Self-Publishers: Research Your Copyeditor!

I have been reviewing quite a few self-published authors’ books of late and I must say there is some wonderful talent out there who deserve more widespread recognition! It’s a shame that finding an agent and a publisher is such difficult work and that rejections are so very plentiful – which is very hard on the ego – when all you want to do is write and be read.

There is a reason why some authors don’t find publishers and turn to self-publishing (there are hundreds if not thousands of self-publishing companies now at your disposal via the Internet. I used Lulu.com for my collection of poetry and lyrics in 2007 and I carefully proofread and edited it numerous times myself). They’re either not a strong enough writer, their work is too cliché, or the copyeditor they hired to proofread and edit their manuscript was a fraud.

If there is anything that can deter a reader/reviewer when reading your book, it is a sloppy editing job. I truly believe that all self-published authors should be very careful about who they hire to edit their manuscripts. I’ve been reading some that have supposedly been edited by professionals and I’m sorry to say, they’re not! They’re a mess and that’s very embarrassing for the authors who I am sure only want to present their work to the public in the most professional manner possible. After all, they are asking you to buy it and for most of us, books are a luxury item these days.

I have been paid to edit websites and PhD theses and it is a fairly time consuming process. I don’t have a university degree but I do have two college diplomas and I worked as an administrative assistant/legal assistant for 24 years which involved extensive proofreading and editing in almost all of my jobs. Not to toot my own horn, but I have a pretty good eye for details (when I’m not tired) even though I have made mistakes. So, if someone is giving you an editing deal that seems too good to be true for the price, it’s probably because it is.

I strongly urge self-published authors to do their research when it comes to hiring a copyeditor. Request a PDF copy of your potential copyeditor’s University English degree or specialty editing diploma before you hire them! If they are legit, they should have no problem proving that they are. If they are not, you’ll smoke them out in no time and save yourself time, money and much mortification.

Happy writing!

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