Every once in a while, we have the pleasure of featuring a blog post written by an expert outside of our small circle here at Self Publishing Advisor. This week, we get to hear from Rob Mangelson, an independent contractor and marketing professional affiliated with Outskirts Press, a hybrid self-publishing company based out of the Denver, Colorado area. We’ve actually run across the folks from OP before–as recently as two weeks ago, as a matter of fact–but here we have a chance to catch a few words direct from the source, so to speak. So with no further ado, here are some of Rob’s thoughts on the subject of editing.
A professional editor is your last, best hurdle before sending your book off to publish. While it may seem an optional service, there are compelling reasons why you may not want to think of it as “optional” – not when your reputation and product quality are at stake.
It’s humbling to submit a highly personal work to someone we imagine gleefully buying red ink by the barrel. However, in this case, red ink is your best friend. Here are three ways your investment in a professional editor will pay for itself:
- An editor is your best beta-tester. Your book is your product, and there’s no better way to “test” your product before it goes to market than with a professional editor – more than one editor, if it’s feasible. A test run of how your product might perform in the marketplace more than pays for itself, allowing you to tweak your writing and marketing to reach the right readers and keep them hooked once you do. In a perfect world, every publishing author would have the luxury of both an editor and a team of beta readers, but if you have to choose, hire a pro.
- Editors help you get your point across. You know what you mean to say – but will readers understand the ideas you’re trying to get across? There’s no way to know until you get someone “outside your head” to view your work from the perspective of a potential reader. This is one of the main missions of the editing process, and one that ensures that your words have the intended effect on the intended target audience so you can resonate with readers – and sell more books!
- Editors see “invisible” problems. By the time a book is close to finished and nearly ready for publication, most publishing authors have gone through it with a fine-toothed comb, often multiple times. But no matter how thoroughly and how often you review your own work, even the most conscientious authors can become blind to errors in their own prose. Even a couple of minor errors in your book can destroy your credibility and hurt your sales, making the services of a professional editor well worth a modest investment.
Remember, editors are, like you, avid readers and writers with the added advantage of having expertise in their field. Use that expertise to your advantage to get the most polished product possible. You’ll never regret it.
Thanks for reading! Keep up with our guests and our archival visits by watching this space every Tuesday!
Self Publishing Advisor