Saturday, February 4, 2012

Get Your Book Professionally Edited, PLEASE!!

I often wonder what an author thinks of their project and reader when they don’t take the time out to have their work edited. You have one shot to get things out to the public the right way. If you don’t think enough of your book to put out a copy that is done well based on both editing and content, why should I read it? I don’t care if the book is free. I don’t care how great the cover is. If you don’t try to put out the best product you are doing your readers a great disservice. Not to mention, you will lose potential readers along the way.

I saw a book on Amazon that was missing the basics and I was offended. I felt like the author had a story to tell but didn’t care how it was delivered. This isn’t the only one I’ve seen but this one truly bothered me. I couldn’t clearly see the content because I was focused on her basic mistake. I did read the sample pages because I hoped that the author had made a mistake that was corrected on the following pages. I realized that she hadn’t. I couldn’t buy the book despite my desire to support as many self-published authors as I can.

Even more, she had two reviews that didn’t mention the mistake at all. I think I was more baffled by that. You can acknowledge that it was a good book, and explain nicely why it wasn’t a great book. It’s no different than knowing your cousin can’t sing but you encourage him to audition for one of the reality singing shows. You know he can’t carry a tune but encourage him to follow his dream. Really? I want to be an author. We all can’t be. If someone was honest and suggested I try something else, I would appreciate that more than being lied to by everyone. Be gentle, courteous, supportive, but mainly honest if what you have read isn’t up to par. It’s unfair to the author to believe they've done something that they haven't.

Here is my example of what I saw. Where her characters interacted and were in a conversation, she didn’t add commas. Instead of, “I hope that you don’t publish a book without using an editor,” I said. It read like this “Hi, I am not using a publisher. I don’t care enough about you” she responded. Can you see it? I am not an editor but I know that you can tell me exactly what I see.

I agree that editing is costly. However, I strongly feel that it will kill your book if its not done. In the end, it will cost you more than the initial editing costs. You will lose sales, and possibly have to redo your book. It is imperative to pay for someone to professionally edit your work. We have the stories but they know the style that it should be written in. I look forward to reading your book, and will give an honest review. FYI... reviews matter!!

I am an aspiring author but I am a reader first. Please, think of me and other possible readers, before you publish your book without editing it. Authors need to have respect for their products and an unedited book tells me that they don't. A number of self-publishers have had their books picked up by traditional publishers. I bet their books were edited professionally.

Self-published shouldn’t equate to less than. You have a story and I want to read it. PLEASE, do your part and myself, and other readers will support you! Edit, edit, edit, please, edit your book...

If I missed something in English or writing class let me know. Maybe I made the mistake. I hope I am wrong and she is right!! She is the one published. Me, I am currently getting ready to have my manuscript professionally edited. [Insert smile here...]


  1. You are right. I was definitely caught off guard when someone said they don't need to read their own work. I told them how can you depend on an editor to fix your mistakes? Shouldn't you be your own editor first? Some people (even published authors) don't care for the basic rules.

  2. I agree!! I was so offended. It might be a great book and she is losing readers by not taking the time out to handle her business...

  3. Well, as a writer and editor, I have to concur. Writer's that don't invest in, and take their writing serious, reflect poorly upon ALL indie writers. Raise the bar, people! It benefits all of us. :0)

    I might add the advice to CHOOSE YOUR EDITOR CAREFULLY too. If you don't have a recommendation from a trusted friend, then read some published samples of the editor's work before you invest your money, or have them do a sample edit of your work. They may charge for this, because time is money, however, it should be applied to your fees if you contract their services. It adds insult to injury to read an apparently unedited book, only to find out the author DID pay someone good money to edit me, I have fixed quite a few "professionally edited" books. If I can make 5000 edits in an edited book...shame on the editor that charged for this service!

  4. I thought my book was pretty well cleaned up by the time I gave it to my editor, ha, not so much! At first I was a little put off by all the mark-ups, until I actually began to carefully go through it. Plenty of punctuation corrections, which didn't really surprise me, but one thing she caught that none of my early readers or I did in the many "home" edits, was my overuse of the word "that". She also gave me some good advice on sentence structure in places, so yes, it is definitely worth having a pro look over your manuscript. We've all read publishing house books with typos and it is annoying as it momentarily takes you out of the story. Self-published or not, readers who invest time and money to read our work deserve our best work, and THAT is simply THAT!

  5. I agree with all that. I feel you should do a few home edits, and then send it to a professional editor. Any story worth publishing let alone reading is worth editing first!
    My question is though, how the hell do you get in contact with these editors, and what can you do if you are broke? and I mean only air filling up that wallet broke.