If you’re self-publishing your book, nothing is more important than having your book professionally edited. It’s fine to have it initially reviewed by a friend or relative, or by teachers and people with English degrees (I hear this a lot), but you still need a professional editor to put the finishing touches on your work. I can guarantee that even though your highly credentialed friend reviewed your manuscript, the editor will still find errors.
Professional editors follow industry guidelines (style guides) to make sure your work is consistent and clean. They review every sentence carefully. Someone doing you a favor isn’t likely to look that closely. Professional editing is one of the best investments you can make in producing your book.
There are also different types of editing:
- Developmental Editing – An optional service for authors who want to work closely with an editor to help you develop your entire manuscript. A developmental editor will help you clarify your points and ensure that your manuscript is constructed well and is easy to read. Not all authors need or want developmental editing—this is optional.
- Line Edit/Copy Edit – A detailed review of your manuscript to capture grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes.
- Proofreading – A final review of your manuscript to capture grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes that were missed during the copy edit.
Homemade book covers, postcards, flyers and other marketing collateral always look homemade. If you want to be taken seriously as an author and business professional, find a graphic designer who has experience producing book covers. Book covers have their own unique requirements. For example, the designer needs to produce a full wrap of the book jacket, including front cover, back cover and spine—and needs to know how to calculate the spine size properly.
Readers do judge books by their covers! Do yourself the favor of hiring an experienced publishing industry professional.
The interior typesetting for your book involves importing your manuscript into graphic design program that works for book pagination. It is a complex and rather tedious process, requiring strong attention to detail. Hire a pro who has experience specifically with typesetting.
Often times an experienced book typesetter also offers ebook formatting services, but just in case, know that you will need someone to format your manuscript into multiple ebook formats for Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, etc.
A template site is fine if that is all you can afford, but it will never compare to a site designed by a pro. More importantly, having access to a graphic designer you can call when you want to change something on your site, or when something goes wrong, can make a big difference.
Very few authors have a lot of spare time to focus on marketing their books, because most of us have day jobs (even bestselling authors have day jobs!). That’s where a good virtual assistant comes in handy. You can hire someone to help with some of the workload, and manage tasks like research, contacting bloggers, mailing out your books, and other administrative tasks that you don’t have time for or you don’t like. You can find virtual assistants through instructionsmith.com and the International Virtual Assistants Association.
Additional Hires to Consider:
Publicist – Publicity is one of the most expensive options for authors so you have to weigh this choice carefully. Publicists typically expect a monthly retainer fee of $2,500 or more. However, an experienced publicist already has relationships with many media professionals, and can help you get the exposure you need. If you want to go big with your book marketing campaign, hiring a publicist can help you do that.
Bookkeeper – Depending on the volume of sales you manage, hiring a professional bookkeeper can help you not only stay sane, but to comply with tax laws that you may not even know about. I recommend hiring a bookkeeper who is also a certified tax planner.
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