“Hi…how’s yo doin! Doyou like read ing this pargraph? Doe it mak you want to read more? Doe the author seem credible to you? You believe she have some wothwhile information? She soundimpressiv. Don’t you thin?”
You want to find the entire work of this imagined author and buy her book/s immediately, right? I don’t think so! Let’s return to Planet Earth. This writer may have impressive academic credentials and tons of writing experience. But who cares?
You wouldn’t be able to get beyond her sloppiness. Why? Her background doesn’t matter if she’s putting out a faulty product. You probably wouldn’t want to read more than the first few sentences, if that. Reading the selection probably made your head and eyes hurt. It certainly was painful for me to write it!
Alright, so my example may seem extreme. It is exaggerated. On the other hand, I have seen plenty of books that have quite a few of these same mistakes.
Untidiness Erodes Credibility.
In a real-life illustration, I came across a sample of writing from a lady who has written quite a few self-help guides. She gives crucial, hard-won information for helping readers to further their freelancing careers. However, she doesn’t seem to care about the quality of her proofreading and editing. I would be more inclined to read her books if she invested in a few self-publishing services.
It’s a Huge Debate on Social Media.
Many indie authors don’t see the need for skilled beta readers and for professional editing services. In fact, it’s a constant, huge debate on social media. Those advocating professional editing lose the battle 95% of the time. That makes me sad. In this article, I would like to explore two reasons to hire a professional editor:
There is a visible difference between professionally edited manuscripts and those that the author put together fast. Yes, it’s obvious to readers. Trained editing really is more affordable than most authors imagine. It should be considered as part of the necessary cost of publishing a book.
#1 Readers CAN Tell the Difference.
Okay, so every reader won’t be a grammar or literature wiz. Yet, no credentials are required to spot basic typos and awkward sentence structure. It looks negligent.
People can spot general messiness in any form; they aren’t going to buy it. Untidy books get bad reviews, which get noticed. Many people do read reviews of books–or any product/service. Sometimes, it’s the quickest way to the truth.
The time for the author to establish a quality product is in the beginning, not after she has written more books. In the meantime, what if the author loses readers because she made a slipshod effort? A clean manuscript is a useful investment.
Let’s compare publishing disorganized books to medications bought from unproven sources. There are plenty of them out there. But, here are some crucial questions to ponder:
- Do the remedies actually work?
- Were they obtained legally in the first place?
Sure, medicines cost a ton of money.
There’s no denying that Pharmaceutical companies make a huge profit margin on them. It’s not fair. However, the medicines are efficient. Do you really want to risk your life on untested sources?
Next, let’s liken putting out low-grade novels to fake Rolex watches. As shown in the above image, the accessories may look almost alike on the outside. However, they are quite different on the inside.
Rolex is a top-of-the-line watch. The company is known for its precision time-keeping mechanism. In addition, the chassis can be either solid steel or solid gold. The Rolex Sea Diver is the divers’ watch pictured above. It retails at $10,400. This item offers truly amazing extras beyond a normal watch.
How about Rolex replicas? These watches are renowned for their inaccuracy and flimsiness. Would you want to trust your life to one of these watches, literally, if you were a deep-sea diver? Not me! I’ll stick with the brand name.
#2 You CAN afford it.
Self-publishing is a business.
You should have set money aside for your book. Any new venture requires a certain amount of funds. “Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something”, to quote my favorite movie, The Princess Bride. You have to spend a little money to generate income. Entrepreneurs know this. Why should publishing be any different?
The cost of editing may be less than you imagine.
I have chatted with numerous authors who have not even researched the cost of editing. They merely assume it will be expensive. (This is the point where I say it’s not wise to assume anything.) Obviously, the cost may vary with the experience of the editor. There are a variety of levels of this service:
- Top editors advertise services that could end up costing authors thousands of dollars.
- On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to choose an inexperienced, unbelievably inexpensive editor. That professional might give your manuscript two super quick readings, research nothing, and do a slipshod proofreading job.
- The middle-of-the-road professional catering to indies may charge from .6 to .8 cents per word. Of course, some editors charge per page, instead of per word.
I’ve been told by some authors that they consider their books to be their babies. That’s probably because writing requires such a huge emotional investment and risk. Isn’t your “child” worth a little extra time, money, and attention?
About the Author:
Traci Lawrence is a teacher, author, blogger, and freelance editor. Traci lives in the southern area of the United States with her family. She considers it her mission to spread positivity and self-empowerment through her writing. Please visit her uplifting website at www.tracisworld.com and view her book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds.