Recently a Network member mentioned to me that a Facebook follower – weighing in on a discussion about the poor quality of self-published books – stated that …
“Amazon was not likely to edit the many, many books they post on their Kindle site because they are too concerned about filling their coffers.”
Ahhh – perhaps this misconception of Amazon’s role in the publishing process helps explain why so many Kindle books are of such poor quality.
What Amazon is – and is not
Amazon is not likely to edit any book because they are NOT a book publisher. They are a bookseller. One might call the Kindle platform their “distributor” role, as they help get your book into the sales channel.
Would you take your book into the local bookstore for selling, but expect the bookstore to edit it first? I don’t think so.
What you are responsible for as a self-publisher
If you are self-publishing your book – that means writing it and sending it up to Amazon Kindle yourself – YOU, my friend, are the publisher and responsible for the editing.
It has always been the responsibility of the publisher to see that their books being published have been properly edited. Today, many selling through Amazon are independent or self-publishers – and instead of paying for proper editing, they are simply throwing them up there, with cursory, even amateurish editing.
But it is certainly not Amazon’s responsibility as a bookseller/distributor to do any editing. (They can decide which books they do not want to sell – such as those using unchanged PLR material – the same as any bookseller can decide which books not to carry. But that has nothing to do with editing accepted titles.)
And, yes, Amazon does have its own full-service publishing arm — with multiple genre imprints. But those imprints act in the traditional publisher mode, with their own acquisition and editing staffs.
Bottom line: You are responsible for the quality of your indie book
Amazon is not. If you want a quality book with a scintilla of hope of selling in the Kindle (or other) marketplace, you need to pony up for some professional editing.
Professional editing does not mean a family member who was good in English or reads a lot. It does not even mean an English teacher beyond the basic grammar review; school writing assignments have little correlation to popular book content.
Many of the self-publishing services (BookBaby, Smashwords, Lulu, et al) have contract editors to work with you for a fee. You will also find freelance editors in the groups on LinkedIn. You can search on Google or Bing or Yahoo for freelance book editors.
Our own Writers-Editors Network has a number of professional freelance editors. Simply tell us what you need and we will post it on our Members-Only private Bulletin Board. Interested editors will then contact you directly with their backgrounds and fees.
Not sure what type of editing you need? Here are the differences among proofreading, copyediting and content editing: Writers-Editors.com
But do not expect Amazon to edit your Kindle book. That is your responsibility as an indie publisher.
Manuscript finished? Get thee to an editor.