Tips for authors self-publishing

05 May
Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

The self-publishing panel I was on with Ali Cunliffe and Susan Viets presented by Editors Canada last week went very well. We all had interesting and informative points to make. A link to the You Tube video of it is here. Warning: the visual is lousy – we appear in shadows a lot, and it is long – it was an hour and a half panel including Q and A. But the sound is good, so you might want to get it going and listen to it while you eat lunch.

Over the next two or three weeks I will post some tips for authors and editors as that’s what our panel discussion was about. Today I’ll talk about the editor’s side.

Drama queen that I am (or ham actor) I started withe a mini-skit, standing up with a book (not mine and not the client’s). I recreated the scene when  a potential client walked into my home office for a meeting. He came in carrying a book, his book, already printed and said,

“I need this book edited.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

Editors don’t edit books AFTER they are printed. Fortunately, he had only the one book printed. So, here are a few tips and caveats, for editors working with authors who are self-publishing.
At the top of the list is MUTUAL RESPECT

  1. Many authors self-publishing don’t know anything about editing, so you have to educate them.
  2. Some authors think a book can be edited almost overnight (well in a week or two). Editors need to diplomatically tell them that it’s not so – even if they don’t have other projects on the go (avoid using the word “client” here as some authors often like to think you are focusing on their work only
  3. Diplomacy
  4. Ability to connect with the author about what they are looking for in their manuscript, for example a manuscript evaluation, a copy edit, etc.
  5. Flexibility in fees and time.
  6. Use a contract
  7. Knowledge beyond the usual editing such as illustrators, self-publishing methods, e-copies, promotion.
  8. Know your skills and what you are prepared to do.
  9. Keep authors apprised of any problems arising such as time lines and missing content.
  10. Patience.


Sharon A. Crawford

Click on the Beyond Blood icon at the top to find out more about my Beyond books.


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