Regular readers of this blog will know that for the last few months I have been sharing the journeys of some self-published, indie authors.
They have shared with us the highs and lows of their experiences, from having to learn new skills and discovering a whole new world of online marketing.
Although all have shared that there are low points, the majority are success stories, maybe not in that they are all multi-award winners with a case of bestsellers under their belts, but every one has overcome something to achieve their dream of being a published author.
I asked all the authors involved if they had any advice for others looking to start their journey and a staggering 70% said that the main thing to do before you publish your manuscript is to ensure you have a great editor:
Pauline Barclay, author of six self-published novels says, ‘Always use a professional editor, never assume you can do it yourself.’
Stephen Enger, who self-published his first six books and is now traditionally published for his last five (Endeavour Press and now Bookouture), says, ‘I wish I’d spent more time seeking professional editing support for those early books. The stories are good, but the quality of writing is not as strong as it perhaps could have been.’
Conrad Jones, who has self-published seventeen novels told me, ‘Editing is king! Finding a good editor/ proofreader is everything.’
You can read their full interviews by clicking on their names, and search #SelfPublishingCaseStudy to find more advice from other authors.
There was lots of other advice given too, when I asked Rachel Amphlett, self-published author of fifteen crime thrillers, what she wished she’d known before she started on her journey, she told me, ‘You really need to sit down and prepare a business and marketing plan rather than leave everything to chance. In fact, if you’ve only got one book available, I’d wait until the second one is ready to go before you publish, simply because that way you can maintain your visibility on the retailers’ websites.’
While Alan Jones credits his success to date to the help of book bloggers, stating, ‘I wish I’d known about Book Bloggers and Facebook book clubs. The limited success I’ve had so far is almost entirely down to them.’
What I have seen from this #casestudy so far is that self-publishing isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a solo journey. Although you may have spent hours and hours locked away with your manuscript, getting it out into the world isn’t something you should attempt on your own. There are a whole host of people who can help you ensure that your manuscript is practically perfect, that your cover is current and eye-catching, that you get the exposure online you need to reach potential readers. But you have to put in the effort.
Don’t hit the publish button until you have built up an online presence and made sure that your book is the best it possibly can be.
Make a start on these while you’re writing. Start chatting to people in Facebook groups or on Twitter. Start researching editors and finding out what you are going to need to save to pay for their services. Start saving now so that when you are ready you are in a positon to hire the editor you want.
Take a look through the other case studies, they are filled with some invaluable advice! And, if you’re an indie author who would like to share their journey, click here for the questions.
I’ll leave you with this piece of advice from Louise Ross, bestselling author of the amazing DCI Ryan series:
9 thoughts on “#70% of self-published authors advise using professional editing #IndieAuthor #SelfPublishing #IndiePub #AmWriting #AmEditing”
In my case if I had waited; for that publishing deal; for that buisness plan; or even for reading it all up and knowing it all; I would probably never have ever got my book published.
In the end the photographic history book was the sratting point.
The real interest led to a fictional tale and I knew if nothing else it needed a fact and fiction side!
I have made mistakes and will make many more I am sure But I never made a mistake to become involved and to fall in love with the bus itself!
thank you further for sharing posts and ideas as well as information and suggestions!
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About to create a pingback to this post lovely .. for my readers 🥂
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Thanks so much for sharing this!
Reblogged this on Emma The Little Bookworm and commented:
Over on my editing website I share an overview of some of the #selfpublished #author #casestudies ~ 70% say you NEED to use a #professional #editor
I feel as if this is a sign, I am one of those indieauthors that think “I can edit it myself”. With my next book, this is something I am going actively seek out and change.
I think every author has thought that at some point, it’s not until someone points out the mishaps that they realise. Overfamiliarity with your work means that you read what you think is written.
Start sourcing your editor now, make sure you choose someone who has experience in your genre, has glowing testimonials, is within your budget and you can save if needed, and find out how far in advance you need to book them to avoid disappointment.
Best of luck with your publishing career, Ivy! I hope the words flow and the characters behave themselves 🙂
My characters aim to misbehave 😁 I appreciate the tips, I definitely will start searching for an editor now, I want my books to be the best they can be, and I worry I sold my first one short forgoing that step. Oh the things we learn as we go along!
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Ha ha! Those darn characters!
The idea behind the series of case studies was to help new indie authors see what they need to do during the publishing process. There are so many unknowns so sharing the stories has allowed people to see what is involved and hopefully learn from other people’s “mistakes” (a word I hate by the way!)
I’m working with a couple of authors in a similar position. One self-published two books without a professional edit and as great as they were, there were a few negative comments relating to editing issues. He took both books down and we’ve spent the last three months getting them as close to perfect as possible. The first was re-released about three weeks ago and is receiving brilliant reviews now, the second is due out in a couple of weeks, and his third is almost ready for it’s first round of edits. The other has a six book series out which I am currently editing for re-release.
It’s a credit to the author who goes back to rectify their mishaps, it shows their readers that they are respected enough by the author to go to that trouble for them.