Is that even a question?
Having made the decision to be an indie author, I knew it would be vital to arm myself with a wealth of knowledge regarding being an independently published author and how I actually go about doing this.
Listening to Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula podcasts (which I cannot recommend enough if you are considering taking the indie route yourself), as well as The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn (again, must-listen), the two most common ‘must-do’s’ when it comes to the book itself, for new indie authors who want long term writing careers, are:
- Get an Editor
- Invest in the design of your front cover
I have done both.
Think about it. If you want readers to invest in your books, part with their hard-earned cash, dive into your world and spend time with your characters, you should be providing quality content for them.
Unfortunately, still too many indie authors appear to give little or no thought to either of these ‘must-do’s’.
Whilst researching via Google, Facebook and Twitter for an editor who would be a good fit for my first-in-series novel, I received a personal recommendation and was put in contact with Carly at Peahen Publishing. Initially, I was a little apprehensive after walking away from an indie publishing house the previous year. But, after receiving such a strong personal recommendation, I felt it was absolutely worth a shot. And, it should be noted that, Peahen does things a little differently, too. You won’t have to licence your work away.
After speaking with Carly about my story, my vision and my intentions, it became clear very quickly that there was potential there for a fantastic working relationship. A real author and editor relationship. Carly’s credentials within the market I was aiming at were a great starting point. The conversations and correspondence were all insightful, useful, progressive but reflective also. I am taking on board all the feedback and stepping out of the story to look at it how a reader would, and that’s down to Carly. She has recommended some structural changes, as well as line-by-line, but always with the caveat that it is still “my work” – so why would anyone ignore good, well intentioned advice?
As the American author, media mogul and marketing specialist, Guy Kawasaki once said, “Don’t kid yourself, a good editor will make your book better.” And he should know…he marketed the first ever Apple Macintosh!
If you’re looking for a good editor, reach out to the online writing community and look for recommendations. Ask for referrals via Twitter. Leaf through the Acknowledgements of your favourite books. Use the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook.
There’s an abundance of ways you can find an editor. Just remember, find the one, that’s right for you.
If you’d like any support in this area, please don’t hesitate to email me.