Self-Publishing 101: Part 1 - Editing
I’ve done it for you: I’ve trudged through countless books and blogs focused on “how to self-publish” and more specifically, “when and how to get the professional help you need to self-publish a high-quality piece of work without getting swindled” and have boiled it all down into three short articles. You’re welcome.
Let’s start with what authors need most, according to Orna Ross from the Alliance of Independent Authors: editing.
New authors are often tempted to skip professional editing. Instead, they send their draft to a friend, an automated service or a family member. But writers doing their own editing, copy editing and proofreading make 58% less than writers who seek out professional editors. Just something to think about.
So once you decide you need professional editing help, where do you start? Content editing? Structural editing? Developmental? There are a lot of words for the same thing: these are types of editing that ensure your story makes sense.
Next you need copy editing so your style and tone are consistent throughout the book. Roz Morris, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the London Book Fair, describes it very well here.
And finally, there comes proofreading, which addresses the basic stuff that makes a big difference: grammar, typos, punctuation, etc.
See how nice and clear I’ve been about what type of editing serves which function? Lines in the sand, my friends, because a content editor will also line edit, and a line editor will occasionally let you know about a continuation error, and a developmental editor…well, you get the point.
Still, a single editor is not enough. Even the best professional editors make mistakes or miss an error or two—that’s just the nature of the work. The more sets of professional eyes you have on your book, the better. And I’m not telling you that because I run a marketplace that enables you to find the best people in editing…
Reedsy: finding editors and simplifying workflows
Only very successful authors have great editors in their network. The rest of us have to look for them—and the search can be brutal. But it doesn’t have to be! Not with Reedsy.
On top of vetting all editing freelancers on our site, we cut all the jargon. No more “I do developmental,” “I do content,” “I do structural.” All editors on Reedsy will self-select a category, either “Level 3 – Developmental editing”, “Level 2 – Copy Editing”, or “Level 1 – Proofreading”. That way you can compare editors based on clear, objective criteria.
Moreover, we provide a simple way for you to know who the best editor is for you: samples.
To level the playing field and help you compare apples to apples, we allow you to store your book on our writing tool and give the editors you’re interested in access to your first chapter. See what they do with it, get a chance to ask clarifying questions, and find the editing professional that’s best for you and your book.
Part 2 of the Self-Publishing 101 series is out: read it here!