I´m in no way a writer. I have never studied anything that comes close to literature, nor have I spent my free time trying to be overly intelligent in any way. I write about books because it´s a great thing to do that doesn´t require any qualifications at all. Anyone can blog ( apparently…* giggle * ). But not everyone can edit a book.
Self-publishing might have alot of perks but it does have one major downside: Self-publishing writers have to edit their stories themselves before they put them up for sale
And it often shows.
Many self-published authors fail to see the importance of a proper, professional book polish. Why?
Well, money is an issue. Some authors can´t afford a professional editor. Some authors are too cheap to invest in a professional. Some think it´s not important at all. Some believe they can polish their book themselves. For whatever reason… it´s wrong not to have a book looked over by someone who can work book magic.
Here´s how it usually works with self-published authors who want to sell their books. They often chose a path that´s more convenient for themselves ( mentally and financially) and depend on other sources:
Step 1 ) Author writes a great story
Step 2 ) Author wants to publish said story but wants it polished before they hit the upload button.
Step 3 ) Author checks out pricing for editors and has a near death experience because they find out how much editors cost
Step 4 ) Author becomes frustrated and searches the internet for someone who´ll edit for pennies or who´ll edit for free ( because they want their books on the market ASAP).
Step 5 ) Author tries to edit without help, becomes impatient then hits a fan/ blogger up who gladly offer their non-existing services as an editor ( Or, blogger / fan offers to edit ).
Step 6 ) Impatient author blindly trusts the so-called- professionals and hits the publish button.
Step 7 ) Author waits for a miracle to happen.
Might I add that not all sel-published authors go down that road but many do. I´ve seen it happen. Not only once, but hundreds of times throughout a 7 year blogging career.
Ever wonder why the book you spent money on had tons of typos and mistakes? Yeah.
I´m not criticizing self-published authors for wanting to save money. In fact, I understand why. Professional editors are expensive. I´m only criticizing the fact that I´m paying for books that are poorly edited. Because, at the end of the day, it´s my money I´m spending.
And when I´m distracted by more than 10 editorial issues while reading a story then I´ll become an unhappy reader. An unhappy reader who´ll write a review and gladly point out the mistakes.
But most self-published authors don´t realize the importance of a readers opinion ( should a reader ever publish their opinions ). Most self-published writers have their focus on making money and maybe make a living off of writing. That´s the dream and it will unfortunately stay a dream.
I´m sad to say- That´s not how it works. Yet, I do know how it works….
Crappy edited story = High risk of receiving negative feedback
Negative feedback influences sales.
My best advice for newbie writers, or self-published authors who rather not invest money: INVEST money in a professional editor ( or someone who has years of experience in editing). And if you can´t invest then start saving money. It´ll hurt, for sure, to spend all that money on someone who „only“ polishes a book, but in the endgame… it´s worth it. The money invested will be well spent, because there´s nothing worse than having people notice unwanted issues.
No one ever said that self-publishing would be cheap. An author has to invest anyways because every stinking detail that´s connected to self-publishing costs money. Print, paper quality, book cover, print size, ink, etc etc… Why not save up for someone who can help to fulfill a dream?
As for the bloggers who offer their editorial service… They fascinate me. Not only do they write reviews, they also host blog tours, manage book signings, work as PA´s for authors AND they have the ability to edit a book. All for free.
Those bloggers who do want money for their non-professional work aren´t doing self-publishing authors any favors. They´re not doing me any favors either because I demand a better edited book if I´m supposed to pay $12- $16 for a paperback.
The struggle is real and I see it. But what about a readers struggle? Reading can be an expensive hobby, especially for avid readers. Alot of readers have a book spending budget and when they purchase a 350 page book for $12.00 and get a poorly edited story then that´s just rude. That´s called ripping someone off.
Bottom line is: No one can polish a book better than a professional editor or someone who has years of experience in editing and knows their way around the profession. Multitasking bloggers don´t have that know-how. Fans don´t either.
Authors should shine through their work. Not look like fools who want to make a quick buck.
Next up: Weird Book Heros