The Importance of investing in the basics!
My name is Domino Lane and I have the great pleasure of reading and promoting authors for a job… essentially I get paid to follow my passions! Part of that job is to work with The Book Mistress, an online blog tour and promotions company. This past week, I was consulting with an Indie author about their publishing timeline and one of the things that came up in discussion was the need for professional editing and proof-reading as well as investing in proper layout for eBook release.
I know that these days, publishing is even easier and more accessible than ever, but there are some fundamental steps that every author should take the time to invest in. One of the most basic of these, if you can’t invest anything else, is to get your work proofread. By all means, ask a friend or family member to be a beta reader, but put aside a little money to pay for a professional to take a look too. A proof reader will find those inconsistencies that drive a reader crazy. Left out words, broken sentences, plot holes, accidental name changes, etc. It may sound like something you can do for yourself, but believe me… you see what you expect to see because you wrote it!
If you have a bit more in your budget, the ultimate investment (and my recommendation) would be to hire an editor to check your work professionally. They will check your story, offer recommendations and also find the issues that a proof reader would find. They can help you tighten up your story and polish it to a point that you simply can’t get to alone. I know it can be hard to have a stranger tell you what to do with your book, but believe me, they genuinely want to make it the best it can be!
Another step, not to be ignored, is to invest in having your book laid out properly for digital format. Nothing frustrates a reader more than having a badly laid out book or having the formatting jump around. It makes it difficult to focus on the story itself.
Ultimately, self-publishing can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, but don’t imagine that it is one that can be done entirely on your own. It most certainly isn’t a process that can be rushed. In the case of the author I was meeting with, she had written the book in a month and it had now been only three weeks since she had typed “The End” and she wanted the book up on Amazon and to start promoting. A cursory glance at the manuscript showed that it was far from ready and when my advice was met with stony resistance and insistence that it had “best seller” written all over it, I had to wish her well and walk away.
Don’t be afraid to invest in your work. You may never recover that money, but having a product you can be proud of, that people will talk about for the right reasons, is ultimately more important.
What do you think?