Breaking Down The Manuscript – Editing your manuscript
Editing in my opinion is the most important part of the self publishing process, aside from good content. It can make or break a reader’s perception of your book, so money should definitely be allotted for editing.
I’ve heard of some authors handling the editing process themselves or allowing friends or family to be their second set of eyes. However, I believe there is value in paying an editor to look over your manuscript as most of us aren’t trained for such a task. And let’s face it, once you’ve looked at your manuscript for hours on end, you definitely need an outside person to read it, find gaps in your story, inconsistencies, and an unbiased opinion.
For my novel The Buzz, I had my book edited twice and once it went to print it still had a few errors. However, this is to be expected in the first run, so while perfection is wanted it may not be there for your first print. So it is general rule, once you’ve received your proof copy, that you have your yellow marker on hand to catch any errors in the printed copy.
I will say that it was very difficult to find a good editor. It took me quite some time to find a good editor and even with her trained eye, I still caught errors and as stated before some even went to print. Once the errors are caught, it is your responsibility as the author to revise the copy, so time should be spent reading and rereading the proof copy. Believe me, this will save you time and money!
Also, be aware that editing can be expensive but as with most things, you get what you pay for. Money spent on editing is worth it. Reviewers are now including comments about poor editing in their reviews and this reflects poorly on the author and will hinder sales and reviews in the future.
Now to be fair, major publishing houses deal with editing issues as well. I ran across this tweet from someone on Twitter:
I’m struck by the lack of quality control in contemporary book editing. Aren’t bestsellers proofread?
What has been your experience with editing? Please share in the comment section below.