Self-publishing can become quite a costly undertaking. Not only can you expect to expend considerable time and energy, but you must be ready to dig deep into your pockets to prepare your book for publication and circulation. And because self publishing does not afford the backing of a publishing house, it is up to you to ensure that your book meets the necessary standards.
Editing is an essential element of self-publishing; however, editing services can cost a lot of money. Most writers in pursuit of their self publishing dreams do not possess the necessary funds required to have their book edited professionally. If this is your struggle, there are a few cheap editing options that can help you polish your manuscript without exceeding your budget. These include the following:
1. Attend Classes and Workshops
Have you ever taken writing classes on your road to self-publishing? And how about all those editing workshops you keep ignoring? Writing courses and editing workshops are home to a wide variety of writers that are looking to prove their worth. These writers will provide professional editing services to desperate authors for a few hundred dollars. Why? Workshops, in particular, are very lucrative because they are attended by editors who are looking to create a reputation. As such, they will be open to editing your manuscript for a far cheaper fee than the average professional editor. And since they want you to spread the word about their skills, they will endeavor to deliver the best possible results.
2. Hire (Graduate) Students
If you think the people who attend workshops are desperate, you'll be astonished by the hunger with which graduate students will plead with you for the opportunity to edit your content.
Graduate students are cheap because they are looking for any opportunity that will allow them to practice their craft while making money. You should be able to hire an editor from this particular circle for a few hundred dollars. Word of caution – their lack of experience (for which they make up with their zeal) might come back to haunt you if you don't check their work for satisfaction before signing off on it.
3. Look for Beta Readers
If you cannot even afford to hire the services of graduate students or editors hanging out in workshops, then you can just as easily settle for beta readers. Beta readers are not as skilled as professional editors but they have a very critical eye. For $50 or even less, they will, at the very least, make your manuscript market-ready. And for self publishing purposes, that is enough to actually succeed. Beta reading groups can be found all over the internet – Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter, Beta Readers’ Hub and more.
4. Participate in Writing Forums
Writing forums (especially the traditional offline variety) are a great editing resource to use when self-publishing your manuscript. If you have a small group of writers with whom you regularly meet and who have notable experience as authors, their collective minds should adequately meet your editing requirements.
Online groups and forums are complicated by the lack of trust. Nonetheless, if you can locate a group of writers in an online writing group that you can trust, do not be afraid to take advantage of the diverse opinions they can provide you regarding your book.
Writing forums are not perfect, but they are a starting point. They can, at the very least, get your manuscript off the ground.
Authors are very biased when it comes to their own material. However, it is possible to edit your own book. It is not advisable, of course, but it can be done. If you choose to take the do-it-yourself route, you may want to take a few online courses first (many of which are free). This way you'll at least know what to look for before conducting an edit. Also, once you've completed the task of writing your book, you need to separate yourself from your manuscript for a lengthy period of time before tackling the editing process. Doing so will allow you to return to your book with fresh eyes and an objective mind.
It should be noted that, if you can afford to splurge on editing services, then do so. Editing is one of the most important aspects of self-publishing. Only take the cheap route if you absolutely have no choice. Otherwise, making the financial investment will be well worth it in the long run.