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Progress Report 2022 Week 13

Did I manage to get through the proofread from Reedsy — the one where all double-quotes and single-quotes had been marked as changes? Did I finish incorporating the Fiverr proofread edit? And, most importantly — given my aversion to it — did I kick off the e-mail list? Let’s look at the numbers first.

Progress Report 2022 Week 13 By the Numbers

No new words written this week? Really? But I can explain!

For the first time since I started reporting my progress, I have zero new words to report. Which would be really embarrassing, except that I have a great reason! I finished incorporating the Reedsy proof edit into the Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action. Yes, I finally picked through all those changes to find the useful nuggets.

And I want to be clear about that: The proof edit had a lot of good stuff in it! It was just hiding among the thousands or changes that marked each double-quote and each single quote. Honestly, the effort gave me a headache.

A Beta Reader and the Fiverr Proofread Edit

I had a beta reader! And she even finished the manuscript! I know, I was as shocked as you were. She even liked some of my characters. All joking aside, I was elated that Matsushita Sachi was her favorite character. Matsushita is one of my favorites, too.

But do you know what else is cool? The beta reader marked several typographical or grammatical errors. She found errors that the Reedsy edit did not find. Or the Fiverr edit, either!. So, kudos to my beta reader!

The Fiverr proofread edit? It looks solid. I’ve applied its edits to my first 33 chapters. I said the beta reader found things that weren’t in the Reedsy or Fiverr edits. To be perfectly clear, all three found things the other two did not. That made me realize something that I’ll mention in a moment. So, yes, the Reedsy edit was professional and so was the Fiverr edit.

This sample from the Fiverr proof edit is a lot different from Word’s change history. The ratio of changes to useful edits approached 1:1!

So, lots and lots of editing, but no new words this week. I guess it was bound to happen, and it’s perfectly to be expected, but I still have mixed feelings about it.

Need to Learn from My Mistakes: Proof Reading Edition

How quickly I can process a proofread edit depend largely on how many changes the editor suggests. Also, the probability of an editor finding any given lapse in grammar depends on how many lapses I’ve left littering the manuscript. The more problems I leave in the manuscript, the higher the chance the editor will miss any given one.

I’m going to have to give in and use a tool. Or two, as Lynn suggested in a comment in last week’s post. According to some reviews I’ve read, ProWritingAid has capabilities to interface with Word and Scrivener. Also, it can work with longer individual files. In addition to being effective, it looks attractive to me.

The elder statesman of grammar tools is probably Grammarly, which has a free edition. I don’t trust free editions, because there’s no such thing as free, but they have a paid version. This Reddit post has some dire warnings about privacy, and it does make some good points. But I’ll likely use Grammarly, too.

I’ll start with ProWritingAid. I don’t want to let Grammarly see too much, but an occasional spot check (say, one out of six chapters) seems reasonable.

I really want to drive down how much time I’m spending on proof reading. It’s necessary. But as I’m seeing with Executive Action, it’s a huge time sink.

What about the E-Mail List?

I did two things with the e-mail list this week. First, I asked my wife and daughter to test it. The good news is, they did test it! There’s really no bad news. My wife suggested I add the book’s cover to the landing page, which I did. Here’s what it looks like:

It’s ready to go!

Now I just have to write the ad copy and buy advertising on select platforms! Yeah, that’s all. And, wow, am I not looking forward to it. Well, I’m past the point where I’m out of excuses. I need to to get it done, or I can’t launch.

Changes in Titles?

I may need to change the title of the second book. I was watching a YouTube video about why Amazon might suspend someone’s KDP account from the channel Self-Publishing with Dale. He mentioned that it’s a good idea to check Amazon for titles. Of course, we can’t copyright titles. But it’s a bad idea to have the same title as another book in your genre. I was lucky with Executive Action. I’m not so lucky with Dying Breath or Primary Target. Fortunately, I haven’t paid for those covers to be created yet!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 13

My goals for this week are:

  1. Finish incorporating the Fiverr edit into Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action
  2. Come up with a plan to start the e-mail list, no matter how much I hate it or how much I don’t want to do it (take II)
  3. Finish Primary Target’s Pinch 1 for Dek Conrad and Matsushita Sachi; as a stretch objective, start Pinch 1 for Jack Booth
  4. As an even bigger stretch objective, continue working on the second draft of Dying Breath

What Do You Think?

Do you use any grammar checking aids? Which ones do you like? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

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