Monday, May 26, 2014

Can I get away with only using beta-readers or am I crazy?


I'm feeling a little conflicted today and I need your help, please. I have recently read a few books about self-publishing and some of the authors mention that you should have your work professionally edited, no excuses. Others suggest using critique groups and even beta-readers to get your story into publishing shape. A very small few say that you should reshape your novel so that you are happy with it and proud to put it out into the world.

I wanted to use beta-readers to tell me what they liked and hated about the story. But do I want fellow writers to think my work is a joke, no. So, do you think one can get away with only using beta-readers, or am I being stupid?

I can't afford professional editing. My budget only covers professional formatting and e-book + print covers. When I say budget, of course what I mean is that I'm still working to make the money.

Books I have read/are still reading 
  • Ditch the Publisher (Finished)
  • Indiestructable (Finished)
  • Secrets of successful writers (Finished)
  • Write good or die (Finished)
  • The naked truth about self-publishing (Still reading)
  • Indie Author Survival guide (Still reading)

Anybody have any suggestions or further book recommendations? Thanks.

12 comments :

  1. I would use a combination of both - there are some very reasonably priced editors amongst the blogging community, you just have to search/ask/plead :-) In fact, you'll find some competitive cover designers and formatters too. I'll try to find some names for you.

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  2. I've heard using both critique partners and a professional editor is a must for self-published books.

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  3. Murees, I trust myself as an editor, but I work with a publisher who edits the book as well. I don't know much about self-publishing. Good luck with your project.

    Mary Montague Sikes

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    1. Thank you. I always need help with my writing. So maybe I do need the help of a professional.

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  4. Use both. The beta readers can help you get your manuscript in good shape, but they are not professional editors. I would never publish something that hasn't been professionally edited. You'll pay for it in the reviews.

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    1. Thank you for the honest words. I'm starting to think not using an editor is a big mistake.

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  5. I would never suggest that an author NOT using a professional editor. I say use both. If that means you have to wait a little bit longer to earn the funds, then so be it.

    Reviewers will tear you apart for a lot of inconsistencies/grammatical mistakes. I've seen it loads of times with self publishers, and it's just not worth it. I have a list of really great editors I used on my first book that I'm using again, and they have VERY reasonable rates and are willing to work with the authors on prices. Shoot me an email if you want some recommendations.

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    1. Thank you Katie! You are so kind. The honesty is really important and I agree about maybe waiting until I have more funds. I don't want people ripping me apart about the quality of my work.

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  6. Murees, I've also used both beta reader and then a professional edit and critique. I've published with a small press Black Opal Books and then the book goes through 3 more edits. If interested look up Kim Graff online. She's an intern at PSLiterary, and is reasonably priced for your needs.

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    1. Thank you so much! You are very kind. I am grateful for the info.

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