Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about an author named Peter who wrote an email to let me know that he was irritated by the mistakes in my book and that if I didn’t fix them, he would give me a 2 star instead of a 4-star review.
I was a bit embarrassed but not upset over the email. I mean, I wasn’t going to cry.
Many years back I made a New Year’s resolution to pick my battles and not to let so many things rattle my nerves like someone sending me a negative email about one of my eBooks. I pledged to have many…
Self-publishing is a blessing and a bitch.
It’s a blessing because it allows independent authors to pursue their dreams by writing and publishing a book. It’s a bitch because you must wear many hats and some don’t fit.
I’m an above average proofreader and my skills might even be considered exceptional to some, but the copyediting hat just doesn’t fit.
And I don’t like proofreading. But I do it; I do it. I do it. I do it.
But proofreading is not copyediting or line by line editing. Having your book proofed is NOT the same as hiring a copyeditor.
Here’s what Guy Kawasaki co-author of the bestselling book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a book, wrote on his website regarding a mistake that he made with the book.
Not hiring a professional copyeditor. When I turned in the final copy of APE, I thought there were no mistakes in it. The copyeditor found 1,400—that’s right: one thousand four hundred. Writing and copyediting are two different skills—just like the best salesman doesn’t make the best sales manager nor the best player make the best coach.
I raise my hand guilty as charged. Although I proofread the hell out of my eBooks and often hire someone to (proofread) put a second set of eyes on the material, it’s not the same as having your book copyedited. My proofreader and I, we miss
Self-published author Steve Scott has built an empire publishing lots of short & sweet eBooks. He earns 5-figures (maybe more now) publishing books. On a recent Smart Passive Income podcast episode he stated he spends around 1,500 per book getting it to a professional quality.
The average struggling author can’t afford to spend that amount of money on books that sell at price points of 99 cents. 2.99 and 4.99. Of course, Steve more than sees an ROI, the rest of us, uh not so much.
Back to Peter’s email. Here’s the 2nd one I received after sending him my response and my blog post.
I love your blog post. It’s fantastic.
Like you, I hate writing bad reviews.
And in answer to your blog. As Indie authors we should get our spelling right and not jumble our words. Have I made spelling errors? Have I jumbled words? Yes and yes. Should I have? No and no J.
I think the blog is brilliant. I wish I had your computer skills.
PS. Check out my review
In addition to a writer knowing when to pick their battles, you have to realize that sometimes you catch more bees with honey.
Peter’s email didn’t read like he hated my book. In fact, he ended up giving it a 4-star review. I promised Peter that I would fix the errors in my book in January.
If you’ll read my post yesterday. You’ll see my advice to authors on writing and self-publishing eBooks. In case you won’t read the post, here’s part of it below.
Here’s what eBook writers should strive to do.
Write high-quality material to the best of your ability. If you don’t feel excited when you read your work, no one else will.
Proofread the hell out of your eBook. Put it away for a few days or a week and proofread the hell out of it again.
If you write a large amount of material then forgot about burdening your family and friends to help you proofread. Instead, hire someone to proofread your work.
If you cannot hire a professional copyeditor, then you should hire the next best thing which is a proofreader from an online site.
The best thing about an eBook is that you can pull it down, fix errors and put it back up again.
There shouldn’t be big, unforgivable errors throughout the work, but don’t kill yourself if there are a few mistakes that you discover after your eBook has been up a few months.
Adding to that advice, just because you might not have $1,500 to invest in your book (I use book and eBook interchangeably), does not mean you shouldn’t publish it.
Do the very best that you can to get your book in the best shape possible, and publish your book already.
If you are willing to work hard and you can spare about a $100 bucks you can produce a very solid eBook that can land on a bestseller’s lists. I have done exactly that.
Thankfully for us writers, there are authors and entrepreneurs like Guy Kawasaki, Steve Scott, and Pat Flynn who often share free or affordable content to help you along your merry way.
I’m also willing to help you at this blog. So please stop by often, leave comments and provide feedback. My blog or books are not the penthouses like the others, but they aren’t the doghouse either.
I know my stuff. I know writing.
Wishing you a Happy New Year of self-publishing success.