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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Professional Editing Tips for Self-Publishers



I know you don't want to hear this but it needs to be said (again)...
You should have your book edited by more than one editor! I've said this in the past and upset some people who think because they gave Joe Editor $300.00 their book is now perfect. Here are some real facts...
*Publishing a book (correctly) is expensive and a large part of that expense is EDITING. Even more so for first time authors or if you have no formal training in writing properly. Your work is going to need much more extensive editing.
*Proper editing TAKES TIME. Coming with a deadline of 3 weeks or a short, strict timeline is foolish. It's not because the editor is lazy or not working on your work. This is a timely, tedious process when done properly.
*Learn the difference in editing and proofreading. Did you know that Random House's proofreaders catch an average of 200 errors and if they don't catch at least 150 errors when proofreading an average length manuscript, it is sent to another proofreader to be gone over again. This is AFTER being edited by 2 of their on staff editors.
*Do some research instead of waiting for your FB friend to tell you about it.
*One person can not successfully edit and proofread your book. You need an editing team (of at least 2 people but preferably more).
*You get what you pay for. If you pay $600.00 for typestting, book cover, editing and business cards or whatever else is thrown in there, that is going to be the quality of your work. Don't then complain about the outcome, that's what you paid for.
*If you pay Joe Editor to edit your book, then go to print, don't blame Joe Editor. It is your responsibility, as an author/self-publisher to go through the proper steps to put out a proper product. Now- if you've had at least 2 edits and a proofread and your book is still filled with errors - then you should sue the hell out of those 3 people but if you're not doing what you need to do as a professional by following all of the steps, then take the blame your self.
Obviously, as a service provider and not a client, I am on the editor's side today but I also follow these rules. Our editors don't work for us for free. As publishers, we have to pay them to edit our books we publish as well. It sucks to own an editing service and have to pay for editing, however, I know that to put out a professional book, I must pay 2 (or more) of our editors to get it right as well as proofread it myself when it is done... If I, as the owner of an editing service have to pay for edits, why wouldn't you? Or, you can keep blaming the editor for your un-professionalism in following through the proper steps to self-publish and continue putting our sub-par (Not measuring up to traditional standards of performance, value, or production) work.
THAT BEING SAID, our editors are the bomb :) I appreciate you all, Jason Rashon Scott, Jill Alicea, Shannon Fields, Aquila Butler, Jason and Windy Goodloe. Check us out and let us help you complete this project professionally.
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You can also visit our website at www.21StreetUrbanEditing.com