POD Authors Need To Hire Editors By Dougie Child

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Authors, heed my words. Hire an editor. Find someone you have never met before, some good soul with a great resume and references, but someone who has no emotional interest in you or your project. Hire an editor who won’t give a rat’s shiny fanny whether your manuscript changes the course of history; hire an editor who just wants to know what your deadlines are and whether your check will clear.

I am by profession one of these editors, and I also make a decent living wage as a ghostwriter. Considering the quantity of disorganized sentences that I have strung together into readable text, I thought myself well qualified to edit my own book. Each line of text was painstakingly broken down and reconstructed, every argument assessed for hyperbole and flaws in presentation. This, I thought as I submitted my manuscript for publication, was a solid book.

However, when I read the first printed galley copy of the manuscript, I was moved to tears. Where did these errors come from? The mistakes in grammar? The spelling? The missing words? And some of these statements don’t even make sense! Hundreds of problems stared at me in dead, accusatory print.

All publishing houses require their prospective authors to make certain sacrifices, and many require a loss of control over the manuscript. Editing was a sacrifice I was not prepared to make, as the majority of POD houses tend to up-sell authors on editing services and charge inflated prices. I would not pay some editor of questionable background large sums of money to do a job (I thought) I could easily do myself. Booklocker.com caught my eye for this reason, for they do not force in-house editing onto its prospective clients. They have a list of freelance editors from which authors can obtain quotes, but they don’t earn referral fees or any compensation from these editors, and authors are free to hire an editor from elsewhere if they choose.

I was stunned when I discovered errors in the first printed version of the manuscript, and in the next version