As sophisticated as I consider myself, I found out I was pretty naive about the world of publishing. After I’d finished my book, I immediately set to getting it published. I sent several unedited copies to publishing houses in New York, figuring they'd be sitting around dying to get the next great book idea. They are. This wasn't it. I never heard from them but I think I could hear the laughing all the way from New York.
I gave copies of it to a couple of folks on the ski patrol to read. They came back with similar sentiments. "Interesting pile of words you've got there. Why don't you find an editor?" One suggested I contact a friend of his named Nancy Grossman. I did. Nancy was immediately enthusiastic.
Nancy had a ready understanding about how sensitive we writers can be and that any little thing will send us into a snit. At the same time she immediately got what I was trying to do here and embellished it. It was amazing to me what a difference a word here or a changed phrase there could make. She rarely forced her opinion, but when she did I usually had to agree. She also cured me of my habit of inserting a comma after every two words. The best thing: Nancy never lost sight of the fact that this was my book. She just proofread, polished and kept things pointed in the right direction.
For any of you who think you might be sitting on the next best seller...you could do worse than to run it by Nancy. Give her a hello at firstname.lastname@example.org. I won't be getting a finders fee, but you can consider my advice on this solid!
─ Gerry Dougherty, author of A Slippery Slope:
A Middle-Aged Guy's Bumpy Run
from Early Retirement
to Ski Bum
to Ski Patroller
to Physician Assistant
Nancy W. Grossman © 2012
• You want final say— total control over your project.
• You want ownership of the rights to your work.
“So, why self publish?”
• You have a project that simply cannot wait. It takes time to get published through a traditional trade publisher, who often schedule eighteen months or more into the future for a limited number of annual releases. You'd like to see your book out in the world within three months of submission of your manuscript.
• Or perhaps you have a project ultimately suited for trade publication but have not found a publisher willing to take it on. Wayne Dyer's Erroneous Zones and the highly successful What Color is Your Parachute series are two prime examples of projects that could not find publishers — until, of course, they became runaway bestsellers through self publication.
“And,” you may be asking yourself, “why do I need to hire an editor? My sister-in-law, who teaches fifth grade, has volunteered to give the proof a read-through for me. My husband’s read it three times, bless him, and he thinks it’s just fine. In fact he’s been pushing me to send it out to some publishers. I don’t need the added expense of an editor,” you well might be grumbling.
Rather than go into a boring lecture on the necessity of professional editors, especially the kind who find the Chicago Manual of Style great beach reading, let me have one of our authors, Gerry Dougherty, tell you everything you need to know, in his own inimical style.