Friday, January 30, 2015

Editing, anyone?

Taken from MY LEA edited manuscript
Q: Is editing hard?

My-brilliant-answer: Of course not. Not at all. It’s only super-blowing-my-mind kinda hard.

Q : Can we self-edit?

My-so-not-intelligent-answer: Well. I suppose if we can take selfie, we can do pretty much everything self-related.

Truth is, it differs from author to author. In my case where English is not my first language, my capability of editing my own work is as credible as my capability of piloting a space rocket. So yeah. I don't need editors.

I’ve been asked a lot of self-pub-related questions since I published my first novel MY LEA last November. I thought why not start with editing topic today.

We’re so fortunate to have my friend, Mickey Reed, who would take us deeper into the world of editing. Mickey is a full time editor and has been working with many authors; some of them are bestselling ones.

So without further ado, here she is!

Hey, everyone! As Melly said, my name is Mickey Reed, and I am a freelance copyeditor for self-published authors. Today, I’m going to explain why I believe editing is important—very important—to the publishing process, talk about why I think everyone should hire an editor, go over the major different types of editing, and discuss how to choose an editor for your project. It sounds a little dry or intimidating, but it’s imperative to putting your best work out there.

Just about every author will give you their advice about publishing. They’ve been there, so they have learned from mistakes and celebrated successes. Guess what almost every one of them will tell newbie authors not to skimp on? Editing! Why? Because it’s the process that makes your already amazing words shine a little brighter. It helps you look professional and serious about writing books as a business. It puts your best foot forward, because readers don’t want to wade through missing words and typos to get to the end of your incredible story. They want a clean copy that doesn’t distract them. For me, nothing is worse than getting pulled out of the story by incorrect word choices, bad punctuation, or dangling participles.

Aren’t familiar with that last one? Then you probably need an editor. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that we all do. Self-editing only takes us so far before we need another set of eyes to make sure we’ve dotted every I and crossed every T. Our brains fill in the holes and gaps, but a different brain might catch the things we’ve missed. And when they’re your own words, it’s hard to see the mistakes. Not to mention, no one knows and follows every single grammar rule out there. I’ve written a book, and I ran it through two rounds of editing. They each found different things I didn’t see when reading my own work back, and they errors things the other didn’t fix, too. Bottom line: even editors have editors. We all need them.

But what type of editing do you need? Likely, a few different kinds. There are four major editing rounds, and if you choose multiple rounds, you’ll want to do them in this order. Content editing (or substantive editing) is the big one. It rips your story apart for plot holes, character development and likability, story plausibility and accuracy, pacing, consistency, and overall feel and tone. Basically, it makes your manuscript bleed and points out everything wrong with it so you can fix it. Wrong is sometimes subjective, though, so separate opinion from fact and go with your gut. Line editing is the next step, which checks for sentence structure, transitions, paragraph-to-paragraph pacing and continuity, and writing style. It makes things consistent and grammatically correct, but it still might require rewrites and self-editing, so move on to copyediting after that. Copyediting deals with reference and fact-checking as well as word choice and POV consistency. Proofreading is the final line of defense, so it cleans up and polishes punctuation, spelling, homophones, missing and extra words, and syntax. Like I said, your manuscript might need multiple types of editing, and that’s okay.

So how do you choose an editor for your project? Do your research. Google for editors, ask your writing buddies, read a well-edited book and check to see who worked on it, or browse freelancing websites to find options. Then get samples edited (preferably the same chapter from each editor for comparison) and see what you find. Most importantly, learn about editing too. Take a class or brush up on some grammar rules so you can decide if the editors on your list actually know their stuff. Don’t get duped into hiring someone who says that they will line edit for you but can only catch when you use their and there incorrectly. Always make sure you know what you’re getting into before the process starts or a contract is signed. And work with critique partners who will read your work and give you honest feedback about what they think you need. In the end, trust your gut.

Sounds a little overwhelming, doesn’t it? It certainly can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Empower yourself to know the differences of what people offer, get samples from many potential editors, and make comparisons. Ask questions. Request more information. Don’t be shy. This is business, and anyone worth their salt will sit down with you and go over everything about their editing process. Know that you’ll make mistakes you can learn from, and realize that there are many options out there. You’ll find the right editor for your work eventually, and your readers will be so happy you did.


Mickey Reed is a full-time freelance editor who works on manuscripts from multiple genres. Throughout her career, she has worked on over two hundred fifty projects, several of which are USA Today, New York Times, and Amazon bestselling novels and novellas. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and a houseful of pets, and when she’s not editing, she’s writing her own books and short stories. You can find her online

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rough Day

My teen had a rough day at school today. This time, it was a situation I couldn't fix for him.

Later on he found peace reading this "365 Days of Wonder", a book that never left his bedside table, and listening to his favorite music.

Sometimes we forget that kids need some alone-time too, just like us, to unwind. No need to hover, no need to push, no need to worry excessively.
They will find a way to settle their own problems without us interfering...

Luv ya, Kiddo 😙

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gone Girl Movie

Meet my brand new, still wrapped in plastic, Gone Girl novel that I bought in... well.... 2012. Don't pay attention to the Darth Vader next to it. I need something to hold the book when I took its picture.

Anywaaaay.... I cheated. I chose to watch the movie first before I read the book. Shame, shame, I know.
So I watched it and -- whoa! My husband and I were glued like helpless dolls in our seat because whoa! WHOA HO HO!
It was freaking awesome. Creepy. Awesome. Creepy. And WHOA!!!

If you haven't read or watched Gone Girl, go run to bookstores or wherever now.

I will definitely read the book even when I've already known the ending.
I can't imagine how powerful it would be, seeing the scenes through words 😍

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


MY LEA Blog Tour has kicked off Monday 19 January 2015 and will continue till 23 January!

I'm super thrilled. Can't sleep. Can't eat. Can't talk. Can't write. I hope I didn't make tons of typo writing this post because holy shoooot woooot, Lea and Andrew are on the tour!

Come and join us. Enter to win prizes 😀.
You can find the blog tour link here :

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mommy's Journal: Get Well Soon, Princess

My little girl is sick with bad cold. It's the combo of fever, dry cough, sore throat, and runny nose. It's very uncomfortable, poor girl, but she's trying to be brave by not complaining. She stacks tissue next to her bed, she got herself a damp cloth everytime she feels her eyes are burning, and she doesn't whine everytime she swallows the medicine.
Love you, little Princess 😙.
Get well soon...

Monday, January 12, 2015

H-7 To Blog Tour

So so very excited!

My Lea is available at most sites that sell ebooks ☺

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Do It Like A Boss

Nina (7 year-old) : Mom. You think I’m awesome?

Me (answers truthfully and passionately) : Of course, honey.

Nina : Yeah, I thought so too. I am pretty awesome.

Fact : Self-confidence has never been an issue with her.

Moral : If you want to do something, be something, feel something, don't hesitate. Just go out there and do it like a boss!