Sunday, November 10, 2013

Getting Help

A confession is in order: The publication of The Chinese Spymaster required professional help.

I had lost count of the number of times I read, re-read and edited The Battle of Chibi,
published in 2010. There are several proofs still on my shelves and I see one or two with edits in different colored pencil marks to indicate attempts on separate occasions to correct errors or improve the flow of the narrative. It was a process that took months and left me exhausted, and as I considered the publication of the Spymaster, I shuddered.

Hence I decided to treat myself to professional copy-editing and proofreading as well as to a real graphic artist for the cover. This saved my sanity and I am pleased with the results, even though I did not behave well as a patient and did not take all the medicine prescribed. Those involved with me in this process were, fortunately for me, professionals and took my recalcitrance in stride.

This is undoubtedly an issue for all who self-publish; we like to call ourselves Indie authors. The services that the publishing houses provide are worth their weight in gold, without a doubt. The doors are accordingly well-guarded. Hence for those not so privileged, I highly recommend looking around for professional help.

If money is no object, then one should not think twice. Consider how off-putting typos, grammatical errors and wrong words are. Consider too the pride of authorship. Fortunately, there are many highly qualified graphics artists, editors and proofreaders who do not charge what they are worth. I would not want to publish anything without a professional proofreading and for anything over a hundred pages I would want both copy-editing and proofreading by professionals. Naturally, one should also get a professional cover, even though I think that for The Battle of Chibi looks reasonably good for having been created using a online publisher's template.

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