The Importance Of Editing For The Self-published Author

book editing

Frank Moriarty has published 16 books, most of them through traditional publishing houses, but his latest book, Modern Listener Guide: Jimi Hendrix, is a sprawling, big, beautiful self-published work that takes you on a guided tour of Jimi Hendrix’s recorded output and injects history and context to your listening experience. In this video, Frank speaks about the importance of editing for every book, especially for self-published authors.

Frank Moriarty: Hi, I’m Frank Moriarty, I’m an author of 16 published books in the nonfiction genre and I’m about to do my first book about the music of Jimi Hendrix, Modern Listener Guide: Jimi Hendrix, with BookBaby.

The editing process of any book is very important. I’ve been pretty fortunate in that I’ve had a lot of writing experience — not just writing books, but doing web content development, articles for magazines, I was a weekly music columnist for one newspaper for a decade and for several years for another — and in all that time I’ve developed a pretty sharp sense of editing. But no matter what you write or how carefully you write, there’s nothing like having an experienced set of eyes on your project. It’s amazing, the things that are caught in the editing process.

Andre Calilhanna, Editor/Content Manager of the BookBaby Blog: If you talk to a published author or an experienced writer, they’ll tell you that editing is a crucial step in the publishing process. You can’t go from first draft to publication without having at least one edit — in fact, I’d say it’s a multi-step process.

Frank Moriarty: I would say the entire text went through maybe five good editing processes and it really is a critical step. If I look at some of the text in its original format, it’s astonishing comparing it to the way it is now. I can be wordy, some of the sentences are extremely long — not to mention just the little things like “from” misspelled as “form,” things like that that get caught. Those are the little details. So it’s both a conceptual edit and a line edit and I think all those phases are critical to any book project.

Andre Calilhanna: Whatever edits you are going to do yourself, it’s an important part of the process to then have a third-party editor come in with a critical eye and objective perspective to make sure your writing is consistent from the beginning to the end of your book. It could be as simple as a proofread, where they’re looking for typos and punctuation errors; it could be a copy edit, where they’ll do a more intensive review and edit of the piece, looking at syntax and making sure there aren’t any grammatical errors; then there’s the line edit, which takes that to the next level where they’re also looking at sentence and paragraph structure; and there’s developmental editing, which is happening at a much earlier stage of the writing process, where they’re taking a macro look at the story and making sure there aren’t any flaws or inconsistencies. Whatever level of edit you’re looking for, a proofread and copy edit are things you’re going to want to have before you go to publication.

Jim Young, Director of Sales, BookBaby: You certainly want to get to get your book edited, you want professional cover design and manuscript formatting. And the great thing about BookBaby is we’re a one-stop shop: we have editing, cover design, manuscript formatting, eBook conversion, worldwide distribution, print-on-demand distribution, and, of course, we print the best book in the business.

Watch the other videos featuring Frank Moriarty:
Self Publishing Lets You Take Creative Control
Book Production And The Self-Published Author

Check out BookBaby’s YouTube channel for more.

Frank Moriarty has been writing professionally for decades, beginning with music reviews and interviews with artists ranging from Grace Slick to Robin Trower in the 1970s. In the years since, he’s expanded his fields of interest to include motorsports, the national space program, and other realms as an author, columnist, and writer. His latest book, Modern Listener Guide: Jimi Hendrix is now available at BookBaby’s BookShop.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.