Saturday, September 18, 2021
Independent Publishing Writing

Self-Publishing: How to Choose What’s Right, pt. 2

Sel-Publishing Post 4

Today’s Self-Publishing post is part 2 of 3 in the “How to Choose What’s Right” posts. Today I will concentrate on editing and proofreading, as well as a few marketing tips I have learned. As always, feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer them.

Editing and Proofreading-What’s the difference?

When I first got into publishing I thought that editing and proofreading were pretty much the same. Then I heard other terms being bandied about: Line editing, copy editing, content editing, and proofreading. So, what is the difference and why are some more expensive than others?

There are many different definitions out there, but I will use the ones I found on various websites of editors I will link to soon. Here goes (I’ll add some fun pictures to make it less boring):

Content Editing

Editing2In content editing the focus is on the broad arc of the story. Do the characters stay consistent? Are there problems with the plot? What issues rise out of different parts of the writing? Is the order in which you tell your story the most effective? Is the voice of the narration consistent through the book? The editor takes the book after you’ve finished the rough draft and an initial pass and reads it carefully making notes in the margins.

The editor will not re-write your book, fix the problems they see or insist that you fix them in the manner that they suggest.

Line Editing

This is where the editor looks for things like a character’s name being spelled differently in various

places, or problems with timing or dates. They might point out that you are using one word or phrase a lot. Maybe someone acts on knowledge before the phone call that tells them. It is more focused. They may see some of these issues and comment on them, but not all. You will want to have your writing go through content editing before you look for a line editor.

Copy Editing

This is the third line of defense and is very much like proofreading. Here the editor goes through the book word by word looking for spelling and grammatical errors. They may also look at formatting oddities if you ask them to. They are unlikely to point out the higher level issues since their focus is the words and sentences.


Editing4This is the final edit when the editor goes through your book and checks for spelling and grammatical errors or sentences that really don’t make sense. If you can’t do all of them, I definitely recommend having at least one person proofread for you.

Should you do it yourself or pay for help?

That is up to you and how much you can afford. I am still fairly poor and can’t afford to get all these different levels of editing done for my books. Especially since many of the people who do those types of editing cost over $1,000!

I have never done my proofreading for myself. I can catch typos in other people’s books (really annoying if I’m just reading for pleasure), but in my own, it is nearly impossible. For my first two books, I had my mom and sisters do my proofreading because I couldn’t afford anyone else. Amazing Grace and all three novellas were proofread by my mom and sisters and I also paid someone else to do them because I was referred to someone (thanks, Elizabeth K.!) who offered proofreading services at a very affordable price without being “cheap.” And Kelsey has done a great job!

If you have the money and/or really need to get some extra editing help, I do know of a few people who are reasonable and who only cost hundreds of dollars rather than thousands.


Editing1Various editing options:

  • There are lots of editors of various sorts on this Facebook group, but some of them do charge a lot. In order to see any of the websites of these people you’ll have to request to join the group and look in the Files:

Proofreading only:


Marketing Tips

Tip #1: Be willing to spend money in order to sell books. The times I have sold the most books were thebooks-22832 times I spent money on advertising. You do have to be a little careful to make sure that you aren’t overspending, but most places have good return for the money. For some tips on how to market some, check out this blog series (I linked to the last post in the series since it had links back to the others) by the Fix My Story blog.

Resources for Writing in General

  • Jordan does a great job of posting relevant, informative posts on the Fix My Story blog. A lot of them are about marketing.
  • K.M Weiland posts something at least twice a week, probably even more and always about writing. Her posts are fast-paced, short, and packed with information on how to be a better author, editor of your own books, and marketer.

Advertising Sites

(Warning: The links were all working when I posted this, but I cannot guarantee they will continue to work.)

Free (or free options) for submission

Cheap (under $50 for most categories-Also went with $0.99 or cheaper sales)

More expensive, but worth it (over $50 in most categories)


Previous Topics:

June 2Self-Publishing: My Journey

  • Indie vs. Traditional
  • Why I Chose the Indie Route

June 9Self-Publishing: How to get started.

  • What are the first steps?
  • FAQs

June 16Self-Publishing: How to Choose What’s Right pt. 1

  • What to do for yourself and what to pay for?
    • ISBN numbers- free or paid?
    • Cover Design (with resources) – (And also, what do you suggest for book covers? Did you design yours yourself, or have someone else?)

June 30-Self-Publishing: How to Choose What’s Right? pt. 3

  • Formatting: Guest Post from Penoaks Publishing
Faith Blum
<p>I am Faith Blum, author of over 25 books. Most of them are Christian Historical Fiction. I am a small-town Wisconsin girl. I have lived in, or outside of, small towns my whole life. The thought of living in a city with more than 60,000 people in it scares me, especially after some interesting adventures driving through big cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.</p> <p>I currently reside in the middle of the state of Wisconsin with my husband and our cat, Smokey. I am blessed to be able to have writing as my full-time career with household work and cooking to do on the side. I am also teaching Writing Lessons, doing writing consulting, and am slowly building a Young Living Essential Oils business.</p>

10 thoughts on “Self-Publishing: How to Choose What’s Right, pt. 2

  1. Hi Faith,
    I discovered you on Homeschooled Authors a few months ago and though I’ve not read any of your books yet I hope to remedy that in the near future! 🙂

    I’m in the final stages of editing my first novel and am planning on indie-publishing. These posts you’ve done about self-publishing have been extremely helpful to me! Marketing is something that I’ve been particularly concerned about, but this post and all the ideas you give make it feel much more manageable!

    Thank you for doing these posts. The information has been invaluable!


    1. Thanks, Ivy! I hope you enjoy them! 😀

      That is great! Marketing is something I’m still trying to figure out. I have learned a few tips and hopefully will learn more in the future. If you’re on Facebook, look up the Clean Indie Reads group. It’s a great group where authors help each other learn and also help to promote each other.

      I am so glad the posts helped you.

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