Successful Self-Publishers: “Get A Pro Editor!”
To increase your chances of success at self-publishing, you need to get your book edited by a professional.
Some observations are so consistent, some patterns so evident, some truths so blatantly in your face that one can’t help but laugh at educated arguments for needing a statistically significant sampling to eliminate mere chance or random error before reaching a conclusion. “I don’t care that it’s only been ten mini-interviews to draw conclusions from,” claims Eldon Sarte, publisher of the Wordpreneur blog, “the message is recurring and very clear. The tip is pure gold.”
The ten mini-interviews Sarte is referring to are the first ten in his blog’s new series that he calls “Wordpreneur Peeps.” Each Peeps post features a successful self-publisher — typically those who have done very well with Amazon’s free Kindle Direct Publishing ebook and CreateSpace print-on-demand self-publishing programs — presenting each’s back story, how they got started, and any self-publishing observations and tips they can share with Wordpreneur’s readers. “Although each post is an informative and motivational quick read,” says Sarte, “something jumped out at me almost immediately, something totally unexpected.”
That something: Almost every single one tipped that getting your book professionally edited is a must.
“How many of the ten said that? A whopping eight.”
Surely the interview subjects must have been influenced by each other’s posts, right? That would not be unusual, maybe even anticipated. But the way Sarte describes how he got the first ten Peeps posts is where the observation becomes a true curiosity, and likely even exceedingly useful.
“When first fleshing this series idea out, I hadn’t thought about getting self-publishing tips. So none from the first author, Kate Harper. Good thing it occurred to me to ask for a few from the second author, Kelly James-Enger. Satisfied that the content format was finally pretty darned useful to my readers, I then sent a shotgun batch query to a small list of successful self-publishers I had compiled on my own previously, directly requesting each’s participation, using the first two posts as examples of what I was looking for. The next eight are what I got back. The fact that all of them mention professional editing as a must — as outright tips, or in the case of a couple, as something they did while working on their successful titles — was definitely an eyebrow-raiser.”
Sarte notes that this is particularly interesting considering that with the rapid growth and adoption of ereaders like the Amazon Kindle and the boom in self-published ebooks, there has also been a growing reader backlash, complaining about “lower writing and production quality” from the flood of self-published titles. On the flipside, Sarte mentions that forums for writers and self-publishers all over the Web are full of posts from authors lamenting their inability to sell their self-published books more than the token trickle.
“Obviously, success is not only possible, but an increasing reality, as the growing collection of Wordpreneur Peeps stories is evidence of. If you look through them, a few weren’t even setting out on becoming writers and self-publishers at all! Now, the question obviously is, what did they do different? I think this pro editing thing is definitely one major piece of the puzzle.”
Another is a professionally-done book cover design. “But we know that and have been saying that on the site for ages,” says Sarte. “They didn’t all say it in their interviews, but it’s quite visually evident from their book covers. But the bit about professional editors? That was on the radar, of course, but having all these golden folks say essentially the same exact thing totally by chance — heck, most of them probably didn’t even know of each other before Peeps — now there’s advice you can take to the bank if I ever saw one.”
But that’s not the best part, says Sarte. “Remember, we’re all just getting started! The technology is fresh and innovative and getting widely adopted by the marketplace; the publishing industry is rapidly evolving; and the opportunities for new independent writers and publishers have never been so revolutionary and, well, financially attainable. Wordpreneur Peeps itself now has a growing queue of these self-publishing success stories just waiting to be released, giving us all a chance to learn from each one. Frankly, if you’ve ever dreamt of writing, publishing and selling your own books, it doesn’t get any more exciting than this!”
There is now considerably more than ten Wordpreneur Peeps featured authors! Check them out and see if you can detect any more golden patterns that can help you with self-publishing success!