How to Edit your Book – Method 3: Crowdsource

This chapter explains how to transform your self-edited manuscript into a finished manuscript. A high-quality book requires extensive testing and copyediting. You can get these processes done without a traditional publisher, but you cannot eliminate them. Your goal is a book that looks and feels as good as any book from a big-time, traditional publisher.

I ask my followers on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter to provide feedback from the beginning to end of the publishing process. For example, I shared a post on Google+ https://plus.google.com/112374836634096795698/posts/Rc3uHFaFus5 to find testers for What the Plus! All people had to do was provide some information via an online form https://alltop.wufoo.com/forms/what-the-plus-beta-testers/ as well as to agree not to send the manuscript to others.
To my amazement, 241 people completed the form in twenty-four hours. I sent them the Word file of the manuscript after turning on “Highlight Changes” so that it was easy to find their comments. (Again, to do this, use this sequence: Tools menu, “Track Changes,” “Highlight Changes,” “Track changes while editing.”) Over the next ten days, more than a hundred people returned the file with comments. These were the results:
* Sixty-seven suggestions for how to make the book better (not counting duplicates of the same suggestions). These suggestions were closer to content editing than copyediting, which is why I crowdsource copyediting before using a professional.
* Twenty-seven factual errors (not counting duplicate reports of the same issues). These errors are also closer to content editing than copyediting. However, most editors from traditional publishers would not have caught these errors because detecting them required extensive expertise in Google+.
* One hundred and forty-seven grammatical and spelling errors (not counting duplicate reports of the same issues). 
To make this kind of crowdsourcing work, you need at least five hundred followers. We explain how to gain followers in Section 3: “Entrepreneur.” You might not be able to make crowdsourcing work with your first book, but you have to start somewhere.

Guy Kawasaki has written 12 books, 10 of which were traditionally published. His newest book is APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book, which helps people understand how and why to self-publish.

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, is available as an eBook ($9.99) and in paperback ($24.99). Visit http://apethebook.com/

A book-loving book publicist. Former journalist, loves cats, chocolate, Kindle, rubber stamping, politics, coffee.

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