Congratulations on completing your manuscript. You have spent many a long hour toiling over it, faced many highs and lows but found, perhaps to your own surprise, that you had the determination to continue to the end. But it’s not the end of the work that needs doing before you upload that file. It takes courage to publish as you have no control over who will read your book and what they might say about it in a review or on a blog. You’ll be thrilled to see positive reviews but will also need to develop a thick skin to cope with negative comments. You owe it to yourself to at least feel confident that you have published the best book you can, without any of those errors we fail to spot for ourselves.
I’m an indie author; I know that polishing your MS for publication is in itself a huge task as I’ve faced the same journey. How should you do it? Who should you ask for help and advice? These are difficult decisions, crucial to get right if want your book to be well-received. It doesn’t matter how good your story is if the presentation of it loses you vital ratings and future readers.
You’ve made the first important decision in that you are checking out what help is available. But do you feel as lost and confused as I did when I first approached the subject of editing? I’ve seen separate rates for beta reading, many types of editing, proof reading, formatting. That may be appropriate within the mainline publishing business but perhaps not for services being offered to indie authors. How can you possibly decide what you need to commission, and know if the part of the process you have paid for has actually been done? What are the demarcations between copy editing, line editing and proof reading? Do you need to pay one person for one part of the process then send your MS on to yet another person to do something else for it?
I am offering a service that I would have liked to commission in those early days of my writing career. If you have reached the stage where your story needs going through line by line, word by word, to perfect grammar, punctuation, spelling, flow and consistency, I will work with you through to publication. The final files I send you will be ready for upload to any or all of Amazon, Smashwords and CreateSpace (or other print-on-demand company). You will feel confident about uploading your work because I will listen to what you want and won’t impose my style or ideas on you. It’s your work and will remain your work, with your voice sounding loud and clear. You will have the choice to accept or reject any of the changes I suggest, but as we will approach this work together you will be able to discuss with me why I have made those suggestions and make informed decisions about what you want for your MS.
I’m not doing this just to make money from you; if I don’t think your MS is ready for polishing I’ll tell you so and hope to hear from you again at some later date. I also take on only one client at a time so you may have to decide whether to wait or find another editor and formatter. If I feel we can work together I will give your MS my full attention. I cannot guarantee I’ll find every error, but rest assured I’ll be aiming for perfection in the files I send you.