MY KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING EXPERIENCE: PART IV_KDP INITIAL STEPS TO GET YOUR DRAFT READY
Getting My Drafts Ready For Edit
Since I am sharing tips and tricks here, I must confess that I did not have knowledge of time saving procedures when I wrote the Initial Drafts of both my First novel FATE STALKS A HERO: RESURGENCE and the sequel, FATE STALKS A HERO II:THE FIJI FULCRUM. Since I can’t afford the expense of professional editors and publishers, I have had to incorporate support tools that cost very little or nothing to use.
This is a multi-part series entitled “My Kindle Direct Publishing Experience”. The first blog in the series “My Kindle Direct Publishing Experience: Part I _Starting From Scratch” shows how I took my first steps. I plan to transform all of the related blogs into an eBook and paperback on Amazon. These informational articles will be available as blog posts for a limited time only.
I am a novice novel writer, a newbie if you will. I don’t pretend to be anything more than that. But I have learned long ago to make what ever you propose to do, or create, be the result of the best effort that you can put out there. If that means taking the time to experiment, suffer through learning curves, obtain self-help tools, and rinse and repeat, so be it.
First Big Tip: Get Initial Help With An Online Editing Program
I purchased a grammar editing tool called Pro Writing Aid (PWA) which is a multi-function online editing program. I obtained it through a special promotion that included a year’s subscription to their Premium Version for less than $50. I used it to edit one chapter at a time and found numerous issues like Style errors, Grammar suggestions (including a Spell Checker), and endless Echoes (which are close repetitions of words and phrases.) These are the key items I look for in editing my manuscript after I have self-corrected all obvious problems on my 2nd Drafts.
I discussed a general review of the PWA program in a previous blog so I won’t go into details here. Suffice it to say I have found it to be an excellent assistant to help me make corrections with I would not have readily found on my own. It takes me about 3 to 4 hours to edit each chapter by accessing the specific parts of the program that I am most concerned about. Trying to use everything they offer to edit your own masterpiece will have you screaming all the way to the nut house.
Second Big Tip: Get It Done
I reached the point of D day on my first novel’s manuscript when I had done so many edits, I found myself going stir crazy. I finally decided to just push the GO button and get it published.
My problem is, I am a perfectionist, and that demeanor haunts my writing style. It’s not that I am saying that my writing is perfect, just that I want it to be. I hate to make, and then discover, grade school errors later on. But you can fix, repair, change and upgrade just so much. The nice thing about the KDP program is that if you publish your novel and find errors later on, you can fix easily fix them and republish the update. You won’t be stuck with piles of error saturated first editions in your warehouse or bookshelf.
So here is my Second Tip: Don’t waste your life away dreading the launch of your book and just step up to the plate and get it done. This advice is meant for all you aspiring writers who have great ideas for a book hidden in your desk drawer and are afraid to put it out into the public arena. The shame is, there are millions of you out there. Just get it done and let the chips fall where they may. Everyone has to start somewhere. And let your harshest critics go hang themselves.
Third Tip: Make It Your Own
Edit your manuscript until you make it into something that you would want to read yourself, even if you are not a book reader per se. Ask yourself if it stirs your emotions, makes you cry, raises up a laugh now and then, or simply presents scenes that seem so real you feel that you can reach out and emphasize with your characters as if you were right there with them.
All this won’t become a reality if you let someone else turn your work into something that reflects an overabundance of their input instead of your own original thoughts. If you don’t fine-tune your own work with aggressive editing from the very hands that wrote it, you risk losing the essence of your creative talent to someone else.
Your work can be rife with errors, omissions, and formatting problems that should have been taken care of by you, but in fact, wasn’t. This happens when you haven’t done your homework or weren’t willing to spend the time needed to fix what needs to be corrected..
If you decide to use an editor, and most writers do, keep in mind that they charge very high hourly fees. When you don’t spend the time to do a thorough review and repair of your manuscript, they will either reject you outright, or return your work with so many corrections, you’ll wind up paying them double for follow up evaluations.
This is your baby, so nurture it and make it reflect you instead of someone else. It is a lot of work to write a novel or a piece of non- fiction and the first line of defense is you. If you don’t know what to do, learn how to do it. If it takes many extra hours to get it done, then find time to fit those hours into your schedule.
This effort is a labor of love and it is yours because you created it. No one else did. So make it your own by making it the best that it can be.
I am requesting that my readers click on the links provided and download a sample read of each book and give a review on Amazon. You will have free access to the first four chapters of each book. My hope is that you will like the story lines enough to obtain either an eBook version or a paperback copy that you can put on your bookshelf as a masterpiece when you are done. FATE STALKS A HERO I: RESURGENCE, FATE STALKS A HERO II:THE FIJI FULCRUM, and THE SAGA OF HERACLES PENOIT. I will be giving excerpts on these works in upcoming blogs to familiarize you the reader with exciting details about the contents of each one. Thank you!