Hiring Professionals, Part 2
Further to EDITING 101: 37 – Hiring Professionals, Part 1 last week, today we’re going to finish our discussion on hiring professionals to help you self-publish your book.
Hiring a book editor can be a little trickier than a cover designer, because you can’t see examples of the work ahead of time. Or can you? Almost all freelance book editors offer a free sample edit of your material just so you can see what they will do to your work. If they don’t offer a sample edit for free, walk away. There’s simply no telling what you’re getting into. Even if they offer samples of other peoples’ edits, that’s no indication as to what they’ll do to your material. If possible, send the same sample edit material to your top two or three picks. You will get to see who does what, who catches what, and whom you connect with. A professional website and demeanor are important, as well as a quick response to your initial contact. As always, happy previous customers generally indicate you will be happy with their work, as well. Ask about a contract that protects you from any problems. Not all editors use a formal contract, so don’t be worried if they don’t have one. A simple email or document explaining who will do what, when, and for how much can be sufficient.
In this case, the better prepared you are, the lower your price will be. If you have no idea what you want your trailer to look like, you may end up spending quite a bit of money on revisions, figuring out details. Watch book trailers on YouTube and make lists of things you like and things you don’t like. Since the videographer has not read your book, it’s up to you to convey to them the tone, style, and feeling that you want out of your book trailer. Colors, fonts, music, and graphics are details that you can decide upon ahead of time. A contract is a good idea, especially with a due date specified so you’re not waiting months for the finished process. As with the cover, if you’re going to be extremely fussy, expect to pay more for additional services. Check references, testimonials, and samples of other trailers the videographer has produced, and you might contact previous customers to see how easy or difficult the professional was to work with. In viewing the samples, watch out for poor quality, pacing errors, sound problems, and being too long. As with a cover, don’t settle for something you’re not happy with—this trailer represents you and your book! A cheap trailer is not better than nothing at all.
I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about hiring a publicist or marketer for your book. It’s not a profession that many self-published authors take advantage of, but if you have the resources, you might find it helpful in building your name and brand recognition. Other than the standard advice I’ve given in the previous professions (check references, responsiveness, and make sure they’re a genuine professional), you might find these websites helpful:
Next week we’ll discuss ‘Writing Your Synopsis and Back Cover Blurbs’
This series is not meant to be (nor will it be) simple static information.
I’ll be here for each post to answer questions, offer suggestions as necessary, and interact with you.
If there’s something you specifically want (or need!) to see addressed in terms of self-editing, please let me know in the comments under this, or any of the articles of the series.