Hiring Professionals on Your Author Journey

By Malika Gandhi

You have written your book. You want to self-publish. Now what? This is where the hard work really begins. You have two options: to go the whole mile yourself or get a professional to do it for you. By that I mean the turmoil of editing, the eye for the cover, and the knowledge, expertise, and time for marketing. In this article, I will focus on editing and book cover design. We’ll take a look at marketing in a later post.

Editing

Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.

Patricia Fuller

There are many variations in editing and different types. Each individual editor will bring their own unique expertise in, and they will offer different services. Below is a list of some of the types of editing out there.

Developmental Editing

Developmental editors are valuable when you have an idea for a book or an outline, but don’t know where to start. The editor will help you focus on the book as a whole such as structure, ideas, and organisation. They will see that your story will flow throughout the pages.

Line Editing

A line editor is responsible for looking at each line of your manuscript, at each word. Does that line/word fit in with the storyline, does it flow with the rest of the paragraph and the chapter? The editor will look at this in great detail and suggest changes.

Proofreading

After the editing stage, it is advisable to hire a proofreader who will read your manuscript and check for anything the editing stage had missed. This is actually the final stage, when you book is mocked up. It’s done after all the developing, editing, and formatting. There should not be any more writing after this stage.

For a more detailed explanation about the different types of editing, take a look at our website.

Book Covers

“Good cover design is not only about beauty… it’s a visual sales pitch. It’s your first contact with a potential reader. Your cover only has around 3 seconds to catch a browsing reader’s attention. You want to stand out and make them pause and consider, and read the synopsis.”

Eeva Lancaster, Being Indie: A No Holds Barred, Self-Publishing Guide for Indie Authors

Getting the book cover right is so important because this is your shop window. Your cover should look professional and not like something you created in five minutes and hoped for the best outcome. The saying don’t judge a book by its cover is not good advice, as we tend to buy with our eyes first. If a book cover looks uninviting, would you even read the blurb? Would that book shout at you to buy it?

The book must look appealing and tell your readers what the genre is. If you browse any bookshop, such as WH Smiths and Waterstones or online platforms such as Amazon, you will see books of the same genre often have the same colours and wording.

For example, romcom covers tend to be light with pastel covers. The images will feel happy and like a breath of fresh air, whereas crime books will generally be black with large writing in white or primary colours.

Next time you visit a book shop or go online, have a look at other books in your genre, and then hire a professional book designer to create a book cover that is best for you with your vision. This is very important.

A Note on Author Websites

An author website is like a giant business card. It is where your readers will find your book creations, read your blogs, join your mailing list, and get to know you as a person. Most of all, it’s where they will follow your progress. There are many website hosts on the web, and you could create one yourself if you have the know-how. But if you don’t, it would be a good investment to get a professional to create a stunning site for you.

There you have it, why it is important to hire a professional for your author journey. I hope this article has given you an insight into this industry, and I wish you the very best of luck. What are your thoughts on hiring professionals?

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