by Ellie Maas Davis
A compelling premise behind Indie publishing is that authors have dominion over their published work. To a great extent, whether wanted or unwanted, Indie publishing is about ownership and control, and with this power and authority comes great responsibility (lest you make the rest of Indie authors look foolish—yes, yes, it takes but one bad apple); the onus is on individual authors to use their reign of influence wisely. To distinguish your Indie title from other Indie titles—as well as those from the big six (Random House, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin, Hachette, Macmillan)—have your manuscript professionally edited and proofread prior to publication.
There’s no doubt that book editing is as important to bookmaking as book promotion. (Let’s face it: no matter how good a title is if readers don’t know about it, what’s the point?) It’s about getting a second (or, optimally, a third, fourth, or fifth) set of eyes on your manuscript, and it’s the number one quality that distinguishes Indie titles from big six titles (cover design and blurbing are close behind).
While professional editing can certainly make all the difference, don’t discount the offer your cousin made to “look things over” if, in fact, that cousin has a degree in English or literature or creative writing. Same goes if your neighbor taught ESL (they’ve an uncanny knack with recrafting prepositional phrases), or your boyfriend’s mother is a fiend for your genre (again, not optimal, but if she’s an avid reader of romance and that’s what you write, let her review what you’ve done). Really, really, truly, truly, never look a gift horse in the mouth. If someone is willing to read your book, let them. Just make sure they turn on track changes so you can see what typos, word foibles, and tense issues they find.
Infinity Publising offers professional editing services, to learn more contact an Author Advocate for more details.