Publish

Crowd-sourcing Your Book

As someone who is probably writing, or considering writing, a book, you know that nowadays you have options for publishing. You can try to find an agent, who should ideally help you find a publisher, or you can self-publish.

But if you decide to self-publish, what do you do about the whole persnickety editing process?  Most people’s written work needs to be edited. Most people need another set of eyes to help them see things they themselves might have overlooked, things such as grammatical errors or sloppy arguments.

Some people hire an editor. If you’re building a platform for your ideas, your audience is probably already providing you with feedback about the message you’re crafting. But you may still need input about your actual writing.

Some people have begun to use something like crowd-sourcing for editing. That is, they seek help from people willing to read a work before publication to have an impact on its progress. (Think of all the people who contribute reviews to Amazon, in return for early copies of a book – they’re not paid; and they’re happy to contribute to the buzz about a book because they’re “beta” testers of a book.)

Author Francis Tapon, who self-published his book The Hidden Europe, turned to amateur editors and signed up “beta readers” who received a draft of the manuscript in exchange for their feedback

Instead of hiring a book signer, he sponsored a contest in which the winner got $1,000 and the chance to design his cover. He received 80 submissions. And he had his tribe vote on the cover (you can see the book, which will be published next month, on his site).

He didn’t write the book with others, of course – but turned to others to help him with his book. It means you should be active participant in the marketing of your own work to achieve this. But you already are, aren’t you?

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