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6 self-publishing tips for authors

By | editing, publishing, self-publishing, Writing tips | No Comments

The book industry is experiencing a self-publishing revolution. With the rapid growth of digital technology, it’s never been easier for aspiring authors to self-publish their stories. If you’re  wondering where to start with self-publishing, you’re not alone. Here are 6 tips for authors who want to self-publish their book.


What is self-publishing?

Self-publishing is where an author publishes their book independently on a digital platform (such as Amazon or Apple iBooks Author) instead of using a traditional publishing house.

What are the advantages of self-publishing?

Traditional publishing involves getting an agent to pitch your book to a publishing house and fighting to get your manuscript approved by said publishing house. It’s a long-winded process over which the author has little control. In contrast, self-publishing is completely independent. It encourages a greater diversity in the literary world and what’s more, because there are no agent or publisher fees to pay, it allows authors to earn more from the sales of their book.

How much does self-publishing cost?

Self-publishing isn’t free, so you’ll need to consider several factors when planning your publishing budget. For example, you’ll have to pay for an editor and invest in a good cover design for your book. There may also be costs associated with advertising and promoting your book. To boot, if you want to print your book, the length of the book will affect the price. So, take the time to investigate all your options and the costs involved before you start the self-publishing process. That way, you can plan accordingly and avoid any unexpected bills that could delay your book.


6 tips for self-publishing

  1. Manage your own expectations

Before you start, decide WHY you want to write a book. Are you an entrepreneur looking to build your brand, or a storyteller who wants to share their tales with an audience? Once you’ve decided this, consider your goals in terms of sales, impact, brand growth etc. The self-publishing revolution has resulted in a constant flood of content onto the market, that’s on top of all the books already released each year by traditional publishers. What we’re saying is, be realistic. You’re unlikely to become a millionaire or a New York Times bestselling author overnight. Remember, success requires right mix of dedication and business savvy, so set thoughtful goals, and put the steps in place to achieve them.

  1. Write with discipline

Writing is a creative process, but it requires huge amounts of discipline and organisation. You need to develop good writing habits. Remember, Olympic sprinters don’t just arrive at the track when they feel like it and bust out a world record time, they train day in and day out. Writing is no different. You can’t just sit around waiting until you feel inspired – you need to write, every day, at the same time. Do this, and the writing process will become automatic. You can help yourself by using a calendar to plan daily and weekly writing goals and create the outline of your book BEFORE you start. If you don’t have a plan, writing is like driving a car without knowing where you’re going – eventually you’ll get lost.

  1. Hire a professional editor

There’s a difference between publishing a best-selling book and publishing a mediocre one, and that difference is your editor. Everything from creative writing to factual, non-fiction content requires professional editing to produce a polished publication. Remember though, editing is a complex process, and there are different stages to that process. For example, developmental editors check your book for plot development, character building and the strength of your argument, whereas copyeditors finetune spelling and grammar. Read up on the types of edit first, so you hire the right editor for the stage your book is at.

  1. Design a cover with impact

Whoever said “don’t judge a book by its cover” was lying to you. The book is a powerful marketing tool that helps your book convert into sales. It’s the first thing potential readers see, and it helps them decide whether they want to read your book or not. So, it’s worth investing in professional cover designer. With impactful design and top-end print quality, your self-published book will stand its ground against traditionally published works.

  1. Purchase your own ISBN for your book

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. This number provides important data about your book to those in the book supply chain – such as publishers and internet retailers. More importantly, purchasing your own ISBN labels YOU as the publisher, giving you control over your book. In contrast, allowing a publishing services company to assign you an ISBN means THEY are classed as the publisher.

  1. Market your book

Are you a celebrity or prominent public figure? – great, there’s probably a waiting list for your book already. But for those who aren’t public figures, it’s unlikely that people will just stumble upon your newly published book. You need to promote it. Book promotion is something that traditional publishers usually handle on behalf of their authors. Their marketing team will devise a seamless, multi-faceted marketing campaign for your book launch, that covers everything from writing press releases and designing adverts, to booking interviews and engaging with influencers.

When you self publish your book, you must do all your own promotion, or hire a digital marketing professional to do it for you. Book launch campaigns have many moving parts, and you need to plan your launch strategy carefully, getting everything in place before you start. You’ll need a strong online presence, including a website, social media, and an email list, where you can promote your book, build a connection with your audience, share positive reviews of your book. These digital platforms are also where you’ll keep your eager customers up to date with key information such as release dates, public appearances, and any interviews you may do.


Wordsmiths is a British editing company that offers a variety of services for non-fiction and children’s authors seeking to self-publish their books. We provide:

  • Developmental editing
  • Line editing
  • Copyediting
  • Proofreading
  • Social media strategies for book launch campaigns
  • Copywriting for promotional material
  • Illustrations and cover designs (through our partner, Azzouz Illustrations).

 To get in touch and discuss your needs, you can contact us via email at info@wordsmiths.org.uk, or WhatsApp us on 07743 518681. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for writing tips and updates from the publishing industry.

Outsourcing your editing work – how can freelance copyeditors help you?

By | business advice, editing, publishing | No Comments


Outsourcing your editing work to a freelance copyeditor can save you time and money. It provides access to an experienced professional who can deliver top-quality work, without the costs and responsibilities of maintaining an in-house editorial team.

Freelance copyeditors work with a diverse range of industries to deliver accurate, effective written content. Smaller organisations often don’t have the budget to retain a full-time editor on their team. Even larger organisations are increasingly using outsourcing to acquire specialist editing skills for specific projects, or temporarily increase their capacity.

In this article, we explain what a copyeditor does, what outsourcing is, and identify some groups who may outsource their editing work.

What is copyediting (and what does a copyeditor do)?

According to the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading:

‘Copyediting focuses on the detail of a text: agreeing final content, making sure it reads well for its intended purpose, and applying consistency to the language and formatting.’

More intensive than proofreading, copyediting involves a sentence-level review of written content, checking for errors and inconsistencies, improving readability and style, and raising any queries with the client (or the author).

The CIEP website provides a comprehensive list of copyediting tasks.

What is outsourcing?

Essentially, outsourcing is the practice of obtaining goods or services from an external supplier. The practice has broadened over the last 15 years to include the hiring of freelance professionals to work on specific projects. It gives businesses and organisations access to expertise and knowledge that they cannot afford (and do not need) to retain on a full-time basis.

In-house teams will be familiar with the structure and practices of their organisation, but outsourcing brings a fresh perspective. Plus, an experienced copyeditor who has worked across a variety of projects will be able to provide valuable input regarding your overall editorial management plan.

Outsourcing makes economic sense. Yes, it costs to hire a professional copyeditor. But you will not need to fund pension contributions, salary, paid leave, sickness pay, or any expenses except those directly associated with the project. There are also time considerations. It can take well over two months to train an in-house staff member to edit to the required standard. This training will require a considerable investment in terms of training materials and salary. It could also reduce your overall capacity as the staff member cannot work on other projects while they are training.

There is also the matter of consistency and workflow continuity. If your in-house editor becomes unwell, leaves, or takes a holiday, their work must be covered, or key projects will grind to a halt. If you outsource to a copyediting agency that works with a regular team of freelance copyeditors, they can guarantee that your editing work will continue uninterrupted, even during peak holiday periods.

Which industries use freelance copyeditors?

In short, any business, organisation, or body that produces written content could outsource their editing work. We’ve listed a few below, to give you an idea of the scope of a freelance copyeditor’s work.

Medical communications agencies

Medical communications agencies (sometimes called ‘medcomms’) work with healthcare companies to produce and distribute information to different audiences. These could be healthcare professionals (Doctors, nurses, pharmacists), statutory and public bodies (like the NHS), and patients.

Medcomms agencies produce written content in a variety of formats. This includes e-learning platforms, conference documents, educational texts, and printed materials such leaflets. The aim is to engage the audience, convey the client’s key message, and improve the healthcare experience of patients. The material needs to be pitched at wildly differing levels – think information for doctors on the pharmacological mechanisms of a new drug vs a leaflet on diabetes for younger children. Also, the information given must be clear and accurate. False claims of effectiveness or ambiguous instructions for medication can be dangerous. They can also incur steep costs for the client, financially and reputationally.

Medical editors support medcomms agencies to deliver written content. Although many agencies have an in-house editorial team, they frequently outsource to freelance copyeditors. This often happens when large projects necessitate a temporary expansion of the workforce but can also occur when pitching content to a new or niche audience. For example, delivering information that effectively promotes uptake of the covid-19 vaccine amongst marginalised communities will require a medical editor familiar with the culture and customs of those communities. It may also require an editor who is multilingual.


Obviously, most large publishing houses have an in-house editorial team, but they will outsource to freelance copyeditors to ensure that they meet strict deadlines. This often happens in the case of typesetting deadlines and unexpected rewrites. They may also outsource to freelance copyeditors where the editing of a text requires a specialised knowledge base – for example, the correct use of Islamic terminology.

Publishers don’t just print books and pay authors. They also promote the books and create the marketing materials to promote those books. The promotional material will be in a range of formats – including letters, leaflets, digital articles, and social media posts. A team of copyeditors and copywriters work together to ensure consistency of style and message across the promotional campaign. Working with this material requires a different skillset to editing a manuscript. The copyeditor must understand SEO and the functions of social media, and how these impact upon the language and style of written content. For this reason, publishers may outsource the editing of promotional material to a copyeditor who is experienced at working with digital marketing content.

Digital news outlets

There’s no such thing as a slow news day. In the digital world, news moves quickly – think up-to-the-second, not up-to-the-minute. In this fast-paced environment, competition for readers is fierce, and delivering relevant, compelling content is key. Digital news outlets are in a never-ending race to break key stories and developments before their competitors do. If they fall behind, their content becomes irrelevant, and their search engine ranking suffers the consequences. That means reduced online visibility, less readers, and loss of income from advertising and subscriptions.

Clearly time is of the essence, but so is precision. Typos and inaccuracies in reports will damage the reputation of any news outlet and undermine the credibility of their journalism. Outsourcing to a copyediting agency allows digital news outlets to deliver on speed without compromising on quality and accuracy. The agency has a pool of freelance copyeditors available to deliver articles to the tightest of deadlines. This leaves journalists free to concentrate on writing and investigating the stories that matter.

Translation services

In the ideal world, a translator would be a native speaker of both the source language and the target language. That’s because, when it comes to translation, the meaning is more important than wording. Good-quality translations should retain all the meaning of the original text but read as though they were written by a native speaker of the target language. In short, they should be idiomatic, not literal.

However, translation work is often done by native speakers of the source language who have variable proficiency in the target language. As a result, the texts produced often read awkwardly, and fail to convey the author’s original meaning. For that reason, many translation agencies outsource to a freelance copyeditor who is a native speaker of the target language, but who also has some familiarity with the idiosyncrasies of the source language.

Academic Researchers

The global Covid-19 pandemic has been a powerful reminder that research is an international effort. The success of the vaccine development programme relates in part to the prompt and open sharing of ideas between researchers from across the globe. To be effective, the information shared needs to be accurate, reliable, and clear. That’s not so easy if reports are written in a hurry, in the researcher’s second (or third) language, or if the usual peer review process has been bypassed for the sake of speed (as happened often during pandemic).

In lieu of peer reviews, researchers are increasingly outsourcing to academic editors to revise their papers and expedite their publication. An academic editor will ensure that the papers adhere to academic conventions in terms of language, style, and citations. They also make sure that all findings are explained clearly and succinctly, and that any ambiguities or inaccuracies are removed.


Charities can produce a lot of written content – from information leaflets, to fundraising content, to annual reports. This material is predominantly for public consumption, and in the case of accounting reports it may be subject to a great deal of external scrutiny. For these reasons, the information contained needs to be accurate. It also needs to be engaging – especially where content for fundraising campaigns is concerned. Fundraising campaigns make heavy use of written digital content that involves elements of SEO such as readability and keywords. SEO is vital to maintain online visibility and keep donations flowing.

The budget of many charities doesn’t cover the costs of maintaining a full-time in-house editor. So, outsourcing to a freelance copyeditor ensures effective, top quality written material for specific campaigns or high-profile documents.

Wordsmiths provides a professional proofreading and copyediting service to meet all your outsourcing needs. We have extensive experience of working with researchers, charities, publishers, media groups, translation agencies, and the healthcare sector. Our editors deliver accurate, effective, high-quality work, and we guarantee a fast turnaround time to help you meet even the tightest deadline. To talk to us about your outsourcing needs, email us at info@wordsmiths.org.uk, or call us on 07743 518681. You can also get in touch via our social accounts on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.