Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Importance of Editing

Self-publishing is huge right now. It's the new way and everyone is jumping on board.

The stigma of self-publishing is being shed.

In 2005, I started working for iUniverse. There was a big stigma about self-publishing and so, most people who know me have never realized this is one of the ways I earn my living.

Editing the work of self-published authors.

I started off reading manuscripts and writing editorial reports about which services I recommended.

After a while, I was promoted to Developmental Editor.

I've edited well over 600 books in my time.

The quality of work in the raw produced by self-published authors varies greatly. There were some absolutely amazing books and there were ones that weren't so good.

There were books that I felt should have been picked up by "real" publishers.

Other books were niche, so it was understandable why the author chose the self-published route.

A few years ago, several books that I myself had edited were featured in the Toronto Star although neither the authors nor the Star knew that I had anything at all do with the books. It was a piece on self-publishing and featured many iUniverse books.

iUniverse is also connected to Authorhouse, Authorsolutions, Westbow, Trafford and many others. I've worked in every imprint offered.

Every book needs a pair of outside eyes to look it over.

Every author, and I include myself in this, needs an editor.

Some books need guidance in the development phase.

All books need help with grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

iUniverse provides several levels of services including the actual publishing of the book.

Now there are publishing platforms that are easy to use and this means anyone can be a published author. The expense of a company such as iUniverse isn't as practical with the competition of Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo, and Createspace.

If you're finalizing your book for Kindle or Smashwords, consider getting a professional editor to help you.

Remember, there are many levels of editing that all books that go through publishing houses receive.

Developmental Editing
Content Editing
Line Editing
Copy Editing

Don't skimp on this most important last step. Make sure your book is organized, that it contains the proper front and back matter in the correct order, that the pages are numbered, the chapters make sense, the voice and tenses are consistent and there's a plot.

Most published authors edit on the side. Whether you feel someone is a best seller or not, most published authors who edit have a keen eye for someone else's work. Some authors are better editors than authors. Some books are easier to edit than others.

However, no matter what, all books need to be edited.

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