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Do you need an editor when you self-publish on eBooks?

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2014, 05:01 PM
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Default Do you need an editor when you self-publish on eBooks?


Just wondering, I can't afford an editor, they're expensive and I don't want to be in the hole with my story.

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Old 02-13-2014, 11:41 PM
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No, but a lot do. If you're not confident you can nail most of the errors, I'd highly recommend having a friend or family member have a look through your work for you, preferably a few times. Nothing worse than someone publishing an ebook full of errors in my view, as it's not fair to readers and it gives other indie authors a bad name.

PS: I love how I'd originally typed ebook as eboob.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:24 AM
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If money is tight you can get someone to beta read for you. Some writers do this for each other to avoid having to pay someone.

eboob, David? Freudian slip or what?
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:36 AM
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Or you can go with someone really good and who doesn't charge you and arm and a leg for their services. (To hell with "You get what you pay for." It's a crock.)
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by flyingtart View Post
If money is tight you can get someone to beta read for you. Some writers do this for each other to avoid having to pay someone.

eboob, David? Freudian slip or what?
Just me and my typos. I make some classic ones. People who've chatted to me on Facebook via private messages can likely verify that. (My own fault for not checking what I type before hitting enter really.)
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Devon View Post
Or you can go with someone really good and who doesn't charge you and arm and a leg for their services. (To hell with "You get what you pay for." It's a crock.)
Doesn't matter what it is, people who are "really good" with a track record of success and a list of satisfied customers generally can charge the going rate or more -- what some might consider "an arm or a leg." They don't work for less, because they don't have to. Why is editing an exception?
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:57 AM
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I have two recommendations, both of whom have published best-sellers, one has been a successful agent, know what they're talking about, they won't just do a simple proof-read or line edit, but will sweep your book for inconsistencies, plot holes etc and do everything short of making silk purses out of sows ears.

They cost, but they get results.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
Doesn't matter what it is, people who are "really good" with a track record of success and a list of satisfied customers generally can charge the going rate or more -- what some might consider "an arm or a leg." They don't work for less, because they don't have to. Why is editing an exception?
I can think of several very good editors with a track record who don't charge top rates. It's still out of my price range right now.

There are a lot of glossy looking agencies who charge a hell of a lot more.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:10 AM
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Keep in mind, I was responding to idea that "you get what you pay for" is a crock. It's not necessarily about paying "top rates" -- it's about value too.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:21 AM
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And sometimes top rates don't necessarily equal good value.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:28 AM
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Of course. That's why I said "it's not necessarily about paying "top rates."
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:10 AM
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I think you can fall lucky.

Talented artists who are just starting out need to build a portfolio, that goes for editors too: they also need to eat, especially if they're doing an internship with a publishing house.

But... how does a new author know they've fallen lucky?

I'd love for a top editor from one of the top publishers, then a scamming editor with the likes of publish Amerrica to be given the same script and have it filmed just how they contrast in editorial content quality. I think that authors who are just coming into writing don't understand what a good editor can do to a manuscript, and where a bad one can leave you, until it's too late.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:13 AM
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You can ask for examples and references, and I've seen that some editors who are starting out will provide a sample chapter -- and I'd be willing to pay for that. There is always an element of risk when you hire someone, but you don't have to leave it up to luck.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
You can ask for examples and references, and I've seen that some editors who are starting out will provide a sample chapter -- and I'd be willing to pay for that. There is always an element of risk when you hire someone, but you don't have to leave it up to luck.
That's true. The point is, though, most editors whether they're good or not will offer sample chapters. Someone who's new to the game, unless they know they can go to a few editors and compare their 1st chapter edits etc, they won't know what's a good edit and what isn't. Price sometimes isnt the guider. I wouldn't just read the testmonials either, but check the authors regard sales, awards, general comments underneath the work etc.

But also to compare editorial style.

With self-pubbed work, I'd personally get an editor, or at least someone I trust to poke holes in the work on a content level, then copyedit. But that's just my MHO.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:17 AM
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If you're self-publishing, the buck stops with the author. If he or she doesn't know a good edit from a bad one -- that's going to be problem regardless of who's doing the job.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 02-18-2014 at 07:00 AM..
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
If you're self-publishing, the buck stops with the author. If he or she doesn't know a good edit from a bad one -- that's going to be problem regardless of who's doing the job.
My point exactly. Which is why it would be useful to have a visual source on good editor v bad editor. A touch like Rogue Trader, or Rogue Editor. There are indirect ways to avoid a bad editor, but if you know exactlly what you should be geting for your money, and by that I mean a look into full-blown content edits, it could be an eyeopener.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:39 AM
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A bunch of pro writers did something like that. They wrote a novel with around 15 authors writing bad, and completely disconnected, chapters.

It was submitted to PA who accepted it for publication (like they've ever rejected anything).

It was then 'edited' by a professional(!) PA editor, which amounted to a half-hearted proofing which missed half the errors and the fast that the chapters bore no relation to each other. I may still have a copy somewhere.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
A bunch of pro writers did something like that. They wrote a novel with around 15 authors writing bad, and completely disconnected, chapters.

It was submitted to PA who accepted it for publication (like they've ever rejected anything).

It was then 'edited' by a professional(!) PA editor, which amounted to a half-hearted proofing which missed half the errors and the fast that the chapters bore no relation to each other. I may still have a copy somewhere.
*Spits, then shivers* PA... Christ. And talking dodgy deals... I was looking at contract clauses a few months back, just the language surrounding royalties (cover price v net income v the the darker net profit) and the scams out there before edits even start are sickening.

Ah... I'm off topic.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:08 AM
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Now that would be funny to read! LOL!

Edit: Well, and painful, really.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:38 AM
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I think you ought not to pay to be edited.
The editor pays, unless you're wishing to through out your money by windows !
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Yfig View Post
I think you ought not to pay to be edited.
The editor pays, unless you're wishing to through out your money by windows !
I cannot wait for you to meet Nadia.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:09 PM
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I think that if you are going to self-publish, you should definitely have your work edited. Going the traditional route (through a regular publisher, not self published) means you have an in-house editor, and even then, I don't think there is an author out there whose work doesn't need some editing. Granted, I am a bit biased as I am an editor myself. But honestly, even the strongest writers I've worked with have needed an editor. It's one thing to be grammatically savvy, but editors are also trained in the Chicago Manual of Style (the style most fiction requires--it's also about 900 pages long) and have studied many elements that most of us don't even consider when writing (like mechanics, diction, reduction, usage). I've actually studied developmental editing too, so I can advise on bigger picture issues like organization and plot. But I get it, money can be tight. Study correct comma use--that tends to be the source of a lot of mistakes I see. Also, try converting your manuscript to a PDF, and use the read aloud function to listen to it--so helpful!
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:20 AM
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if it's just things like typos you have an issue with, try a text to speech program.

I've been doing this the last few days with my novel and it's helped big time, not just with typos but with those repeated words and many other things
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by EBLiles View Post
but editors are also trained in the Chicago Manual of Style (the style most fiction requires--it's also about 900 pages long) and have studied many elements that most of us don't even consider when writing (like mechanics, diction, reduction, usage).
*Coughs* unless of course you're the likes of a UK author whose editors will be using (along with author style and house style) whichever style guides their company recommends. I'm UK, but I've also edited for an American publishing company who used the CMoS, 16th edition. But I also know American publishing companies who don't use the CMoS. I know you said 'most', but it's good to get across that the CMoS is only one of many style guides, and a publishing company will be working three at any given time: author style, house style, and a manual like the CMoS. Author style can trump the latter two at any given time, if the author knows why it needs to.

I'm strongly with Candy on text to speech too. It's my final stop: an audio edit. But for self-published work, I'd get a content editor. You get far too close to a text as an author; you need that objective and clinical eye.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:33 PM
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It surely depends on your anticipated audience. No, you as a writer can't do the edits that your story will need to please a picky, well-educated, erudite audience. If your audience is teenage girls you can probably squeak by without one. If you think you're the next Vikram Seth, better shell out (and hoo boy would that get expensive).

I didn't hire an editor for my novel and, well, there are typos and non-sequiturs that I keep finding on every read-through. Happily, I can upload corrections to Amazon KDP as often as I like.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:34 PM
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I have never tried text-to-speech editing before, but I've seen it mentioned several times in this thread and another one. May need to give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by EBLiles View Post
I think that if you are going to self-publish, you should definitely have your work edited. Going the traditional route (through a regular publisher, not self published) means you have an in-house editor, and even then, I don't think there is an author out there whose work doesn't need some editing. Granted, I am a bit biased as I am an editor myself. But honestly, even the strongest writers I've worked with have needed an editor. It's one thing to be grammatically savvy, but editors are also trained in the Chicago Manual of Style (the style most fiction requires--it's also about 900 pages long) and have studied many elements that most of us don't even consider when writing (like mechanics, diction, reduction, usage). I've actually studied developmental editing too, so I can advise on bigger picture issues like organization and plot. But I get it, money can be tight. Study correct comma use--that tends to be the source of a lot of mistakes I see. Also, try converting your manuscript to a PDF, and use the read aloud function to listen to it--so helpful!
What does CMoS say about paragraphs?
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:25 AM
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Ha! Point taken (I think). Sorry, I can be a bit more relaxed when writing informally.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
What does CMoS say about paragraphs?
My guide (admittedly not CMoS) says paragraphs are a courtesy to the reader and not a requirement.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by EBLiles View Post
Ha! Point taken (I think). Sorry, I can be a bit more relaxed when writing informally.
If you profess to be a professional editor, writing on a forum for writers should never be that informal. Books tend to get judged by their covers.
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