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Self-Publishing Do’s and Don’t’s

An excellent article about the ins and outs of self-publishing recently appeared on CNET.com. http://tiny.cc/dw7ngw It’s written by David Carnoy, Executive Editor at CBS Interactive and formerly an editorial director at a dotcom start-up. Most importantly, he wrote a novel called Knife’s Edge which he self-published against the advice of his agent, and lucked out when after the self-publishing his agent successfully hawked it to The Overlook Press.

Even nicer from the Independent Editors Group’s point of view, Carnoy devotes three paragraphs to explaining his experience with one of the IEG’s editors and why those who opt for the “indie” publishing experience might do well to get in touch with book doctors like us. Here are the relevant paragraphs:

“16. If you’re serious about your book, hire a book doctor and get it copy edited.

“OK, so I’ve just told to avoid “packages” from publishers and yet I’m now saying you need editing and copy editing. So, where do you go? Well, before I sent my book out to agents, I hired a “book doctor” who was a former acquisition editor from a major New York publishing house (like most editors he worked at a few different houses). He happened to be the father of a friend from college, so I got a little discount, but it still wasn’t cheap. However, after I’d made the changes he suggested, he made some calls to agents he knew and some were willing to take a look. He was part of Independent Editors Group (IEG), a group of former acquisition editors who take on freelance editing projects for authors.

“While I didn’t use his copy editor (I used a friend of a friend who currently works at a big publishing house), he and other editors in his group can suggest people. To be clear, this isn’t going to be a better deal than what you’d get from a package deal with a self-publisher, but these people are experienced and are going to be upfront and honest with you. They’re not just pushing your book out to move it along the line on the conveyor belt, though they are trying to make a living. (Warning: they don’t take on all writers).”

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