Editing Tips for Busy Writers

When readers are browsing for a new book, they’re going to be drawn to a great book cover and a catchy title. They’ll read the blurb on the back cover, but before actually taking the plunge and hitting the BUY button, most readers will skim the first few pages of a book that interests them… And if these pages are riddled with errors, the consumer is off to the next title.

In order to be taken seriously, self-published books must be professionally edited.

Often authors are so anxious to get their books in print that they skip this crucial step. Others feel their book is fine because their mother or their next-door neighbor checked it over… But take a look at Amazon reviews, and you’ll find that the biggest turnoff to a reader is a poorly edited book filled with silly mistakes and serious flaws — problems that an editor would never let slip through the cracks. If the reader is preoccupied with incorrect punctuation, word choice, and grammar, they won’t be able to focus on what your book is trying to say.

Most importantly, no matter how thrilling your thriller or educational your how-to, if your book is unedited (or edited by your former first-grade teacher), you will very likely be perceived as an amateur.

Many authors feel confident in their own editing abilities and believe their book is fine without a fresh pair of eyes to review it. They might run a spellcheck, check for typos, and call it good. But a professional editor does so much more than check for spelling.

What can an editor do for you?

A good editor keeps the rules of the English language in mind but also preserves the writer’s unique voice. Each writer is different, and sometimes their style overrides mandates handed down by the grammar police. A good editor will recognize and nurture individual style.

Copyeditors focus on a book line by line, looking for spelling and grammatical problems, consistency, clarity, word choice, sentence structure, verb tense, dialogue, and other issues of style. They also look at the big picture and flag general problem areas in plot, character, point of view, and overall flow.

Did your main character’s name change halfway through your book? An editor will catch it. They’ll also catch embarrassing errors like anachronisms (a smartphone in 1932?) or plot problems (how can your heroine be in two places at one time?). Does the book switch back and forth from past to present tense? Is it filled with long, confusing sentences and page-long paragraphs? An editor will fix these problems.

It’s difficult to edit your own work, as just about any author will tell you. Whether you’re a bestselling author or a brand-new writer with your first book, an objective professional review/edit of your work is a crucial step. And the readers you’re hoping to attract will be more willing to hit that BUY button if they’re not distracted by poor presentation and awkward sentence structure!

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Outskirts Press offers high-quality copyediting services for manuscripts of all lengths and types. This May, we will edit the first 15,000 words of your manuscript for free when you purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package.  Yep! That means most full-color children’s books will receive free editing of the entire manuscript all month long! Just enter promo code coverkdedi in your shopping cart during checkout.

The Value of Self-Publishing Multiple Formats/Editions

We all remember the fervor that overtook the publishing industry when eBooks hit the mainstream. Suddenly, it was the fastest-growing segment and everyone was anxious to make sure their books had an Amazon Kindle eBook Edition, a Barnes & Noble NOOK Edition, an eBook edition that was available on iTunes, and through Apple iBookstore, etc.

photo of person s hand holding ipad
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

And the excitement of the new eBook market lasted for several years, in fact, to such a degree that some authors began publishing their books ONLY as eBook editions, because they liked the speed and convenience of it.

But then a funny thing happened. With the exception of a fortunate few (you know, the eBook authors you’ve read about in the news), eBook-only editions failed to reach the lofty promises of all that hype! It turns out, people still like touching actual books. So the publication of paperbacks and hardbacks jumped back into the fray, along with their newfound format–the eBook!

And then, almost overnight, another new format caught readers’ (or should we say listeners’) attention: audiobooks.  With longer daily commutes, not to mention the convenience afforded by Audible, and the tendency of people to multi-task more than ever, audiobooks soon became the fastest-growing segment.

white headset
Photo by Sound On on Pexels.com

Add Large Print and/or multi-media-enabled editions, and traditional publishers were looking at greater complexities and thinner profit margins for each book they gambled on. Soon, in many cases, particularly for the “mid-listers,” traditional publishers were having to make tough choices about which format(s) they would publish/maintain, and which format(s) they would allow to “expire” (much to the chagrin of their authors). Without the zero-inventory convenience available through POD self-publishing, traditional publishers frequently could not justify the time/expense of supporting a growing family of formats for every book. It just stopped making economic sense.

Which is why more books are now self-published than are published by all the traditional publishers combined! With print-on-demand (POD) self-publishing, you never have to worry about your publisher expiring one of your editions, ceasing future print runs, or not helping you pursue each and every format you are interested in.

Hint: You should be interested in all of them.

After all, you never know whether the potential reader you reach via your marketing efforts is going to prefer a paperback, an eBook, a hardback, a large print edition, or an audiobook; so make sure all those choices are available. Once the initial cost of publishing each format is absorbed, the economies of scale in the POD self-publishing world allow authors to affordably maintain all the formats they want, for as long as they want.

Talk about a happy ending!

To learn more about publishing your book in multiple formats including paperback, hardback, Kindle eBook, iPhone/iPad eBook, Barnes & Noble Nook eBook, large print AND audiobook, contact Outskirts Press today. There are three convenient ways to connect:

How “Publishing Kits” Help Self-Publishing Writers

Nearly all self-publishing companies offer writers an “incentive” to join their newsletter or mailing list. In most cases, this is the company’s own “Publishing Guide.”  These guides vary from sleek sales brochures to informative books covering the process of self-publishing (typically with that particular self-publishing company).

 

Other self-publishers offer “white papers” or “tip sheets” or “advice columns” focusing on specific topics or obstacles an author may face when self-publishing a book. While often more informative (at least about said topic or obstacle), these white papers are usually much shorter, and therefore of less perceived value.


A few self-publishing companies combine their publishing guide with a robust collection of white papers and tip sheets to create a treasure trove of helpful resources for writers. The guide typically markets the company and its offerings, perhaps sheds light on the self-publishing and book marketing processes, and shines a spotlight on a successful authors.  The white papers, advice columns, and tip sheets, on the other hand, identify core questions or issues facing many writers and offers suggestions or solutions to pave an author’s path toward publication and success.


Outskirts Press offers just such a Publishing Kit to new clients for free at the following link: https://outskirtspress.com/book-publishing.html#ebooks


Watch the video about the Publishing Kit below:

Your complimentary Publishing Kit contains:

  • 7 Tips to Self-Publish Like a Pro
  • The most recent book by Outskirts Press President Brent Sampson: Self-Publishing Questions Asked & Answered
  • Our definitive publishing guide: Publish Your Passion
  • Book shepherd one-sheet: Meet Your Publishing Consultant
  • Author success white paper: 7 Highly Effective Rules for the Perfect Book Title
  • Author guide: Author Photo & Biography Guide
  • Author tip sheet: The Top 7 Marketing Elements to Include in Your Book
  • Author guide: Which Book Format Should I Choose?
  • Author white paper: How to Price Your Book
  • Publishing white paper: Diving into Self-Publishing
  • About Outskirts Press: Publishing brochure
  • One stop shop: Custom illustration samples in color and black & white