This is from my Norm Hamilton, Writer website.
The one drawback I notice, in far too many self-published novels, is that the copy-editing and proofreading, or rather the lack of them, causes the books to present as something less than professional.
Over the past number of weeks I have been provided the opportunity to read a number of books by Indie authors. That is, authors that have self-published their manuscripts. It has been an enjoyable experience overall.
The story-telling that I was privileged to read was both interesting and distinctive. The writers have proven to be creative and, in some cases, rather visionary. I have been entertained by mysteries, poetry and science fiction, and creative-nonfiction memoirs.
However, the majority contained a number of errors in formatting, wording, consistency, punctuation and spelling; things that ought to have been corrected during the process of copy-editing and proofreading.
It has been said, “Don’t ask me to proofread my own writing. I always end up seeing what I thought I wrote.”
It is paramount that a writer has a a second set of eyes go over any manuscript before it is submitted or published. A qualified copy-editor or proofreader will fulfill this task.
The novel I’m working on at the moment is currently out to several “first readers” for their opinions; they also notify me of any typos, errors, and inconsistencies they find. When their suggestions have been considered, I will have the text proofread by someone other than myself.
More information on copy-editing and proofreading is available here.
Copy-editing and proofreading needn’t be an expensive burden. If you know someone who has the capacity to properly carry out these functions and will volunteer their time, by all means, use them. However, in the majority of cases it is to your benefit to hire a professional, someone who works with words on a regular basis.
Trust me, your manuscript is worth taking the extra step to ensure your readers have the best experience possible.
Norm Hamilton is a freelance writer and photographer based in Whitehorse.