Writers, Believe in Yourselves – Stand On Your Own Two Feet

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A comment on my blog post yesterday about obsessive writers, editing and layout errors got me thinking. The commentator said she had used the services of one of the thousands of Vanity Press publishers out there, waiting for the next sucker to fleece. She found out that after publication the end product had spelling errors. Despite them reassuring her that it would be taken care of, it wasn’t. Why do people still fall for the unmitigated BS that all Vanity Press continue to spew out I wonder? If you want my advice, don’t go there.

Sad to say but in the independent editing fraternity, there are some individuals only too willing to relieve you of your hard earned money, often leaving you with a shoddy product.

Far to many ‘wet behind the ears’ new writers these days think that they should pass their manuscript on to an expert. So they simply find the independent editor whose financial package suits their budget and hope for the best, assuming that he or she is qualified, and from your point of view as a new writer – unbiased. Remember this; even if your editor is the best available, he or she is just another human being, not a machine. Therefore the way they edit your work will be coloured by their own opinions about how your manuscript should read. They’re not infallible. If you let them have their way exclusively, chances are you won’t recognise the end product. Remember this also, not all independent editors out there are what they profess to be by any stretch of the imagination. Buyer beware!

Believe me when I say that the best editor for you is one you know personally, and more importantly, the editor who believes in you.

Even so, why not do what I have done and learn how to lay out a page. Then learn how to edit as well as grammar and spell check using your dictionary and thesaurus, not forgetting how to punctuate as well as publishing your work for yourselves. And while you’re at it, learn how to produce a cover. All of the above isn’t that difficult to master. Like most things in life it just takes application and perseverance on your part, and time to learn.

Even if you have parted with a considerable amount of money to have your manuscript edited, plus having it set up for publication and paying for the best possible cover, there is still no guarantee that your book will sell. So why shell out money you can ill afford when you are just starting out. It makes absolutely no sense at all.

There is one other consideration that you should take into account; before you even begin to show a profit, first you have to sell enough copies of your book to recoup your initial outlay. Whereas if you do it all yourselves, the only cost to you is your time. In other words you are in profit right from the start with that first sale.

All I’m asking you to do is think about it before you make a move…

19 thoughts on “Writers, Believe in Yourselves – Stand On Your Own Two Feet

  1. So very true… I remember looking at some of the vanity-presses when I was younger, and it always makes me sad when I see/hear about people falling for them. I also always get so confused when I see people advertising that they can help you “make it big” but have no real credentials…
    Learning to do it for yourself is a great idea, but I think it is also important to entrust your work to the critical eye of people you know and trust (who have skills in things like grammar.. doesn’t everyone have at least one grammar and punctuation conscious friend?) because they WILL catch things that you don’t!

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    • That’s what my team of Beta Readers are for eclecticalli. Every one of them are sucessful writers. Between us we solve minor and major details when it comes to grammar and punctuation. πŸ˜‰

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  2. With the first book I self-published I looked into some of these editors. I was broke and resorted to finding friends I could trust to help me. It turned out to be the best thing I ever did. Now I’ve got it down to a group of editors. That one person who will tell me it’s great regardless (because after all that work, I just want to feel good about it for a bit), the one who will crack down on me hard, and a complete stranger I convince to look at it for me in return for a free book when it is released. It’s been quite effective…and I’m not going broke.

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  3. I totally agree. In various writers’ discussions, I’ve noticed editors touting their services, saying things like “A writer who decides to be his/her own editor has a fool for a client.” Only a “professional” editor can ensure that the indie author will produce something better than “crap,” they say. Trouble is, there is no accrediting body for editors, so “professional” has no meaning. Editing is a skill all writers should cultivate.

    Liked by 1 person

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