Hey all! Oceane here. As someone who is just beginning to figure out her own self-publishing journey, I’ve come to realize one thing that all self-publishers should know:
Editing is extremely important!
Maybe you already know this, maybe you don’t, but it is important to understand. I myself have gone back and forth on whether I should pursue traditional publishing or self-publishing. They both have their pros and cons, and neither one is the “right” way to go. But, it is a fact that self-publishing can be extremely hard in the way of covers, marketing, costs, and yep, editing. Just because you self-publish does NOT mean you have free passage to just skip out on any of these.
I used to think that self-publishers had it easier because they could be less than perfect. This isn’t true! While the occasional error will slip by, self-published novels should be held to the same standard as traditionally published ones. In fact, it will be more challenging because you have to find the editor yourself, do your own editing, proofreaders… etc.
Self-published novels will always be judged more harshly, and so making sure it is on par with other contemporary novels is a must! Editing is one way to do that. Don’t skip out on professional editing. Even if it costs you a pretty penny, have someone else edit your novel! Don’t just assume you have a good enough grasp of English to edit for yourself. You need a fresh pair of eyes and someone who can be objective. Whether we admit it or not, we are biased when it comes to our own writing.
I get it, though, editing can be expensive. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be. You can spend just a few hundred dollars and get both an editor and a proofreader. In a world where most editors will cost you about $1,000 for a 50,000 word novel, it’s important to not pay TOO much, especially if you’re a young or financially unstable author. There is a line between going broke for your story and not putting in enough effort at all.
For my own novel, I have hired an editor, graphic designer, and potentially a few proofreaders. I want people to find my novel to be of quality, even if it’s only in a grammatical sense. And again, I’m still learning as I go. But I do know that hiring a professional editor is essential, especially if you want people to take you seriously.
How about you? Have a self-published novel? Did you have it professionally edited?