Imagine a book buyer on Amazon looking for a new book. They are going to be attracted to a nice book cover and a catchy title. They might click on the back cover summary. Before they hit the Add to Cart button, they might also want to see few pages of the book by clicking on See Inside. If they happen to find a grammatical mistake or typo, chances are they will be wary of investing in that book. The message they will get from that book is that it is sloppily put together. It might give them the right quality of and quantity of information, but lack of editing means their reading experience will be very poor with their mind doing double duty in not only reading it but also making sure they understand what the author actually meant. So if that is one of your books, sadly, the buyer will move onto the next book.
Authors are usually very anxious to get their books in print that they skip this very crucial step; so before you make a choice of which of the self publishing companies you are going to be working with, make a point of asking if they include editing in their packages. They feel their book is fine because it was checked by their sister-in-law or their son in college. They might run a spellcheck, check for typos, and call it good. It’s good that you did have support of your family to check your manuscript. But they would not be able to replace an editor. What they are is what we call in our industry a beta reader.
If you browse through Amazon reviews, you’ll find that one of the biggest turnoff to a reader is a poorly edited book filled with mistakes and flaws — problems that an editor would not allow.
Going back to reading experience, if the reader is preoccupied with punctuation mistakes, misspellings and grammar errors, they won’t be able to focus on what your book is trying to say.
The end result will be that you will be seen as an amateur writer, not a professional author.
1. Decide what sort of editing help you need
All editing is not created equal. Editing types range from content or story developmental edits to proofreading. Content editing will give you a general idea of where your story is strong and where it is weak, while proofreading only picks up obvious spelling and grammar mistakes. In between, you can get various forms of line and copy editing. Most editors will tell you what services they offer, and the different prices they charge for each service. Some will offer a mix of styles.
Once you know what sort of editing you need, you will be able to ensure that the editor you choose can do the things you need to improve your story. You may need more than one editor/edit pass on your book.
2. Ask for a sample edit
We can not emphasis this enough: Before you hire an editor, request to edit a sample of your actual novel for you.
This will give you an idea of what sort of things they will be looking at, how many issues they pick up, and whether their style matches yours.
3. BE PREPARED THAT IT WILL HURT
Editing is heartbreaking. No matter how good you think you are, an editor will find things you need to change. Every time I get an edit back, it is brutal. Allow couple of days to go over the changes, and think about them, before being ready to make a decision. Don’t rush it. Let the hurt pass.
In a nutshell:
A good editor keeps the rules of the English language in mind but also preserves the writer’s unique voice. Each writer is different, and sometimes their style overrides mandates handed down by the grammar police. A good editor will recognize and nurture individual style.
It’s difficult to edit your own work, as just about any author will tell you. Whether you’re a bestselling author or a brand-new writer with your first book, having an objective professional review work that is so close to your heart is a crucial step. And the readers you’re hoping to attract will be more willing to hit that Add to Cart button if they’re not distracted by poor reading experience and clumsy sentence structure!
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I am Durdana Yusuf and working for an self publishing company in nc. My life's purpose is to help others articulate their thoughts into books by being a book writing coach, publisher and marketer. Read More articles : http://carypress.com/
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