Calling all self-starting scribes, neoteric novelists and motivated memoirists…
To mark this year’s National Novel Writing Month, Chichester Copywriter’s Katy Lassetter and freelance book designer Ben Ottridge launch a sensational self-publishing package.
Both Ben and Katy have experience at publishing houses and have also worked with a variety of fiction and non-fiction authors on a freelance basis over the past 10 years. Katy’s editing and proofreading skills go hand in hand with Ben’s professional typesetting service and are sure to make your self-publishing dreams come true.
How will editing improve your story? What does typesetting involve? Why would your completed book benefit from proofreading? All are revealed here…
The self-publishing journey
Self-publishing can kickstart your career as an author. Many writers have gained traditional publishing deals after first going down the self-publishing route. Did you know that the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon began as self-published Twilight fan fiction available as a free PDF online? And how about The Martian? The Hollywood blockbuster started out as an eBook published on Andy Weir’s website and ended up with Drew Goddard, Matt Damon and Sir Ridley Scott bringing it to life on screen.
A bit closer to home, Sussex-based co-authors of Once Upon a Touch… Story Massage for Children – a non-fiction title edited by Katy – got a traditional publishing deal after making global success through the power of social media marketing… more on that to come!
No matter whether you’re penning a murder mystery novel, a children’s picture book or a memoir, your self-publishing process will look something like this:
- Research book
- Write first draft
- Self-edit first draft
- Editing by professional
- Make edits suggested
- Proofread by friends/family
- Make changes suggested
- Typesetting by professional
- Proofreading by professional
- Market and sell
Copy-editor Katy and book designer Ben can help with stages four, eight and nine – some very important steps in your journey to self-publishing success. Digital marketing expert Katy can also help with stage eleven, which we’ll explore in our next blog article.
What is editing?
Grammarly defines copy-editing best here: “The tasks involved in copy editing include checking written material for grammar, spelling, style, and punctuation issues before it’s prepared for proofreading. A copy editor may also do a rewrite, if necessary, to fix any problems with transitions, wordiness, jargon, and to ensure the style of the piece fits with the publication. This work is known as revision”.
Here’s a breakdown of the things a copy editor like Katy would check and, if necessary, make suggestions for improvement on.
- Spelling, grammar and punctuation
- Style, tone and suitability of language
- Syntax, structure and flow
- Writing for effect e.g., using language and grammar creatively
- Fact-checking e.g., looking out for time anomalies (in period pieces)
Why is professional editing for a self-published book important?
An edited book is a better read. A good book editor will help authors to:
- Refine what they want to say
- Pace the story and tighten the writing
- Trim or expand areas as needed
- Engage their audience with a well-written story
- See things from another perspective
What is typesetting?
Book typesetting refers to the laying out of the text and images on the page, so it looks good and is easy to read (see examples of Ben’s work below). The process originally involved setting out metal type (hence the name) but now modern computer software is used. Unlike print books, eBooks are designed to flow and be adjusted by the reader. This means typesetting eBooks is more akin to website design than typesetting printed books.
Why is professional design for a self-published book important?
If you’re hoping to sell your book, in a crowded marketplace for self-published titles, professional design will help you stand out. A professional typesetter will know which fonts and layouts will work best for you and, more importantly, the reader.
For example, after traditionally publishing at first, popular travel author Anna Nicholas was able to continue her bestselling Mallorca series as self-published works. Professional book design kept a consistency with earlier titles in the series, making them easily recognisable to existing readers. This helped the new books become just as successful as previously professionally published titles.
What is proofreading?
Again, Grammarly coins it: “When the material is nearly a finished product, meaning it has been edited, laid out, and designed, the proofreader searches for typographical errors. The proofreader works with a facsimile of a finished product, or a proof (hence the term proofreading). Proofreaders don’t suggest major changes to the text; rather, they look for minor text and formatting errors and confirm the material is ready for publication”.
A book proofreader like Katy will focus on these three key areas:
- Spelling, grammar and punctuation
- Consistency – with style, formatting and language
- Typos and anomalies
Why is professional proofreading for a self-published book important?
There’s nothing worse than reading a really good story and being disrupted by typos and inconsistencies or confused by poor grammar and syntax. A good book proofreader like Katy will help authors to:
- Produce a quality product that you can be proud of – and that people want to read!
- Create and maintain a consistent brand – particularly important if you plan to write more self-published books
- Maintain accuracy – spelling mistakes are bad enough in adult titles but you have a responsibility to educate and inform children correctly when writing for them…
Katy and Ben’s self-publishing services packages
Here are some example self-published book packages to give you an idea of costs. Please note all projects are priced on application and we ask to see a sample of the writing to do this.
1000-word children’s book:
- Editing from £100
- Proofreading from £50
- Typesetting from £75
5000-word business eBook:
- Editing from £300
- Proofreading from £150
- Typesetting from £100
20,000-word local history book:
- Editing from £700
- Proofreading from £350
- Typesetting from £150
- Editing from £1000
- Proofreading from £600
- Typesetting from £175
- Editing from £1600
- Proofreading from £800
- Typesetting from £250
Are you interested in more information about Katy and Ben’s self-publishing services? Contact Chichester Copywriter today on 01243 533421 for an editing, proofreading or typesetting quote to help complete your self-publishing book journey.