There has been a phenomenal growth in the independent publishing industry which has removed some stigmas from a decade ago. Still, let’s be honest, there are way too many authors who should’ve waited before pressing the publishing button.
In this business, if you publish a book with your ego as your guide, you may be in a world of hurt. Nothing is more stinging or scathing than readers’ negative reviews. These are very public!
Editing plays a huge factor in the success of your book. You can often tell from reviews and low star ratings from readers that an author has hurt their own reputation by not taking time to publish a quality product.
Is Paying for Editing Really Worth It?
When I first pitched the manuscript that would become my debut novel, When Rain Falls, it had already been edited. Even after I received the book deal and I started working with the publishing company’s editor. The book was edited at least 2-3 more times.
When it was time to do the last proofread, I had grown so weary. Inside my head I was screaming, “I have to read this again?” I was tired of reading about my own characters and was already writing the next book. I remembering pouring a cup of coffee and reading the book again as if I hadn’t read it for the umpteenth time. Believe me editing and the rewriting process was well worth it because my debut novel received great reviews and has won awards.
So if you’re deciding to cut corners because editing seems expensive or even if you’re think you have done a great job already. Don’t move forward with publishing!
It really does help for you to have a least one or more eyes on that book because there are things that you missed.
Types of Editing
There are three types of editing.
Content/Development Edit. This type of edit examines the overall flow of your manuscript. Are the scenes or chapters logically to read? Did the main character get a name change in the middle? Does the book drone on and on with no action or conflict in too many places? Did you use “show” versus “tell”?
Copy Edit. How many times did you use the same word? I’m good for missing small words like “a” or “the.” Could another word or structure be used to make a sentence clearer?
Proofread. This is the final phase. Sometimes it may help to have another person besides you and the editor read the manuscript to check for any typos or errors.
I highly recommend all three edits, even though it may be painful and seem like a hefty investment. Several scathing reviews can destroy the sales of your books and even discourage you from pursuing publishing the next book.
After the editing process, the next step is probably the interior layout. I would still recommend taking your time at this point. Put the book down for a few weeks and then read it yourself. This is why release dates should be pushed as far out as possible. Time is a factor if you want a quality product.
Final read. Try reading the final product not just on a computer, but if you don’t mind using ink, print a hard copy. I often times will send the PDF or the ePub file to my iPad to get a sense of how the book reads as an ebook too. Read passages outloud.
Beta readers. Some authors go the extra mile and seek out beta readers. Beta readers are a little different from reviewers. These readers give the author feedback about the flow of the story or any errors. This helps with providing an even cleaner read for book reviewers later.
Now most writers are never satisfied with a story. Don’t get caught up in perfection. The idea is to publish a well-crafted book.
List of Editors
As you can see from the graphic above, I have come a long way since When Rain Falls. I have independently published four fiction and two nonfiction books now and I appreciate all my editors which include:
I also want to recommend the following editors too.
- Shout-out to E.N. Joy, my editor for my four books published by Urban Christian/Kensington.
- I also want to list Rhonda McKnight who read over When Rain Falls in the early days.
- A few years back I interviewed my author friend and editor, Maurice Gray, Jr.
If you’re an editor or you have a great editor, please include in the comments below.