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How to Keep Your Self-Published Novel From Being a Statistic

December 8, 2008 1 comments

Over at Daily Writing Tips Maeve's latest post entitled Even Talent Requires Revision sparked this idea for my blog. In her post, she said, "Self-publishing authors may have plenty of potential as writers, but their novels often suffer from insufficient revision."

Maeve isn't the first to notice that many self-published novels contain spelling and grammar mistakes. I've read several articles where other authors point this out, and the sad fact is it's true. However, you're self-published novel doesn't have to be a statistic. How can you keep it from being a self-published novel that's judged by others because of the grammar and spelling mistakes? Simple, hire a professional editor to edit your novel. Personally, I think it's worth the investment, because if your novel contains too many mistakes, you risk losing your readers. Think about it, how many novels have you put down and never picked up again because they were riddled with so many grammar and spelling mistakes that it made it difficult for you to enjoy and understand the story that was being told?

I know it's not entirely the author's fault that self-published novels are criticized for their spelling and grammar mistakes. Why do I say this? Because a print on demand publisher isn't the same as a traditional publisher. Most print on demand publishers don't take the time to throughly edit the author's novel. Therefore, it's up to you to catch the mistakes, and after so many of your own revisions, you tend to overlook things. A professional editor, however, could greatly improve your novel, and she may catch many of the mistakes you overlooked.

What are your thoughts on hiring a professional editor for self-published novels? Have you ever hired a professional editor for a novel you self-published, or are you thinking about hiring one to edit a novel you're working on or just finished? I invite you to discuss this topic in the comments section.

Photo credit: Francis Storr

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1 comments: to “ How to Keep Your Self-Published Novel From Being a Statistic so far...

  • Lillie Ammann 5:45 PM CST

    Thank you so much for linking to my site and suggesting self-publishing authors hire an editor. I certainly agree with you that every self-publishing author should hire an editor, not necessarily me though I'd be thrilled if they did. We all need to self-edit our work, but there comes a point where you need another pair of eyes. It's difficult to catch our own mistakes because we tend to read what we meant, not what we said. And we all have things we don't know, mistakes that we make without knowing it's a mistake. Most of the self-publishing authors I work with are great story-tellers, but they aren't all great writers. A professional editor can help a writer turn their story into a much better book.