All of November you were on the clock to complete your book for NaNoWriMo. If you succeeded (WOW!) you're basically a superstar. Congrats! And after you spent an entire month lovingly crafting the perfect manuscript we know you’re eager to get it published.
I love the economy of publishing: a writer takes an idea and creates a product (the writing-the-book part), perfects the product (the editing-the-book part), and then prints the product (the finished-book part that readers pay to read). It’s one of the purest forms of capitalism.
No manuscript should reach published form without first being edited by someone other than you. Many self-publishing authors are working with limited budgets, and many will choose to overlook the editing process, but they do so at their peril. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that your writing is so 'spot on' that you don’t need to edit your book; everyone needs to be edited, and the author who believes he or she is the exception to this rule is usually the most in need. If you want your writing to be taken seriously, help ensure that by having it properly edited first.
Some indie writers use beta readers and colleagues rather than professional editing and proofreading services, because it can be far less expensive to go without formal edits, and many indies—understandably!—would like to ease the costs of professional edits. While starting with beta readers is a fantastic idea, going without professional book editing altogether is a mistake.
The book editing process is highly personal and it's important to know what you're getting into before you begin. Here are a few frequently asked questions about the book editing process to help authors better understand what to expect.
Before an indie author with a book can be paired with an editor, there’s something called an editorial review. This is an assessment that helps self-publishers choose what level of book editing their manuscript needs—and if it needs editing at all.
In every profession, there are little details that reveal the time, attention, and care you’ve put into your work. For independent authors and small presses, paying attention to these details can make a favorable impression on potential customers, especially those inside the trade—booksellers, librarians, and others who are intimately familiar with book publishing standards.
Writing is lonely business. By the time you finish a book you’ll have whiled away long solitary hours inside your own head developing your story, your characters, your writing style, peck, peck, pecking away at a keyboard. Like I said, writing is lonely business. That is until you find a book editor.