Self-publishing and editing

One of the challenges faced by those going the self-publishing route is that of editing. The traditionally published have the advantage of editing built into the package, but if you’re publishing yourself, you need to think about whether to hire an editor to look over your masterpiece.

Now this is something I chose not to do with Airship City, mostly due to the expense involved. So I took a lot of time over the editing process, re-reading the book multiple times in multiple formats (on-screen, on Kindle, printed out on A4, even printed as a Lulu paperback) as well as getting friends and family to read it and asking them to tell me about typos, errors, inconsistencies, and things they felt were confusing or not well expressed.

It all seems to have paid off: my first reviewer on Goodreads, Gunnar Grey (who is herself a published author) was impressed by the editing and proofreading, which she describes as “professional”. And yet I can’t help thinking that an editor would have picked up on the point she mentions, which I do think is a valid one. (I was a bit squeamish about depicting some violence directly, and while I convinced myself at the time that the indirect way I dealt with it was more powerful, I definitely didn’t want to leave anyone feeling cheated.)

So I will consider hiring an editor if I choose to self-publish again. (I am pursuing a dual strategy here; with some interest from a New York agency in my second (non-Aeropolis) novel, I don’t consider the traditional route closed by any means.)
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