editing or submit work that could do with another draft or two.
The Orton team are currently looking at ways we can incorporate affordable editing for writers on our platform, but until then please read our tips below so that your book can be perfect before you go ahead with self-publishing.
1. Don’t stop after the first draft
Most authors will complete at least three drafts of their book before its published. Even though you think you know your book inside out and there are no angry spell-check lines on the pages, there’s still always room for improvement. Always re-read your novel with fresh eyes, and look out for mistakes like repetitive sentences, undeveloped characters or weak descriptive language (usually things that go unnoticed).
2. Give your work to someone other than a friend or family member
It can be terrifying to hand over your ‘baby’ to someone else who may tear it apart, but constructive criticism is essential for development. Getting your partner, mum, or friend to read it can be helpful but normally we’d suggest that you find someone who will give you more honest and constructive feedback. For this reason, we suggest connecting with other new authors at your local writing groups, join Reddit forums dedicated to feedback or upload work to orton.io so other users can annotate and suggest improvements. Having someone else look at your work will be so beneficial; not only will they pick up on mistakes you’ve missed but you’ll also be your first reader’s opinion of your story. Are they gripped? Are they desperate to read more? How can you grab their attention?
Just remember that art is subjective, and although some may not enjoy your work, others will love it.
3. Cheap editing
Another thing you can do is look out for cheaper alternatives for editing. Freelance editors on websites like fiverr.com or wordy.com can price up how much it would cost to proof-read and annotate your work. They’ll have reviews from others who have used their services so that you can make sure their service is a great standard.
4. Useful applications
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There are many useful applications you can download that will help you with your writing. We highly recommend Grammarly and Scrivener.
Grammarly automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choices and style mistakes in your writing. Scrivener provides a management system for documents, notes and metadata. This allows the user to organise notes, concepts, research and whole documents for easy access and reference. With Orton Plus we offer a 20% discount on both these applications.
If you believe your work is ready to be published, sign up to Orton Plus.