Tom Isbell, author of Southern Cross, on Indie Success.
Independent authors are caught in a vicious circle. Manuscript editing and cover design services cost money. If you have investigated using professional services, you know what I’m talking about. Considering the average author is lucky to sell over 300 printed books, it doesn’t take long to expend way more on publishing than can be netted by sales. There are notable exceptions and maybe you know one, but tales of success should be prefaced with: “These results are not typical.”
So what can the not-so-rich, independent authors do to ensure their manuscripts are the best they can be? Seek out and join a local author critique group of like-minded writers, hopefully with some successfully published authors. Your friends and relatives may read your manuscript, but they will never tell you that it sucks. The sucky part has to come from other people. Remember constructive criticism is the key. Nothing is personal. Good editing is not just grammar and punctuation, but also evaluating execution – point of view consistency, syntax, poor plot, and implausibility.