Book & eBook Writing

Copyeditors: Self-Published Authors' Best Friends

Katherine Penta
May 4, 2017

Copyeditors are an integral part of any self-published author's success. When you publish your own work, you take a risk by not having your book published by an established publishing house. Copyeditors (like those found on Fiverr) help mitigate this risk.

They can ensure that your work is free of errors – be they in facts, spelling, punctuation, or grammar. By working with a copyeditor, you'll make sure that your work is taken seriously, building trust with future readers and potential publishers.

Why Do I Need a Copyeditor? Writing and copyediting are separate skills. You may know how to write a compelling story, but you'll need to hire a copyeditor to turn your story into a book ready for publication. Many first-time self-published authors are reluctant to make this investment.

But a quick glance at any self-published author's success story will make it clear that it's worth spending the money. The good news is that hiring a professional copyeditor is no longer cost-prohibitive. There are plenty of professional copyeditors who will edit your manuscript at low-cost.

Questions to Ask Copyeditors Before you approach a copyeditor with your manuscript, take time to review the following guidelines and figure out what you want from the experience:

  • Do you want to give your copyeditor permission to rewrite or rearrange sentences? Many copyeditors will work only on fixing minor errors, but some will take a more intensive approach – with your permission. Be clear about what you want.
  • The best copyeditors will enhance your voice without allowing their own to take over. Make sure your copyeditor understands the integrity of your voice.
  • Ask potential copyeditors for their credentials. Have the books they've copyedited been published?
  • Establish a fee structure (will you pay them by the page or by the project?) as well as a timeline for completion of copyedits.
  • Seek out copyeditors who have had experience with self-publishing. While not necessary, their advice could be a big help to you when it comes to positioning your book for success.

What's next after copyediting While it's imperative for self-published authors to work with copyeditors, if your budget allows for it, you might also consider hiring a developmental editor (for big-picture edits) and a proofreader (for the tiniest of details).Self-published authors should seek to make every aspect of their book as professional as possible, meaning that it's also a great idea to find someone to design a book cover, or help with your marketing and promotional plans.

For authors who are publishing for the first time, it doesn't make sense to blow your budget on expensive copyediting services. But it's also a mistake to forgo copyeditors entirely. Hiring a Fiverr copyeditor who can polish your manuscript for an affordable fee is easy – and essential.

Have you worked with copyeditors? Are you a self-published author with a success story? Tell us in the comments below!

Katherine Penta
Brand and copy expert with over six years of experience developing brand personas, managing content, and writing copy for brands like Neutrogena, Visa, and Adobe.
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