As an indie author, completing your ebook is a huge accomplishment. Often, indie authors are squeezing in their writing efforts around full-time jobs and other obligations. It’s not like they have a big publishing company paying them a big advance to write. So just finishing is cause for celebration. But it’s not the time to stop working. A finished ebook is only the first round. Before your book is ready to publish, it will need careful rounds of editing. Author Basics discusses why the editorial process – and investment – is so important.
A Word About Self-Editing
Writing your own book and not hiring a ghost writer can be a good idea. Self-publishing can be a great idea. But self-editing is dangerous. Not only have you been working with the material for so long that you likely see what you want to see and gloss over typos and other errors but most writers have no ability to distance themselves sufficiently from their work to see it through the analytical eye an editor. Editing your ebook is a bad idea. Editors are worth the investment.
Developmental editing is the first-round editing process. The developmental editor can identify gaps in the story, missing depth, and more and help you finish developing your idea into a fuller, richer, and more engaging story.
While this service is often combined with developmental editing, its purpose is to help you clarify the structure of the book. For example, you may need to set up a sequence as a flashback to make the story progress more effectively.
The copyediting process happens once you’ve incorporated the changes made in developmental and structural editing. It’s the part of the process in which grammar, word choice, and point of view shifts are corrected and addressed.
Editing Your eBook: Proofreading
Your spellchecker is not a sufficient proofreader. It will not catch the difference between from and form; it will not always realize you meant their but spelled it they’re. A final proofing of your ebook is an investment with measurable ROI.
Do your characters go to real places, eat at real restaurants, or attend real events? Do you include historical information in the book that needs to be cross-referenced? A fact-checking editor will double-check locations, make sure the food you claimed your characters were eating is actually on the menu of the restaurant you placed them at, and more.
Editing Your eBook: Formatting
Formatting your ebook so that it is capable of being read on all types of ebook readers requires the ebook to be formatted in a specific way.
If you’re serious about making money as an indie author, investing in editing is essential.