Self-publishing is an amazing beast. It has brought the world of publishing into the hands of you, Joe, Beth, and everyone and anyone who wants to write a book. It has brought writing power and freedom to all.
But, with writing power and freedom comes responsibility.
This means that while it’s true that self-publishing has opened a tremendous amount of doors and anyone can now write and publish a book, it doesn’t mean you can slap anything together and self-publish? You need to produce quality (edited) content for three reasons.
There are at least three reasons you should edit your manuscript before you self-publish:
Reason number one: You have an obligation to your reader.
You want to give the reader her money’s worth. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, you want to create a book that will engage the reader. You don’t want the reader to stumble over grammatical and content errors while reading.
One of the drawbacks to the ease of self-publishing is those new to the arena don’t realize they should hone their craft before actually publishing a book. This means taking the time to learn about writing and self-editing, and realizing the importance of hiring a professional editor to edit the book before giving it to the world.
Reason number two: You have an obligation to other writers.
Part of the problem today is the ‘I want it now’ syndrome that self-publishing lends itself to. Authors don’t want to take the longer ‘proven’ road. But, learning the ropes really does matter.
Once your book is ‘out there,’ it becomes another element in the determining factor as to whether self-published books are of the same quality as traditionally published books. This is where your obligation to other writers comes into play. It’s not fair to diminish the value of self-published books.
Reason number three: Self-editing is a good book marketing move.
In book marketing 101, the first step is to create a quality product.
In a webinar, pro marketers Daniel Hall and Jason Fladlien discussed the importance of ‘the offer’ (your product) compared to the sales copy. By far, a quality product is much more important.
If your intent is to only publish one book, then quality may not matter from a marketing perspective. The saying goes, ‘if you fool me once, shame on me.’ If this is the scenario, then you don’t have to worry about readers/purchasers buying more from you. But, you’ll need to be careful here, because word-of-mouth is lightning fast in the internet world. This could easily stop your one-time purchasers also.
On the flip side, let’s assume you love writing and have decided to earn an income from it. Then, self-editing will play a huge part in your book marketing success. If you produce a sub-standard product (book), it will discourage a customer from buying your future books.
Remember, a great product will not only sell itself, it will usually write its own copy. Editing before publishing helps create a quality product.
Here are two links to help you with the editing process:
Being a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.
Check out my 180 page ebook (or paperback) that gives you all the basics of WRITING FICTION FOR CHILDREN. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent, and marketing your books.