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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Editing and the self-published author

Why professional editing is vital

"I'd like to thank my mum, my dad, my cat but NOT my editor," ... said no traditionally published author, ever.

It's well known that an editor's role is vital when it comes to the standard publishing house approach. Whilst self-publishing your book means that you can choose to do things in your own way, it's worth thinking carefully about any elements of the traditional process that you choose to omit due to time, budget or creative differences.

Editing is a tricky one. You are so close to your work, it can be hard to recognise that it’s needed.
At CompletelyNovel we always encourage writers to have an editor look at their work wherever possible. There are many reasons for this, not least of all that you’ve spent so much time and effort on a book (it can take years!) that it makes sense to do it justice when you finally go to print. It’s really disheartening to publish and then see reviews complaining about a typo, or a plot hole that you didn’t spot (unfortunately, it does happen). And of course, if you have a large print run done, you really don’t want to have to deal with the sickening stomach-drop when you spot an error on your first page. Ufff.

If you’re not sure you will be able to afford a good editor, there are some ways to make it cheaper. Trying to address as many of the most common mistakes yourself in the first instance will reduce the time an editor needs to spend on your book. There’s plenty of online advice on this, such as: Finally, make sure you’re clear on the terminology. Structural editing and copy editing are not the same as proofreading. Many writers think they just need the latter, but you could be surprised what a difference a structural edit will make to your book as a whole.

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