Whenever I read articles about self-publishing your books, whether it be in paperback or e-book, everyone is always pointing out how important it is with editing. I agree, editing is very important, and I can get quite frustrated when reading books if I find an inordinate amount of mistakes (especially if it’s in the first few pages!).

However, they often tell you to use a freelance editor to do your editing. I don’t expect to make a lot of money on my books. An e-book, on average, sells a total of 250 copies in its lifetime. That’s on average, which means that you could very well be below that number.

If you then spend around £1000 on a professional editor for your novel, you’re most likely going to make a loss on your book. While I would like to think that I write mainly for myself (and this is true), I can’t really afford to lose money on my writing. So, I’m sorry my friends – but I have to do my own editing, revising and proofreading.

If I somehow get lucky and sell a lot more than expected – then I’ll spend that money. When I might stand a chance to earn it back. Until then, I’m on my own.

Do you do your own editing, or do you pay someone else to do it?


Editing — 4 Comments

  1. I edit my own work, too. External editors are just far too expensive and despite people saying how important they are…they’re just not affordable. Are my books perfect? Far from it. But they’re the best I can make them.

    I think back to when I had to explain to an editor at one publisher what certain words meant, and when I had to correct the spelling of another so while EDITING is essential, EDITORS are not. I don’t want people thinking I’m slapdash about my work, even though the odd typo will likely always slip through. It’s just that if I waited until I could afford hundreds of pounds for an editor, I’d never publish again.

    • That’s exactly it. I appreciate that editors need to make money too, but unless you’re a big seller – it’s just not affordable. I can’t spend possibly more than a month’s salary from my actual job on editing a book that will most likely never earn that money back.

      So, unless I suddenly win the lottery and can spend money on an editor while I write for fun in between my days at the spa and loitering around my new mansion… Yeah, I’m on my own with the editing.

  2. I also edit my own work, but I have two very good beta-readers who catch my errors.
    One thing that works well for me is to change the background to red, increase the font size and type, and read back to front. All these trick your brain into not glossing over the text.

    • Thanks for the tip, Cheryl. I definitely find that it’s easy to miss your own typos. Probably because we already know what the sentence is supposed to say, and likely remember it more than we actually read it.

      I can imagine that beta-readers help, you’re lucky to have two good ones!

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