The Peacock Writers came into existence at Christmas time in 2011. Fortunately, the original Peacocks had several highly driven proofreaders/editors, and layout artists who helped write, produce, and publish the first edition, A Whimsical Holiday for Children to benefit children’s charities in a mere five weeks!
After we all caught our breath, returning to our other writings, we came to an agreement ~ while we were all eager to do as many collections as possible, all our schedules were heavy laden. We decided that two collections a year would be an achievable goal. Our next collection, Book, Backpacks, and Bagged Lunches will be launched at the end of August after a minimum of seven proof readings by four editors.
With self-publishing one is able to go back and ‘re-do’ any mistake found before or after the button to publish is hit. But, the consequence of a printed book being updated puts the book back into a hold pattern, to again be evaluated and okayed before sale. So, it is imperative to have more than one set of proofing eyes to oversee each section – even the boring ones – credits, copyrights, etc.
If using eBook form, particularly on Amazon, the corrections are made and once republished, immediately available for sale.
Obviously, using different platforms will mean learning and knowing how quick a turn around for initial and, if must needs, for a re-do.
I cannot stress enough the need for proofing, and a good start is with a program that is dispassionate, and will give you an unbiased, but true grammatical help. Before you say, “I cannot afford a program,” consider two things:
First, if your manuscript is loaded with errors and is causing mental burps for the reader, you stand a good chance of it being returned. If you were unfortunate to have been picked up by a grammar Nazi on the lookout for new self-published authors, so they not only could return the book, but tear it apart, page by page, your writing career may well be derailed by discouragement.
Second, many good programs are either initially free, that is, a trial period or may give you basic help, but not all. For some, having the trial period of usually a month, can give you all the pointers you need, giving you an eye for redundancies, or run on or compound sentences, dangling participles, squinting modifiers, etc..
The Word has an innate program – start with that. If you have Word ten or up, you should have a review area, learn it, and use it.
www.Grammarly.com/ is an app adds on, that in its full capacity, not only catches, but gives detailed reasons for change and is approximately $15 a month. It comes with a month’s free trial – hunker down and learn, and you won’t need to get it on a monthly basis – one good thing with Grammarly, is that you are only hooked into a three month period at a time and I highly recommend this program.
http://www.gingersoftware.com/ also has a basic platform that is free to use, but if there are a lot of changes needed and you do not manually fix, the program will cut you off from its click and go, after a certain amount of ‘fixes.’ Their premium program is approximately $10 a month.
www.ProWritingAid.com/ is a Microsoft endorsed program that is free and is a great ‘slash and burn’ editor – something needed without a personality. This too can be upgraded for easy using, but with ingenuity, you may be able to get all you need in the free area.
Networking with others that have diverse talents, each helping the other... A co-op of this type can consist of helping one on one, or as a whole. Also, the talent needed may be bartered, or paid.
Beta readers – finding within your fan base, critiquing and or proofing. A reader can point out what is confusing, what needs more explaining, etc.. Again, this is a trust issue and the writer needs a tough skin to understand that while we, the writer understands what we wrote, the reader may not.
There is also a fine line between having a human Proofer or Critiquer, or one that is determined to rewrite your story. The author needs to know where the line is drawn. This is a major step, usually more comfortably taken after using a dispassionate program.