Monday, March 11, 2013

Editing Software Everywhere, Savoir Faire!

In last week's post, I compared two online editing tools. Since then, I've learned a bit more on editing/grammar software and discovered the pool is quite full with a variety of options and capabilities. Because I'm in the process of self-editing Book II of the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, I've got editing on the brain. But before I continue, I want to throw out a few disclaimers and clarifications.

1.  I'm not endorsing any (or all) of these self-editing tools and am not suggesting they replace human editors, proofreaders, copy readers or copy editors.

2.  The basis of my blog is to provide insight to the indie author, do-it-yourself, self-publisher, who is looking to minimize costs (and maximize free resources), while still striving to produce a quality product.

3.  I'm not an expert at fiction writing or self-publishing, but I have edited hundreds of technical documents in my 20 years as an environmental engineer and am acutely aware of the damage that typos and confusing text can cause.

Personally, I feel an author of any type of document should polish it to the best of their ability before passing it off for another set of eyes to look at. Why? you ask. Isn't that the job of an editor, reviewer, proofreader, et al? Yes and no. If you're the type of person that wants to put their best foot forward, these tools may be valuable to you. If you have the luxury of paying someone else to fix mistakes you're not interested in fixing yourself, you've already spent too much time reading this blog. I'm not going to try to convince anyone of the value of self-editing--that could be a post unto itself. Rather, I'm trying to help those of you in the same boat as me. So, without further adieu (or curmudgeonly ranting), on to the good stuff.

The list below includes a variety of tools, from free online no-download tools to actual for-purchase PC software, and everything in-between. The for-purchase software versions are all available in free time-limited trial versions that you can explore before spending any cash, and some sites offer a variety of tools. I've tried to separate them into two general categories (free and pay), but again, a lot of them offer more than one option.

I didn't include AutoCrit and Pro Writing Aid, since they were given more detail in my last post. Also, don't forget that Word and WordPerfect have built-in tools that you should take advantage of. So excluding those, I've also discovered the following:

Free Online Tools (registration may be required and full suite of tools may cost money):
For Purchase software or web-integrated programs (free limited-time trails available):
Next week, I'll provide more details and some comparison of the free services, with more on the for-purchase tools later. Oh, and if you recog my obscure cartoon reference in the post's title and can tell me which classic animated series it's from, I'll e-mail you a free Crimson & Cream download code. That's all for now.



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