Several weeks ago, I felt myself slipping into melancholia. It’s my nature and I accept that, but I try not to give into it for long. This time, reading what I shouldn’t triggered my dark mood. I’d read a couple of blog posts that made ol’ low-confidence me want to remove my books from the market and disappear from the virtual world.
One of those posts advised indie writers not to subject readers to garbage work—and I agree with that. The problem was that they defined garbage work as any writing that hasn’t been professionally edited. The bottom line: if you can’t afford to hire a professional editor you don’t have the right to publish.
The other post advised publishing only professionally edited writing—with this stipulation: if you do have the audacity to publish work not professionally edited, you must make it permanently free. After all, how dare you expect someone to pay for what is undoubtedly garbage!
I hung my head.
I hadn’t hired a professional editor for my first two books, but I didn’t have the heart to take them completely off the market. They’re exclusive with Amazon, for the time being, so I couldn’t make them permanently free, but I considered lowering the ebook prices to 99-cents and withdrawing the print version.
For a while, I was sad, sad, sad.
And then I said, “Hold on. Who says?”
Unfortunately, I didn’t save the posts, but if I recall correctly, someone affiliated with traditional publishing wrote one of them, and a professional editor wrote the other. So, yeah, consider the source.
No matter how much self-confidence I lack, no matter how hard my perfectionist nature judges my writing, this I know: my writing is not garbage!
For reasons I’ve stated before, I don’t think traditional publishing is for me, so having access to a professional editor that way is out.
The other option is to spend my entire month’s income to hire a freelance professional editor. Unfortunately, I’m too fond of running water, electricity, and food to make that sacrifice.
So I won’t be hiring a professional editor for my next book—unless I find one willing to volunteer their services in exchange for a testimonial or a money miracle occurs (not holding my breath for either.)
Instead, as before, I’ll write, edit, revise, seek feedback from capable writer friends whose writing is strong where mine is weak, and then edit and revise again, as many times as it takes to assure the result won’t be garbage.
I guarantee: My books won’t change the world or likely ever bear the New York Times Best Seller banner or may not suit your particular reading taste, but they’ll never be garbage.