Like a lot of people, I love to read. The twinge of excitement I feel when beginning a new book, eager to live vicariously through characters who exist only on ink and paper, is addicting. And the ever-increasing popularity of 1) eBooks, and 2) authors who self-publish only serves to feed the word hounds among us. But this marriage of technology is not always a pleasant, easy-going affair.
Just like any rocky relationship, the highs and are high, and the lows are low. The excitement you feel as love burgeons is swiftly replaced by annoyance, and eventually aversion. As the wise among us will impart, a key ingredient to a successful relationship is timing, and the situation isn’t any different with your book and professional editing. Your book’s timing; its flow and comprehension, the way it bounces along, unhindered by petty encumbrances and unnecessary baggage, is equally as important as the enormous amount of time and energy you spent during its creation.
Picture it: You are on the verge of publishing your new book, and you eagerly await the moment when you can hit the ‘Send’ button, and are able to watch your total obsession over the last few months (or years) upload into the ether. You are proud of your work, and often allow yourself to indulge in flights of fancy; the great success it will be, and the adoring fans it will spawn.
But hold on there, Speed Racer. Take a deep breath, and ask yourself the following questions:
• Am I giving my book everything it needs to be successful? Why would I not?
• Has a professional editor reviewed my book? If not, why?
• Is my book easily digestible by a wide audience? Am I unsure?
• Is my writing consistent? Does it flow well? Am I making this an enjoyable experience for my readers?
So let’s lay it on the line, shall we? Proper editing will help make your book a success. Improper editing (or a complete lack thereof) will make your otherwise great story a flop. It really is as simple as that.
As a copyeditor, it’s my job to make sure your book is in tip top shape prior to release (or sometimes afterward, and its reviews have unfortunately been less-than-stellar). Don’t allow you and your soulful enterprise to be among the latter; have your book professionally edited prior to its release. Your soon-to-be adoring fans will thank you.
What are some of your experiences (both good and bad) with self-published books?