I was telling you last week about the good side of the self publishing. Unfortunately, where there is good there is often bad. And the bad side to my self publishing odyssey will have you screaming ‘I told you so’.
For regular readers of this column, you’ll know I didn’t get my e-book professionally edited. And sure enough as my sales figures started to rise so too did those reviewers who picked up on my poor editing skills. I knew my e-book wasn’t well edited, but I thought (naively) that people would read the sample chapter before buying it and realise it was a self published book. I saw the sample as a ‘try before you buy’ and thought they’d know what they were getting before they bought it. Yes, I now know that was such a wrong assumption to make…
The worst thing was that even though the reviewers slated my grammar and typos, they also actually liked the book. Which meant if I’d only made that little investment and got it properly edited then that wouldn’t have been a problem.
Whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing, I was faced with an awful dilemma: there on Amazon was my book with typos and errors. I couldn’t get it professionally edited as it would take too long, and with sales on the rise I couldn’t run the risk of more people reading it and getting more bad reviews. So I had to forgo the relaxing Easter I had planned and edit the hell out of it. I bought a Kindle, edited the book twice, and proofread it. Two weeks (and some sleepless nights later) I had a book that I was really pleased with. It had lost 1,000 words and I’d learned a hell of a lot about grammar.
After uploading my new edition I emailed Amazon and asked them to notify my customers. It might be embarrassing to have 2,000 people getting an email to tell them there is a corrected edition available, but I’d rather that than 2,000 people thinking I don’t realise I can’t spell.
I really wish I’d had my book properly edited – then there wouldn’t have been a ‘bad’ section to this story. I can only hope that it won’t put off those people buying another book I publish. If it does I only have my self to blame. And to those of you who are thinking of taking the self publishing plunge – don’t do it unless you have it professionally edited. Believe me, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of grey hairs!