“My book is so good, and even IF there are any typos or misspellings, I have a good eye for that stuff and don’t need an editor.”
You may have heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect: a cognitive bias in which people of low skill at something mistakenly believe their ability is much greater than it actually is.
I believe this applies to many of us writers thinking we’re better at graphic design or self-editing than we are, and overestimate the quality of the content we’ve written.
Other people see our blindspots, though.
Other people will catch plot holes or ideas that aren’t fully fleshed out in our novel. Readers will tell us if a chapter of our non-fiction masterpiece ends abruptly without a summary or a decent conclusion.
The best way to find out if our communication is “hitting the mark” is to see how our intended audience responds to it. Beta readers, as well as an editor are helpful at this stage.
Actually, they’re necessary.
I’ve heard writers say “well, the content makes up for whatever [few] mistakes there may be”.
Of course we think that.
We’re married to our work, and have re-read it dozens of times before it hits the market, so we’re a little biased to how our own work looks. Our content could be the best in our field, but there are enough readers who will not finish reading if there’s too many mistakes.
No, Your Audience Really Does Expect Excellence
Years ago a not-quite-friend but more-than-an-acquaintance of mine published a book and contacted a lot of our mutual friends for an endorsement. A mentor friend of mine told me he had read it in an early stage of the editing process, and could tolerate the horrible shape it was in because the content was great otherwise. He had assumed the book that the public read would have been edited and polished by that time.
I bought a copy of it when it came out on Kindle at my mentor’s recommendation, and I was shocked; hardly a screen swipe went by without at least one typo or misspelling. The book was very repetitive, and I’m sure could have been cut in half and communicated the same overall idea.
It was obvious that no editor had gone over the manuscript before the author published it. I contacted this brother privately, offering to correct the mistakes I found FOR him if he would send me a Word document.
At any rate, recent I went and checked that title out of curiosity, and my beef also happens to be precisely one of the complaints the negative reviewers have given it over the years.
The next time he published a book, I didn’t buy it. I’m not even gonna read it if it’s free.
The first one was so poorly done it created an expectation in me that the next one probably would be too. I’m fairly certain by looking at the number of reviews each of his books got over the years that fewer people have either bought it or continued reading (or at least reviewing them on Amazon), as well.
This is my biggest reason why I’m convinced working with other people is paramount to making sure you avoid the many pitfalls when you go it alone to “save money”. You’ll save money alright — from future royalties on all the readers you would have had but who were turned off after the poor quality of the first one!
If you’ve ever wanted to
- turn your sermons or a sermon series into a book
- have a book that opens doors to more speaking engagements,
- or have a book (or series of books) to sell at your conferences,
- turn your master’s thesis into a profitable book,
Then book a call with me and let me stop you from releasing a crappy turd nobody will read.
Let’s Talk about your Book!
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