It always surprises me when people think they can get someone to edit or format their book for under £100. Sorry if this sounds a bit snappish, it’s not mean to, it’s just that people will pay hundreds of pounds for other professionals to provide a service for them (think car mechanics or plumbers or electricians), yet balk at it for books.
Editing and formatting books is not only time consuming, but you need real talent and skill to do it. It’s intensive work that takes a lot of concentration. And it takes days and days.
I, for instance, recently self-edited my latest book, The Jacobite’s Share, and it took me more than two weeks to get through it all. Then I sent it over to my own editor to edit it. I do my own editing initially, but always send it to another professional to edit because I am too close to the book. My editor is great because not only does he edit it, but he’ll also suggest where areas need further development. He’s so worth the money.
The formatting of the aforementioned book – a novel of 65,000 words – then took me four or five days to complete. The reason it took so long is because I am a stickler for getting the book right. Instead of just being happy with the way the book looked on screen, I printed it out to see how it would look in print form. I then read right through the book again marking typos, errors and anything else I might want to change as I went. I do the formatting this way so that I pick up any further typos and formatting fails before I go to publish it. And I did find some phrases that I felt needed a little rewriting. That’s the thing about writing, you can read and re-read a text several times and still miss something! 😉
Anyway, I’m not writing this post to moan, but to emphasise why you need a professional editor and formatter if you are indie publishing your book.
A good editor will:
- pick up on typos and spelling errors
- check and fix grammar and punctuation
- provide suggestions as to where you could make improvements to your story narrative
- identify any weak points
A professional formatter will:
- format your book in the correct format for a range of online and print outlets, taking away the hassle for you
- make it look professional
In an age when there are literally thousands of books being printed every day, you need your book to be as professional as possible and the only way to do that is to hire in professionals to do that for you. This includes the professional editor, formatter and book cover designer.