Book Editing Ignored

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

read the pro´s and con´s for self-publishing here.

 

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

Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: Part One

To self publish or not to self publish.

That´s something I never had to ask myself because I´m not a writer, but many others have undoubtedly asked themselves if they should dive into self publishing or not.

Writers from all literature corners have, at some point, thought of the idea of publishing their own work, whether through traditional publishing or through self-publishing.

Both routes are fully acceptable these days, but before any writer choses a path to take they should definitely have a closer look at the pro´s and con´s of both traditional publishing and self publishing. Let´s do a quick breakdown to show the differences between the two and include pros and cons for both traditional publishing and self publishing:

Pros for Traditional Publishing

  • Marketing
  • Reach a wide audience, more exposure
  • Publishing houses often offer a financial advance
  • Publishing houses take care of edits, covers, etc.

Cons for Traditional Publishing

  • A writer hardly ( if at all, depending on the publisher) has a say ( in all areas)
  • Marketing runs at a snail’s pace
  • Royalty rates suck
  • It´s hard to get out of a contract

So basically, a writer´s hands are bound.

 

Pros for Self Publishing

  • You call the shots. You´re your own boss.
  • Publication is almost instantly
  • Royalty rates are higher
  • No rejections ( other than maybe from readers)

Cons for Self Publishing

  • No professional book polish ( no editing, no suitable cover image)
  • You have to do major self marketing
  • Potential for publishing a shitty book
  • Literally, anyone can self publish

It all comes down to having all the freedom in the world but also investing an outrageous amount of time doing self promotion because.. since you´re your own boss you have to do every stinking thing yourself.

If I was in a writer´s position I would definitely go with the traditional route. But that´s just me. Since I´m not a writer it´s not important what I would do, right?

A simple fact is: It´s hard getting a deal with a publishing house and it´s easy as hell to self publish.

Doing business with hundreds of self published writers did reveal an awful lot, but what the years of observation have shown was that many self published authors struggle.

And the struggle is real.

Some authors don´t know how to market themselves or they find it extremely difficult.

Why is that?

Well, for one… most writers who go into self publishing and want to make a name for themselves know that they´re going to have to deal with marketing but they don´t know how hard it is.

Imagine you wrote a book and you set your mind of self publishing. Great. But what steps need to be done?

Is your book edited? If not, it should be. You don´t want to sell crap and no one wants to spend money on crap. A harsh truth alot of self published author´s don´t want to hear.

Is the book cover image eye-catchy and is the quality of the image good? If not, you might want to invest some money and get something that´ll make a reader want to buy your book. Many readers judge a book by it´s cover. ( read my article on book covers )

Once your book is properly looked over and the cover ( incl. the quality) is ready you still need readers.

Do you have fans? Without fans you have little to no sales. And without fans you have no one but yourself and maybe your mother to spread the word about your book.

Your book can be a genius piece of written art or a possible world-wide bestseller but that´s worth crap if you don´t have any readers.

You need a plan. A large one.

From what I´ve been able to learn was that self published authors NEED to interact with people. There´s no way around it. Writers must use the tools they´re given and start interacting with all sorts of people in order to get the marketing ball rolling.

Social media is the best place for that. Millions of book lovers hang around Facebook, Twitter & Co. and are dying to get their hands on a new book. Befriending authors is also a step in the right direction because other, more accomplished self published authors have the know-how and can help with fulfilling a dream of becoming a known writer. Contacting book blogs is another way. Us foot folk know how to spread the word in an effective way.

It sounds so easy. But then again- everything seems easy in theory. Contacting strangers is not always easy. It´s acutally awkward.

„Hey, we don´t know each other but I have a book and ( after a full-blown social media investigation) I know you like to read… So, do you wanna read my book?“

Yes. That´s awkward but with a little more tact there is a high chance of gaining potential readers that way.

When a writer has to do their own marketing that means nothing other than having to sell their own product. In this case, it´s their book. Selling a product involves having to interact with people.

A nightmare for introverts or moody artists.

Another thing most self published authors forget is that self marketing never stops. It´s a constant, never-ending cycle. Once the self marketing slows down or stops then that´s it. Everything else stops too.

It also doesn´t stop at the interacting, either. There´s a whole lot more to self marketing than a writer´s eye can meet. Writers need to become creative and find ways to keep the ball rolling. This can be done with simple posts of teasers from their book or maybe a graphic quote or possibly through another author promoting a new writer. Something that engages other people. There are ways to make self marketing fun and slightly easier but the key is: interaction.

It also can´t hurt to mention how much time self published writers need to invest on self marketing. Yes. Many writers would appreciate a day with more than 24 hours.

The reality of self publishing is completely different from what people might think. It´s not just going on some self publishing platform and uploading a story with over 60.000 words and calling it a day.

Of course, writers who chose the traditional path and get taken under the wings of a publishing house have it bit easier. They don´t have to worry about self marketing because that´s included in their package. All the fun( insert sarcasm) with having to deal with emotional stress, interacting with strangers and working on spreading the word falls in the hands of competent people who know how to work the book mill. It might not always be what the writer had planned but it´s one less thing to worry about.

Self publishing is hard work and we´ve only just scratched the surface of how hard and frustrating self publishing can really be. The only advice I can give to writers who are unsure of which publishing path to take is: Collect as much info as possible and weigh your options. See what works best.

Because if we´re honest- not everyone is capable of marketing themselves or their work. Not everyone is a social bunny. But if a writer wants to self publish then there´s no way around having to do some self marketing. But when someone is good at marketing themselves then self publishing can be a joy and fun all around.

Coming next: Self Published Authors, Part Two: Book Pricing