Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Mystery of a Great Manuscript

At the Love is Murder mystery writers conference last weekend I talked to a lot of self published and Print-On-Demand authors about what they can do to make their books a success. There are a lot of options, from cover selection to interior design to writing a series character versus a stand alone. But you have to start with a good manuscript, and much of what goes into one is not optional. I was reminded of that because during a chat about the various steps leading to publication one author told me that he planned to pay a publicist thousands to market his book but he couldn’t afford a professional editor and so would skip that step.

I had to tell him that, in this writer’s opinion. That is not an option. You might just as well decide not to have a picture on the cover. In other words, if you can’t afford to get a professional editor to work your manuscript, well, you can’t afford to publish your book.

No matter how good a writer you think you are, EVERYONE needs an editor. If you have any hopes of selling copies of your book it needs to be as close to flawless as possible. And if you want an agent to show your work to a publisher, it has to be polished.

Remember, the big publishers wouldn’t let your book go out without being professionally edited, and neither should you.

No comments: