Editing your book can take forever, or at least, it can seem like forever. What if you had not just one editor, but many? You’d get the pesky editing out of the way faster.
J. Travis Washburn writes his books in Google Docs, and shares his books with readers who help him to edit. (You’ll have to read the entire article to discover his process.) In his article, How to Hire the Best Book Editor for Free: Crowdsource Editing, he says:
I like to think of editing in a three-level structure:
Alpha Readers make comments on global issues like concepts, plots, themes, characters, and settings. They comment about the story.
Beta Readers comment on the mid-level stuff. But they’re basically the best of both worlds, commenting on both the big issues and small.
Gamma Readers are the ones who notice punctuation and spelling errors, the small stuff. A misplaced comma never slips by them.
The process sounds wonderful, except for Google Docs. I’m assuming that J. Travis Washburn writes in another app and then posts to Google Docs? I can’t imagine writing anything directly in Google Docs. I’ve tried. It doesn’t work for me.
Of course, there are alternatives to Google Docs. Quip for one; I use Quip with clients. You can import files from Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote to collaborate with others. So you could import a chapter at a time. So if you’re as freaked by Google Docs as I am, you could use Quip, or similar.
“Crowdsourcing” your editing is a clever tactic. With many eyes on your book before it’s published, you could be sure not only that your book works for readers, but also that nary a typo sneaked through.
Not sure how to get alpha readers ? Use your blog (another good reason for creating a blog). In Blogging Books and Your Writing: Do It YOUR Way, we discussed several different types of blogs you could create. Alternatively, try social media websites, like Twitter and Facebook, or my favorite, Google+.
Write Commercial Fiction
If you’re struggling with your writing, trading your hours for dollars, maybe it’s time you considered something different: write commercial fiction. Once written, your ebooks will sell for years…
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