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3 Reasons Why Edited Indie Books Are Still Awful

Many readers who delve into the indie book world know there's an epidemic with poor editing. The usual assumption is that the book was never formally introduced to an editor. The runner up assumption is that the editor had no idea what they were doing. And while both of these scenarios happen more often than they should, there are some other factors not usually discussed.

So, guess what we're doing today? Discussing why edited books are still awful, of course.

What did you think we were going to do?

The first point will hurt some feelings, so I apologize in advance. Kind of. But the truth is, a lot of manuscripts for indie writers don't show up to their editor in the same shape they would to a traditional publishing house editor. In short, if the manuscript had that many errors, it probably wouldn't have made it to the publisher to begin with. That's not saying the story is bad or that poor writing is never picked up, but traditional publishers do have to balance the work vs pay off.

Which leads us into the next point. Traditional publishers can put manuscripts through multiple edits. Considering indie authors pay out of pocket for their edits, it's unlikely most are going to hire multiple editors or pay for multiple passes.

So these two points alone—the shape of the original manuscript combined with limited editing—already tips the scale toward traditional publishers.

But there's a final point: editors for indie authors have no actual say in any of it. A publisher can refuse to publish something that doesn't meet their standards. Indie editors can only give their advice. Authors don't always agree with the changes, even with ample evidence of why it's probably a good idea, and editors are forced to let it go.

Are these excuses to charge money for poorly edited books? No, no at all. I did hire three editors for my novel, SUMMONED, and I'm glad I did. But I also understand the limitations of not having a traditional publisher backing a novel, so I try to be a little forgiving when I see a misplaced comma in an otherwise pretty well polished indie book.

What do you think can be done to improve the editing of indie books?


🐦CLICK TO TWEET🐦 #Authortip from @BookDailycom: 3 Reasons Why Edited Indie Books Are Still Awful by @rainyofthedark #amwriting


Rainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at Rainy of The Dark, and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona.

She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA. Someone told her she's a USA Today Bestselling author. She thought there would be cake.


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