Author Discovery Tip of the Week: Promote your Editor!

editing-rates

Independent publishing is under fire, folks. First came the fake review scandals on Amazon. Next, book critics started lamenting the rise of the authorpreneur as the death knell of publishing. And recently, James Patterson took out full-page ads to petition the government to bail out the Big 6 and Barnes & Noble. All this negativity leads me to ask the question, where is this coming from?

To some, the outcry against Indie’s is justified as an attempt to preserve literary quality. I wish I could say that this is completely off-base, but the truth is that there have been many of us who have cut corners and taken shortcuts to bring our work to the masses. It’s not just the $.99-$2.99 price point and Free e-book specials that have the traditional publishing establishment worried. It’s the .99 cent e-book with the terrible cover and the typos, grammatical errors, and poor story development that have them concerned. If readers are willing to buy these types of books, then traditional publishing truly is lost.

I wrote an article last year entitled, Readers are the New Literary Agentsthat discusses the out placed role of today’s literary agents, as readers are now the one’s deciding which books are worthy of attention and which are not. Still, we as an independent publishing collective cannot afford to allow a few bad apples to spoil our progress, because there will be some backlash and all of our positive strides will be negated. With this said, this week’s Author Discovery tip focuses on the crucial element of editing and how promoting your editor (s) can actually boost your book’s discoverability as well improve the chances of getting a reader to put forth their hard-earned cash for your book.

With a traditionally published book, readers take it for granted that the book will have been copyedited, proofread, and content-edited. There is no need for the publishing companies to announce, “Hey, this book was edited!” Unfortunately, this is not the case with independently published novels. Therefore, if you have taken the time to get your work properly sculpted by a good editor, you should share the credit. Let the world know who is your world-class editor. Shout their name from the rooftops. Or in today’s terms, add their name next to yours as a book contributor.

Here’s an example from my book:

2013-05-04_041916

As you can see, I am letting the world know very clearly that THIS indie book has an editor. The reader probably has no idea who Stephanie Casher is and their curiosity will most likely stop after reading the title, but psychologically they go forward with the knowledge that my book was professionally edited. The point of author discovery is to help readers find your book’s buy pages and once there help them make the decision to purchase (or at least sample) your work. Adding your editor is a small point of differentiation that can make that process even easier for your readers.

Just as indies have reinvented the book blurb as books moved from print to digital and rethought e-book formatting to better suit the e-reading experience, we now need to reestablish the prominence of editing in Indie books. I know the majority of us get our books edited, however readers have no way of knowing if we don’t tell them.

In this age of easy digital publishing, editors are the bedrock to our collective success. It’s time we give them their time in the light!

Do you agree or disagree with this approach? Let us know in the comments!

Part owner of Independent Publishing Venture, The Pantheon Collective. Award-winning, bestselling author of One Blood (under pseudonym Qwantu Amaru). Book marketing expert and social media marketing consultant.

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Posted in Book Discovery, Book Marketing
24 comments on “Author Discovery Tip of the Week: Promote your Editor!
  1. I suggest that authors thinking of doing this should ask their editor’s permission first. Many indie authors make more changes AFTER their editor has seen the text and often introduce new errors. We don’t want to have to ‘take the credit’ for those as well. Even if you only plan to mention your editor in the acknowledgements (especially if you identify them as the editor/proofreader), it’s courteous to ask for permission.

  2. Ken Brooks says:

    I did just what you prescribed with my novel, Mama Lacee, I thought it was only right to give credit where it’s due.

  3. Larry Kollar says:

    In the “readers as agents” sense, Hugh Howey recently pointed out that the slush pile is available to everyone now. So it’s readers who are now the gatekeepers, and they *will* point out poor–or good–editing. I’ve had a couple reviewers mention my books lack typos… and yes, I do have editors. After receiving the edits from my first large novel, White Pickups, I swore I’d never upload an eBook without an editing pass. I only thought it was clean.

    I think in the indie world, at least, beta readers have largely taken over the role of content editors, pointing out the Mary Sues, inconsistent names, scenes that don’t move the story forward, plot holes, and so forth. That doesn’t eliminate the need for a solid copyeditor/proofreader, though.

    But do ask the editor about how much “billing” they want. My editor asked me to keep it generic, which is why White Pickups has “Mrs. Harris” listed as contributing editor on the Amazon page.

  4. What you suggest would work well if everybody played by the rules. But there is nothing stopping a self-published author was has done their own editing from making up a fictitious editor – and we are back where we started 😦 .

  5. Shawn E. says:

    As an indie writer and editor, I wholeheartedly agree with this article. My personal perspective is that indie writing and publishing can often serve an author as a really good resume to a publishing house. However, I understand that most writers do not see this as the sole purpose of the writing. I have found it difficult to find editors outside myself. This leads to a prolonged release date because I rely on myself to catch every error which takes time. An editor’s job seems to never end. It’s for that reason I think if you’re lucky enough to have a great one you should acknowledge your editor

  6. I’ve been published traditionally and independently, and my experience is the most significant difference in the end product rests in the quality of editing. My mainstream books went through a funnel of: lit agent (who suggested changes and edits), acquisitions editor (who also had suggestions and edits, copy-editor (whose edits I could look at and decide on), a proofreader, then I got to proofread the galleys, and in some cases even the printer had a proofreader on staff, not just the publisher. Indie writers need to have at least two of these steps in place, in my opinion: an editor and a proofreader. A copy-editor is great too. And giving your editor credit for the partnership of birthing your book into a professionally-written work seems to me to make a lot of sense. Glad you wrote this post.

  7. […] discussion on the Author Discovery site about acknowledging editors in published books, with comments from both authors and […]

  8. E.F. says:

    I absolutely agree! And I don’t think that any publisher should ever print a book that hasn’t been edited because it reflects badly on them. Reading a book with typos and poor structure is just a turn off and I can’t even read it. Books should be edited, and yes – let the reader know that it has been b/c too many of late are just getting published!

  9. Julia Bodie says:

    I have just been mentioned as the editor of an author’s short story collection on Amazon – so I am all for it – helps the author and may well bring more work for me!

  10. Michael says:

    Great article. I’m a professional editor (www.millionthmonkey.net), and I’d like to add that a big mistake I see some writers make is to ask a friend or relative to “edit” their work. This is like asking me to perform your brain surgery. These amateur editors virtually never make a manuscript better, and they often do it serious harm. After all the work you’ve put into your book, it’s worth a few bucks to have a professional editor polish it.

    • Without a doubt, Michael. In my opinion, 2 investments have to be made to have a professional product: quality editing and a knock-out book cover. Thanks for posting!

  11. […] Read more via Author Discovery Tip of the Week: Promote your Editor! – Authordiscovery.com. […]

  12. […] Read more via Author Discovery Tip of the Week: Promote your Editor! – Authordiscovery.com. […]

  13. If the book is published exactly as I edited it, acknowledging me is great. If new errors have been introduced after it left my hands, leave my name off the thing – please!

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