When you are a newbie in the world of self-publishing the steps to a successful book launch are pretty daunting. I spent a lot of time doing research and found a lot of information. Distilling what information I want to use and what I want to put on the back burner is also a process. I want to share my decisions, hopefully another newbie will stumble on my notes and will find them useful.
A number of things can be done in parallel, but working with the book editor is fairly long process so it was one of the first things I did.
There are three approaches to editing your book:
(1) Ask several friends to proof read your book and request brutally honest comments. The quality of the results depends a lot on the background of your friends, some of them might be good editors, but most are not.
(2) Put your editing job out for bid (e.g. Fiverr) or do a fixed price job posting on Craig’s list. Using this approach you generally don’t know what quality of the work you will get or even if the editor is a native speaker.
(3) Hire a professional editor. Obviously, this will generate the best quality product but this option is expensive. Professional editors charge per word, and the price varies depending on what kind of editing you are looking for (grammar only vs improving the structure in addition to grammar). The lowest quote I got was 3 cents per word.
The best advice I found for hiring an editor no matter what option you decide to choose is to hire someone to do 10 pages of the manuscript. This will give you a good idea if you like working with that specific editor and if you are satisfied with his or her work. If the answer is no, you can cut your loses after spending a relatively small amount of money.
If the editor does his or her job there will be a lot of corrections! Put on your thick skin!