Why do I need an editor?
If you had computer problems you couldn’t fix, and your young, computer wizard neighbor could not fix, what would you do? You’d take the computer to a reputable repair shop. They are experts and know what to look for – what parts to replace or software to reinstall and how to instruct you to keep your computer in good running condition. You trust them
As with this example, there must be a relationship of trust between an author and editor. Find an editor who has the best interest of you, the author, and your target market in mind. You want to find an editor who has some expertise in your topic or genre.
The editor will look at many things: rewriting, structural, stylistic, grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of style while also checking for consistency. Without an editor, your manuscript will not be its best.
Can’t I just sell my book through Bookstores?
Yes you can, but know that bookstores take 55% of sales because they have overhead and promotion expenses. If your book doesn’t sell, they will return unsold books to you. Plus, fewer people are actually shopping at bookstores with the acceptance of online sellers and eBooks. You will do well to think of POD (publish on demand) so you don’t wind up with a garage full of unsold books.
Why do I need to get permission for using a quote or photo?
Copyright is the simple answer.
If a book is copyrighted, you must get permission or risk opening yourself up to a lawsuit.
That being said, even if the work you want to quote is not copyrighted, it’s a good idea to get permissions anyway. It’s not difficult for another author to prove the work is theirs.
If the author is no longer living (copyright lasts until an author’s death plus 70 years), their estate could sue you. Getting permission for using a deceased author’s work can be quite an adventure and is not always successful.
Also, you want to request permissions at the same time you decide you want to use the material. Get It In Writing! If permission is not granted or you can’t afford a possible fee, you will have to start over with that thought or direction in your manuscript.
Have a system in place to keep track of the permissions. It will help you track the status of permissions you have requested and can record where the documentation is kept in case you ever need it.
You talk about hiring different people – I’m not looking to be a boss with employees. Tell me why I need to do this.
Pardon my bluntness, but it’s the difference between publishing a potential award winner and publishing something only your family and friends will purchase. You have poured your heart and soul into your book. This is your message so you want to present it in the best possible way.
One person doesn’t have the proficiency needed to publish a book. They may have the knowledge of what is needed, but cannot do or be proficient in each function.
Think of it more as a team. Your team works in their individual areas of expertise to put everything together for a win. You’re the coach. You bring it all together at final edit. Or, you hire an Author’s Assistant to be the coach.
Here are some of the team members you need:
Interior Layout Designer (dependent on how you plan to publish)
Marketing Specialist along with support people