I’m Serious. Typos Suck.

Yes. I said they suck, and I mean it. I recently received a 3-star review (out of 5 stars) from an independent review service. The reviewer praised my storytelling abilities but slammed me when it came to the quality of the editing. I felt mortified by the reviewer’s comments. Their opinion made me feel incompetent.

I spent seven years writing Betera’s Factor, my debut fiction novel. After dozens of drafts, I went through several rounds of editing with someone who has credentials teaching English as a Second Language for over six years, has read 8,000+ books, and certainly caught the numerous mistakes I didn’t see. Where I made the mistake was not putting my revisions back through the editing process. That was not a good idea. I’m not one for making excuses. I pride myself on being conscientious about my work. If I weren’t, I wouldn’t have earned a graduate degree in writing. I also wouldn’t have lasted 20 years in the communications profession, an industry that demands excellent writing skills.

Editing Doesn’t Come Cheap

It shouldn’t come cheap. We all know quality editing is the key to making any book appear polished and professional. It’s essential if you want to be taken seriously in the publishing world. Critics and readers have long complained about what they perceive as a lack of quality editing with self-published books, but some articles show typos aren’t restricted to self-published authors. Here’s one of my favorite articles, which points out that commercially published books have errors as well.

Editing services offered by powerhouse editing agencies are extremely expensive. Prepare to squirrel away funds if you’re living paycheck to paycheck and want to avail yourself of these services rather than those of a freelance editor. Most rates I found are in the four-digit range for manuscripts over 40,000 words. The minimum quote I received for an 82,000-word manuscript (from three different agencies) was $1,665 and up. Sixteen thousand dollars is nearly the cost of new brakes on my car!

My Solution

Considering what I’ve discovered, I can only think of one solution. Trust my editor and don’t make changes to a fully edited manuscript. Doing less impugns their trust and it could potentially hurt their reputation, and mine. I’d love to hear from other self-published authors on their experiences.


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