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Editorial services for self-publishing

All too often, authors who self-publish over look the importance of having there work professionaly edited, thinking that its enough that they've checked it themselves, or had frends or family check it. The problen is that, as readers, we are trained to skim over words quckly for meaning, and often miss the mistakes that editors are trained to pick up on. This paragrph alone, for instance, has had nine errors added in by ourselves. Did you spot them all? (If not, click here to reveal!)

  1. "over look" should be "overlook";
  2. "there work" should be "their work";
  3. "professionaly" should be "professionally";
  4. "its enough" should be "it's enough";
  5. "frends" should be "friends";
  6. "problen" should be "problem";
  7. "quckly" should be "quickly";
  8. "paragrph" should be "paragraph";
  9. "ourselves" should be "us".

For traditional publishers, the cost of editorial salaries may be the biggest overhead in their business. They don't pay all that money to all those editors as some kind of job creation scheme. They pay it because they understand the importance of the role, and as a self-publisher you need to do the same. You need to get your work edited professionally, and you need to make sure you do it before working on your layout, because if you don't you're either going to wind up with a sub-par product, full of little errors that will drive you mad after you spot them; or you'll find yourself having to pay extra money to repeat later steps like layout, which will all need doing again if you need to change your content to fix a load of errors that should have been picked up during the editing process.

It's inevitable that a piece of text the size of a novel will be full of little mistakes and typos, and even with editing you should brace yourself for the fact that some will still get through. Take, for example, a short children's book like Mr. Topsy-Turvy, from the Mr. Men series. It has only 18 pages of text, many of which have fewer than 50 words on them, and yet there are still at least two obvious errors: on one page we have "The manager scratch his head" instead of "The manager scratched his head", and on another we even have the main character's name spelt wrongly: "Mr Tospy Turvy"! Then there are other little quibbles, like why does "Mr." have a full point in the title on the front cover and the title page, but not anywhere else in the book or on the back cover? And why is "Topsy-Turvy" hyphenated on the front cover, the back cover, and the title page, but not within the story itself? These are the things that readers miss, but editors shouldn't.

So if a short book of a few hundred words can go through a professional publishing house, be read by millions of people around the world over the course of multiple reprints covering several decades, and still get reprinted with errors, how confident are you that your novel, read by you and a handful of those close to you, is ready for publication? While you have to accept that you will never get rid of every single error, a good editor should help you get rid of most, and can make the difference between a slick and professional publication and one which looks amateurish.

firstwriter.com offers two levels of editing: proofreading, and full editing with critique.

Proofreading

Proofreading checks your work for spelling errors, grammatical errors, and errors of sense, and corrects these errors where they are found.

For self-publishing, we recommend that you have your entire manuscript proofread. Since you're not going to have the support of a professional publishing house, this will be your only chance to have a professional go through your book.

Full edit with critique

You may also want to consider having a full edit and critique done of your work. A full edit and critique includes all the checking for errors of a proofread, but also includes suggestions for improvement. These suggestions range from proposals for alternative words and phrasing at the micro level, up to more general suggestions about plot, character, and structure. The critique will provide a narrative appraisal of all these areas, identifying what works well, what works less well, and making suggestions for improvement.

Writers often come to us with what they think is a finished product, and are amazed by how much they are able to improve what they have written after receiving a full critique.

To get an instant online quote for editing, please click here

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