Posted by Adam | Posted in Self-Publishing, Tips for Writers | Posted on 21-05-2013
Despite the increasing popularity of many self-published authors, there is still something of a criticism levelled against many: namely, that books that are independently published aren’t always that good. This critique of lack of quality in self-published work is one we need to take seriously, especially for those of us who are keen to demonstrate that, actually, self-published work is often of a very high standard indeed.
This leads us to the question of what we can do to improve our work and make sure it’s of the highest possible standard before we hit the publish button. Here are 7 quality control checks for independent publishers.
- Careful, in-depth editing is a must. I’m sure this sounds obvious to most people, but diligent editing plays a large part in the quality of all books, self-published or not. Taking the time to get the story just right and every sentence perfected will pay dividends later.
- Several stages of proofreading. You’ll never catch every single mistake first time around, so several stages of proofreading will help to catch all of those little errors that can be so distracting to readers if the make it into the published version of a novel.
- Get someone else to read it before publication. Even if you aren’t going down the route of hiring a professional editor to go over your work, it’s worth getting someone with a critical eye to read it before you publish.
- Be careful with the formatting. Formatting an e-book is different to formatting a book for print – don’t just rely on your existing computer file and a bit of guesswork; researching formatting and taking the time to get it right is certainly worth it.
- Test how the book looks before publishing. If you’re going for the print option, get a sample of the book before you make it available to buy. If you’re going down the e-book route, make sure you test how the work will look on different e-readers and screens.
- See several different cover designs. Don’t just go with the first one you’re offered by your professional designer or tech-minded friend you’ve bribed into helping – a poor cover can put readers off, no matter how good the content inside might be.
- Take your time. No matter how eager you are to get on with the business of independent publishing, don’t rush the writing process. Taking your time to get your book as good as you can get it and understand publishing procedures will have a hugely beneficial impact on the quality of your book when you do eventually come to publish it.