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When Editing Is NOT Enough!

A couple of weeks ago I blogged on about editing, Whiz With Words. There were so many great comments! I had gotten a lot of private emails on editing software and what I use. 
I don't use any editing software, but one of my regular commenter does! She graciously accepted to do a guest blog for me!! Lets give a round of applause to author Mila Ballentine!!

Laura has received her manuscript from an editor, after spending about $0.016/word for a 10,000 + manuscript.  She feels confident; a proclaimed specialist in editing has gone over her manuscript with a fine toothcomb. Laura accepts and rejects suggestions in the manuscript and WHALA, the book is ready for the printing stage.  The book is available for purchase and the reviews start to come in.  Her eyes eagerly read a review for the book on, “It’s a good read, but it has too many errors.” 

Comments like this can knock the wind out of a writers sail. A writer has to have tough skin to survive in a world where everything written is critiqued.

Still, authors are sensitive and their stories are like a beloved child.  I think many writers can relate to Laura’s experience.  I found that doing a visual edit was not enough. So, I tried using  the Natural Reader 10.0 software and it has become a crucial part of the editing process.  

Arguably, the more mistakes a manuscript has the easier it is for the editor to overlook mistakes.  Natural Reader is a synchronized text to speech software that reads and highlights the words spoken.  When actively listening, you can hear when a word is missing, discover plot holes, and find out of sequence scenes.  

The software is easy to use, and reads MS Word, PDF and emails. The only down side is getting use to listening to a mechanical voice, but the benefits are priceless. Disclaimer: Reader software’s do not take the place of an editor.  Once, you have gone over the text without hearing any errors, send it to an editor.  

Now, it is up to you to test the software and experience the benefits.  I have included a link to a free Natural Reader 10.0 download. An upgraded version is available with realistic voices.

In addition, I am including a link to my blog,  and eStore,

I cordially invite you to visit my blog, get to know the author, and available titles.    


WOW!! Thanks so much, Mila for coming by and telling us about the edit software that you have found useful to you! 
Will you use a software to help with edits? I know we have all been there with the ugly reviews, but anything that will help out is GREAT!!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thank you Mila for this information. As an editor, it looks like something I might be interested in using occasionally. I do a printout first and red line, then I work on the computer and catch anything I may have missed on the first read-through. This might be useful to replace or compliment one of those steps.

    I totally understand the pride and joy of a manuscript being without errors. I liken it to a mother who is told her child is ugly or her child is beautiful. One hurts so much and the other makes your heart swell with joy.

    I will look into this software and see if it's going to enhance my process. Thanks again for information.

    Judy Beatty

    1. Judy, I'm so fortunate to have you! I've never used any software before I send things to you. Do you think I should or writers should do this before they send the manuscript to their editors?

  3. Very interesting blog post. I'll be checking out Natural Reader.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Christina. I'm curious how many writers do use editing software.

  4. Okay, I must admit editing makes me crazy. I'm all for proof reading. Mis-spellings horrify me. However, sentence structure, perfect grammar and finding any tiny error just feels as if it ruins the flow of the original story, for me.

    Whew, I feel like a big weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I've never wanted to admit that before ;)
    Maybe it is because I am a born and bred Texan.

    1. OH, KT, you are talking my language! Editing is my enemy and my fear;/ My editor, Judy Beatty, she goes through my manuscript TWICE after I go through her edits to make sure I get them all. I have a tendency to miss her edits......sigh....

  5. Hi Mila,
    Thanks for a great post. I'm going to download the free version of Natural Readers. I have a neighbor who likes to be read to and I generally read my WIP aloud to her. You would be amazed how many errors you find when you do that.

    1. Gerri, Let me know what you think. I'd be curious to see how it works.

  6. This is awesome...and not only for editing purposes. But I get a lot of books on pdf from authors needing reviews before the book comes out. If this read pdf's then I can maybe choose to listen to the story on my walks and workouts instead, saving a ton of time.

    Worth a shot.

    1. Oh, good idea!!!! I never thought of that, Katy!!

  7. Wonderful information, Tonya! Thanks for sharing Mila:). I could use Natural Reader! I'm always amazed at all the small words I leave out, like it, and, be, the, etc.

  8. Thanks for this really useful post, Mila and Tonya. I've never used editing software, but this sounds intriguing. I know the value of reading aloud.

    1. Your welcome. I find it useful,after all there is only so much reading the human eye can take.

  9. Whala should be spelled voila, French for "look at that".

  10. The current best text to speech software is Text Speaker. It has customizable pronunciation, reads anything on your screen, and it even has talking reminders. The bundled voices are well priced and sound very human. Voices are available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and more. Easily converts blogs, email, e-books, and more to MP3 or for listening instantly.


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