Saturday, May 21, 2011

Self-publishing writers still need good editors

Let's say you've written a book.

Then you edited it. Maybe even did some major re-writing, moving around chapters and retyping whole sections fresh. You've straightened out the characters, tweaked your dialogue, all the stuff you think needs being done so that you have a professional quality book ready for readers.

Perhaps you've even designed your own cover artwork, and maybe you've even written your own blurbs for the back cover of the book.

A few years ago all this would have been frowned upon, but today more and more book writers are going the self-publishing route.

But why until recently has self-publishing been frowned upon so, and continues to be in some circles?

For one simple reason.

The truth: Most self-published books are garbage.

Yes, it can hurt to hear this. After all the months and years and hard work you've put into your book, it still might not be very good. It's your baby. You love that book. It has to be good.

But what you consider good might not be what a majority of readers will consider good. And unless you've only got one book in you, which is rare for most writers, you will want readers to come back and read other books, articles or stories you might write in the future.

So, you need your material to be top notch.

What to do?

Get an editor.

That might seem like a difficult task, but it's not. With economic and technological changes in the print industry, more and more editors are going freelance. Sometimes these editors used to work at a publishing house or a were literary agents. Sometimes the editors are new, or have been freelancing for years. There are plenty of editors out there. Just do a little searching on the Web.

Then you start to think about how much it might cost to hire an editor. Here, again, you are worrying way too much. Many editors will edit an average novel-length project for $500 or less, which really isn't that much money considering your book is your baby, right? Still, if you can't afford that price range, there are other options. If you have some editing skill, find someone else who needs a book edited and offer to swap with them, you edit their book and they edit yours. You could also check at a local college in your area, and perhaps you will find a student with an appropriate degree who will be willing to edit your book for a lesser price. Remember to think outside of the box. There are options.

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