Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Should I hire an editor service for my book of poems.

I have finished a full draft of my book of poems titled, BEYOND THESE DARK LANDS ARE EDGES OF JOY, Poems of Comfort and Hope; it is the result of a year of writing. I have written and rewritten each page more times than I can count. Now I want to have it edited for grammar and structure.

PRICE IS NOT AN ISSUE - (because I am poor I can't pay any price, so it is not an issue).
I could pay an editing service and the price varies from a few hundred dollars to thousands. I believe the project is worth the investment, not because I hope to make any money on it, poetry books never make money, but I believe in the message of hope and comfort. I believe that the Lord has given me an opportunity to bless others through this project. However, I do not feel able to engage an editing service.

I do not feel that my grammar is up to the task so I have taken a multi-step approach.

First, I take full advantage of the benefits of Microsoft Word. It is my first level of spell checking and grammar. I have found a trick that helps me to exploit its effectiveness. I will paste a page into Word and then change the font to something completely different. I think my subconscious does not recognize the writing and I feel like I am reading something new and I see errors in my writing.  I do this many times changing the font type or size each time.

Another technique to check my writing is to read it out loud, then you catch mistakes.

The second thing that has helped me has been the free version of Grammarly, an online grammar checking service. I use the free version because I am neither able nor not willing to spend the money for the subscription version. It is not that expensive but I am poor.  I really like Grammarly and recommend it to anyone who is writing any project. It causes me to look at my work fresh. Grammarly catches things that Microsoft Word misses.

The final and most important step in editing my book is my wonderful wife. She is a school teacher. She teaches ESL, English as a second language, in the public school, so I asked her to look my work over. I admit that I was a little fearful. It would be different if I was hiring a stranger. A stranger might not care much, but a family member may have more emotional involvement.

She is starting the school year, so she has a lot on her mind and her time gets eaten up by being a teacher. The first weeks of school I think she works between 60 and 70 hours. Teachers have all sorts of in the evening back to school events, parent teacher meetings, conferences, online learning modules (something new) and lesson preparation. After the first few weeks, her schedule settles down to almost normal.

She has started reading and editing my poems and is about a quarter of the way through.  I think after a few weeks she will be done and I will be able to start formatting it for the printing company.

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(c) Adron 8/29/17

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