Successful traditional publishers also have a quality control process. They have teams of cover designers, editors, proofreaders and marketing personnel that will ensure that the quality of the cover, print and content of the books match industry standards.
My initial mentor told me I could publish my book for free. While that is true, you can create a free cover on Amazon and you can create the interior for free, there are various quality control issues that this free plan does not consider.
The difference between your neighbourhood Home Industry baker and one of the largest bakery companies in the world, Nestle, with a 2021 net sales of $89.84 billion is that the mass produced company has a system that ensures regular production of the same quality of product repeatedly. Should a product not meet this quality standard, there is a process to return the product and get a refund, replacement, or repair, depending on the company policy. This system builds trust in the consumer mind.
Successful traditional publishers also have a quality control process. They have teams of cover designers, editors, proofreaders and marketing personnel that will ensure that the quality of the cover, print and content of the books match industry standards. It is for this reason that brick and mortar bookstores trust traditional publishers, coupled with these publishers’ practice of delivering samples to the book buyers. You, as an indie author, have yet to build this kind of reputation.
Getting your spouse, your high school teacher or your mom who loves to read is not the same as getting an editor to work with your book. An editor is a professional whose goal it is to help you create a book that is ready for the market. Think of your editor as your quality control specialist for your book.
When I first started writing, my editor brought out the rebellious side of me. She asked me many infuriating questions, which created an emotional response in me. What I did not realise was that this was just my inner voice fighting against my fear of rejection.
My developmental goal was to silence that little voice and tell myself that my editor was my partner in the quality control process. I reminded myself that every suggestion that she made was part of a process that I was going through to honour my readers and the time and money that they would invest in my book.
That is what it boils down to. Your readers have thousands of other established authors they can buy books from. But they have taken a chance on your book. Honour them by making sure the book is the best book it can be.
In Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen’s book, the One Minute Millionaire, the authors state every team should comprise four types of project personalities. On their Sight they have a
HOTS test, which classifies team members according to Hares, Owls, Turtles, and Squirrels.
I consider myself a Hare. I randomly come up with new ideas, often in mid-sentence, which makes my husband’s mind spin. He is still trying to systemize what I have just said and find all the opportunities for failure that need to be corrected, and I am already chattering on about something entirely different.
I naturally jump from one point of view to another and time travel through scenes at the speed of light. It is my Squirrel like editor, who had to reel me in and stop me from publishing before my book was ready. When I started writing, I wanted to do everything my way, but as I developed, matured and learned to take feedback, it helped me to improve my craft and give my readers a better experience.
Types of Editors
Not all editors are equal or even serve the same role. So, for the benefit of new authors, I have created a reference, a short reference, for some of the key editing roles.
This kind of editor will give you a thorough evaluation of your first draft. Your developmental editor can tell you what your book needs to get ready for publishing. They will critique your story element issues like plot holes, poor character development, confusing dialogue, sentence phrasing, and other issues that crop up when they are reading the book. This kind of evaluation will highlight areas you need to rewrite in your book. This is a big picture type of editing which does not work on sentence structure and grammatical errors, the way that line editors do, rather on whether the story itself flows. There are some editors who will work on story structure and some basic line editing as part of their process, but always ask your prospective editor which type of editing services they provide.
If you are writing a nonfiction book or a fiction book that is based on a historical event, incorrect facts can crush your reputation as a serious writer or, if you are a consultant, your reputation in your business.
A fact checker will independently check and verify the information in your book to see if they are correct. With the type of free speech that we see on social media, people are prone to forming opinions from communication that are not accurate. A journalist or non-fiction author can not stake the future of their career on mere opinion. This is where the use of a fact checker can be an integral part of your success.
This is a time-consuming line-by-line, tightening up sentence structure so the language clearly communicates the mood and tone of the story. A line editor will also work on the structure of the sentences and change individual words, keeping in line with the author’s style of writing.
A Proof reader will carefully read the book to check if there are any mistakes in the book. Proof readers are your last line in quality control.
They are thorough and pay attention to detail. They have a thorough knowledge of the language that you are writing in. These are the people who groan whenever they see a misplaced comma or spelling mistake. If you have some of these in your circle of friends, get them to read your final draft for you and not the initial draft, as the early mistake that most first manuscripts have will drive them to distraction. These raiders find extra space in the sentence and find where you wrote, the “their” when it should be “they’re”.
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Kim Vermaak Media Kit
Kim is a multi-talented South African author, speaker, trainer and bookstore owner who has been
helping authors, entrepreneurs and knowledge workers build their brands for over 20 years. With a passion for bringing wisdom back into the art of storytelling, Kim has touched the hearts of many with her medieval fantasy series, while also empowering aspiring authors to turn their dreams into reality.
BookSirens is a legitimate resource for authors and readers alike that can help readers find books they’ll love, while matching authors with prospective reviewers so they can get more honest reviews.