I enjoy reading debut authors, especially indie authors. I’m an indie author. There are a lot of good ones just waiting to be discovered, but there are also not so good ones. Some of the latter need to work on their overall writing skills. But sadly, many of the latter only need a good editor.
When an author publishes the traditional route, they’re assigned an in-house editor to help clean-up the manuscript before it goes to print. If an agent is involved, that person will often make editing comments, as well. Indie authors, however, need to find our own editor, and they come at a range of prices. The right one is worth his or her weight in gold . . .or, should I say, weight in sales.
I thought “Mary Bishop” was ready to go numerous times. I edited . . . submitted . . . edited . . . submitted . . . and then edited some more. I believed it was almost perfect. An editor would be assigned to me and we’d just file down a couple rough edges before it hit the shelves and became a New York Times bestseller. As you know, that did not happen. When I decided to change course and self-publish, I made certain to find myself a good editor. Two rounds of her edits later and I was amazed. Not that the book was bad to begin with, it wasn’t, but there was still so much room for improvement.
I recently finished reading an indie book that could have used a good editor. Sad thing is, it’s not his first book. The story was good, the characters intriguing, so I did finish reading it. (Sometimes I don’t.) I had to know how it ended. But with every typo I cringed and sighed. It’s easy to miss a couple, even after multiple rounds of edits, but the closer I got to the end of the book, the more typos I found. Clearly the first half of the book had undergone more rounds of editing than the end. Very disappointing. And it didn’t have to be that way.
A good editor makes us look like the professionals we ought to be. So, if you’re thinking of writing a book, or maybe you already have and you’re chomping at the bit to get it out there, STOP. Stop and think and find yourself a knowledgeable editor you can trust to help you polish your baby until it shines. Your readers will be left begging for your next great read.