Why You Need to Hire an Editor and Proofreader for Your Ebook
The idea of becoming an author is enticing for anyone who has knowledge of a particular niche, subject or genre and has a flair for writing, and off course would like to pursue the chance to earn an extra income. In this digital age, there is now an easy opportunity to write your book and to get it published via Amazon on their Kindle Publishing platform and other digital books website such as Smashwords etc. Writing an ebook does not have to be confusing or long winded, it can very straight forward, which we have covered here in a previous article, the gate keepers are no longer in your way, you do not need to been “accepted” by a publishing company, you can now do everything needed to write and publish your own book on the internet.
While traditional publication houses may not entertain everyone’s request, the online world offers the chance of self publication in the form of ebooks. If you have any good idea to share in a particular niche or a story to tell, you can easily get it out to your audience in the form of a digitally published ebook.
However, the problem with self publication is that you are responsible for everything. From writing the book to editing and proofreading it and from designing the cover to ensuring that it sells via lots of different forms of promotion, all the responsibility lies with you. Most ebook writers make the mistake of doing everything on their own and end up with a half baked book which simply isn’t attractive enough for its audience. From bland cover designs to poor editing, ebooks are often plagued with a plethora of problems that leave the readers uninterested.
The problem is compounded with the fact that ebook readers have hundreds of thousands of choices on each genre or topic. Therefore, if you don’t just want to become an author but also want to become a ‘successful’ one, you must focus on cutting down on mistakes that most new authors make i.e. poor editing and no proofreading. With good marketing and a proper cover design, you might be able to sell your ebook to a decent size audience, but if your book hasn’t been thoroughly proofread and has not been professionally edited it’s going to get the kind of reviews which will deter everyone else…the book will then fall down the charts and in to oblivion very quickly. The proof, after all, lies in the pudding and if the pudding is sour, you can’t expect it to bring you acclaim.
A common mistake most people make is thinking that proofreading and editing is one and the same thing even though that is not the case. Editing involves improving the language used to explain something and improving the sentence structure in order to make it easier for someone to read. An editor is not responsible for pointing out every small spelling mistake and every small word that you might have missed. Editing is a broad task which involves improving the readability of the content. Some editors even suggest changing how the chapters are aligned in order for the book to make more sense for the readers, the content of the book needs to flow nicely and not jump about all over the piece…the reader will get confused and lose interest in no time at all.
On the other hand, proofreading is about finding out every small mistake that you can make while writing. Spelling mistakes and word repetition can happen a lot during the writing phase and it’s the job of the proofreader to find these mistakes and to correct them. This can be done during editing as well. However, if the focus is put on finding such small mistakes, it would be difficult to see if the content is easy to read or not. Therefore, editing and proofreading are two different aspects of book writing and one can’t be mixed with the other.
Editing is a specialist’s job and it is best if you leave the editing of your book to a professional editor. Many people think that since they are writing the book, they can edit as well later. However, this often turns out to be a mistake as it’s very difficult to find mistakes and to improve on what you have already written. Editors have years of experience in improving sentence structure and wording and they can easily bring insight that can take your book to the next level. This is especially true for first time writers who have never written a book of any kind before. If you are serious about your ebook, you must not think of saving money and you must look to hire a reputed editor who would keep your book’s theme and improve on the language that you have used to put your message across to the readers more emphatically.
Proofreading is not really a specialist’s job but there is one person who can’t proofread your book’s content i.e. you, the author! This is because when you write something down your brain knows what your intentions were, therefore, you would end up reading the content you intended to write rather than what you actually wrote. Spelling mistakes, missing words etc. would therefore be difficult to locate if you would proofread your book yourself. Letting a friend who has a strong grip over language and a keen eye is a good idea though it’s best to again hire someone who is a professional to do this job as the person hired would do the job responsibly as compared to a regular friend who might take it more as a fun task and might skim through the book missing out vital errors.
It can pay in the long run to pay professionals to help with the proofreading and editing of your ebook along with your cover design, if you are looking to earn a serious income from the world of ebooks by becoming an established digital author you will need to invest in your work just like you would to need to invest money in to any other new business venture.