From time to time in this space, Balboa Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. These are the words of Christie Bakeman, author of It’s Your Life……Own It! Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information on self-publishing your book with Balboa Press.
You have just accomplished something major in your life. You finished writing your book! It wasn’t easy, and certainly not what you expected when you began. You traveled through that jungle of your mind, avoiding the quicksand of doubt and overcoming the snares of unworthiness that attempted to entangle you. Perseverance was your companion as you read and revised it multiple times. You are finally ready to share it with the world.
Then someone suggests to have it edited before it can be published. Do you panic at the very thought or do you accept it as part of the process? If you are a first time author you aren’t sure what the process is. That was the case for me however the universe brought me to Balboa Press. I had decided to self publish for a number of reasons and one of the most important was consistency of my message. I wanted control over how that message was delivered.
I had a misconception about editing, thinking it was about grammar and proper word usage alone. The team I worked with at Balboa was patient and made sure that I understood the different types of edits that were required and the expected time frame for each stage. Having written a book full of true stories, I thought I’d been careful about protecting the identity of individuals, yet I was shown that some changes were required to protect me, the author. I appreciated the fact that they knew more about this than I.
When it was suggested that my book would benefit from a line edit review, I found it difficult to be objective. I would be entrusting my creation to someone I didn’t know. That felt very similar to leaving your toddler at a day care the very first day he was going to be away from you. Concern, panic and that aching in your heart as you say “I love you, mommy will see you soon.” At some level you know it will be okay, yet you can’t help but wonder and worry.
I write as if I’m having a conversation with my reader and I was concerned that the editor would change that tone. I wanted the sarcasm and humor to come through so I could connect with the reader as if they were my friend. I know that I’m a strong communicator and have a decent understanding of language but I also had to recognize and come to terms with the fact there were things I didn’t know. The publishing industry was as unfamiliar as the jungles of Peru so I took the plunge with faith and turned over my creation to the unknown.
Having my book edited by a professional was probably the best decision I made during the publishing process. When I received the edited version, I opened the file with trepidation. To my delight, all of my concerns immediately evaporated like dew under the Arizona sun. The changes were small but what a difference they made in how the book read! The conversational tone was intact and in some cases improved upon by the change of a few words. The comments from the editor explained the why behind some changes and provided me information and insight I use each day that I write.
I am grateful for the editing staff at Balboa and the work they did on my behalf. I understand the hesitation to have your work edited. To some, it may be a financial concern and others are concerned about changes to the content. My experience proved to be invaluable based on the results. When you have put your heart and soul into a piece of work and are emotionally attached before you release it to the world, shouldn’t it be the best it can possibly be?
Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BalboaPress, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing blog@ balboapress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.