Crowd Sourcing Your Edits

Several months ago, I was reading about a flame war going on between an Author and her Readers. They were complaining about the quality of the book, both the typos and content. She didn’t react really well and stated hat they had downloaded the “wrong” version of the book, and that they should download go back to the online retailer and download the correct version.

I don’t think many people did that because of the way they were treated and castigated.

I just read an article the other day about a major, and I mean major, publishing house that had outsourced it’s e-book creation and editing to company in India. Apparently nobody in the company bothered to check the work very closely, because the editing was horrible.

These two stories gave me an idea: Crowd Source your editing! It worked for Linux, why couldn’t it work for me?

How about this: I put my novel up for free, and tell people right upfront it is a work in progress and I am looking for what I am doing wrong. Now, I’ll get a ton of messages that I’ll have to sift through to find the special gems. But at least I will get a general idea of where I am going wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I think a critique group is the best way to go. But with the changing landscape of publishing, who knows what will or won’t work until it is tried. Besides, I figure I can build a heck of a fan base that way! 🙂

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2 responses to “Crowd Sourcing Your Edits

  1. Tracy Hickman is doing a similar idea. His models is–subscribe to work in progress to get editing access, get the completed paper work at the end of the process. He is doing his second book this way, it apparently worked well for him last time.

    Not suggesting you charge, just saying there are precedents.

    I suspect you may have to work harder than you think for that ton of messages to sift through. But I’m very interested to see how this works out, should you pursue it.

    Best way to find out, like you said, is to just do it.

  2. On a professional level … sad editor is sad.

    On a practical level, I like it. Keep in mind you’d be relying on strangers with no knowledge of their expertise or editing ability. You’d still have to double check everything! On the other hand, it would allow for more eyes to catch spelling and grammar errors, repetitions, and things that didn’t make sense.

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