The explosion of opportunity to self-publish has completely changed the publishing industry over the last decade. Never before has it been easier to see your own book or words in print. No more posting huge manuscripts to publishers. No more rejections. No more saving up for that large print run. And no more garages full of books that you don’t quite know how to get to the people who want to read them. Today you can just upload your book file and your book can be available online to download or to order in print in minutes. Authors from Hugh Howey to E. L. James have made successful careers (and millions of pounds) from doing this. Amazing.
But, wait. Have you asked yourself what you want out of this book? Is it just to have written it and you now don’t care what other people think? Do you want people to enjoy the text and provide good reviews on its content? Do you want to write more? Do you want to make a hobby or even a career out of writing and self-publishing? If you care about your text and its readers, if you want to receive good reviews and even if you want to write more, then you need to make sure that your text is easily readable by others. And the best way I can recommend for that, is to get yourself an editor.
If you were published in the traditional manner, then your book/text would have been read by an army of people before being put into print – developers, editors, copy-editors and proofreaders. How frustrating it must be to authors when their reviews on Amazon etc are ‘Needs an editor’, ‘Couldn’t read to the end because of the awful typos’ or ‘I’d have given it 5* if it wasn’t for the grammar’.
So what can an editor do for you? Well, an editor can help you improve your text in a wide number of ways:
- Impartial advice on the book/text as a whole – your editor is an independent reader with a degree of separation from your text. They can tell you how well the book reads and make suggestions based upon their experience.
- Check for grammar, spelling and punctuation accuracy.
- Highlight inconsistencies and inaccuracies.
- Improve readability and re-write that bit that wouldn’t quite come out how you wanted.
What is more, a good editor can give you the confidence that your book is something that people will want to read and recommend.
Some writers are concerned about the cost of hiring a professional editor (although it is a lot more affordable than you think – just ask), but it is in fact an investment that is at least as important as the cover design, typesetting or marketing that you will be doing. Books are sold by word of mouth and no professional writer would be without their editor.
Your book is your baby, you have spent hundreds of hours writing, researching and re-writing (and re-writing, and re-writing, and …). You owe it to yourself, your work and your readers to ensure that your book is in its best possible state before going public.
Looking for a proofreader or editor?
I am Dr Angela Stokes, an experienced proofreader and editor. If you would like more information about how I can help you with your project or more about the editing services that I provide, then please get in touch by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.