3 Important Factors Make it Shine
As a ghostwriter, it breaks my heart to watch someone with a great story lower it to a plebeian level by:
- Writing it themself when they aren’t a writer (or don’t have time and passion to do it well)
- Publishing an unedited—or poorly edited—manuscript
- Choosing a schlocky cover
Yes, creating a book is pricey. But if your book—your long-held dream—is important to you, your business, or your legacy, please invest in it so the book you’ve dreamed of is the book you get.
You’ve wanted to write your book since forever but never seem to find the right time. Or, you have the time but just don’t like writing. Or, you’re not a good writer.
Hiring a Certified Ghostwriter to make your book dream become reality makes the process simple, secure, and confidential. You and your ghost work together for interviews, chapter-by-chapter revisions, and editing. Working with a book industry insider helps you gain from their insights, tips, and tools.
But many people buy small, cheap book packages that consign them to a specific amount of words, pages, or revisions. After additional fees for every format, edit, or design element is added on, ‘cheap’ no longer describes the project fee.
Is it just me—an editor—who stumbles over every spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors? No, they also make readers stop reading. Good editing catches these mistakes in your manuscript and keeps readers turning the page.
Your first draft is crucial. It allows you to pour you soul and vision onto the page. But 99.9% of the time, a first draft contains extraneous or disorganized info. Your gold is there but it needs to be liberated. That is why traditional publishing houses rarely accept first drafts.
Enter editing’s magic touch. Edits comes in four distinct flavors because no one can catch every mistake:
- Development/content edit (also called ‘structural’ or ‘comprehensive’)
This first manuscript edit looks at the flow of the entire piece to assure your nonfiction information is organized and the topic is presented clearly, or that your fiction plot action advances plausibly and effectively.
- Line/copy edit
Ever read a book you just couldn’t put down? I’ll bet you dinner for a week that it had a good line edit. Line edits tighten your writing so it pulls the reader from moment to moment in fiction, or concept to concept in non-fiction.
It’s also the edit that comes to mind when most people hear the word.
Line editing can make or break your book. This second edit looks at spelling, grammar, syntax (sentence structure), punctuation, and manuscript formatting.
It removes redundant or weak wording (often passive voice) that slows the plot’s pace, trips up your reader and makes them stop reading, or causes a literary agent dump your manuscript in the circular file after thirty seconds.
- Formatting edit
This third edit helps make your manuscript appealing to literary agents and publishing house acquisition editors by guaranteeing that your work conforms to the latest publishing industry standards for presentation and organization.
Agents and acquisition editors get hundreds of manuscripts every week. Consequently, they have a mere one minute to read and decide whether to keep going or toss it.
Poor formatting screams to an agent that the author hasn’t bothered to give their manuscript a competitive edge by making it as easy to read as possible, and hasn’t paid attention to industry standards.
Gone are the days when elite editors of publishing houses in ivory towers could afford to spend time whipping a manuscript into salable form through multiple revisions. In today’s fast-moving world, authors are responsible for formatting, content, and structure.
This final edit catches what you and your editor are too close to the material to see. A proofreader who does not know you or your writing voice reads your work with a cold third-party eye, finding misspelling, strange punctuation, or random words left over from previous drafts.
Book covers are a gateway drug to book readers.
A schlocky cover risks dissuading potential readers from picking it up.
In these days of wide-spread self-publishing, bad covers are a dime a dozen. But good— even great—covers are so affordable that the only person who should design their own is a graphic artist turned author. Otherwise, use places like 99designs to hire an artist who can match your vision or style.
If a traditional publisher accepts your book, forget about cover design—they’ll probably change not only your cover, but your title.
But if you use a hybrid or self-publishing path, please give your book the value it deserves — hire a good designer.
Please don’t cheapen your book if it’s intended to
- promote your business
- convey your experience
- explain your discoveries
- tell your success
- capture your life story
- take the world on your novel’s ride
Invest in book-writing professionals who will help you tell your story in its fullness and set it up for the professional, competitive consideration it deserves.