First, write the best book you can, then –
Get an editor!!
I have a B.A. in English and I’ve worked for years as an editor so I can say absolutely, YES, you need to hire an editor to edit your book. If you are going to ask people to pay for your book – and put YOUR name on it – make it the best book it can be.
I can’t recommend the editors who worked on Another Man’s Bride highly enough – Erin Kelly and Erin McCabe are AWESOME! I was incredibly lucky that to find them and really humbled that they agreed to do the work. Both are M.F.As, are authors who have sold through the traditional publishers and are gifted writers. They were insightful, innovative and (above all) kind in their edits. Another Man’s Bride changed from an okay book to an excellent book under their gentle, talented guidance.
I can’t promise you will be lucky enough to get either of them but, really, you should try. Both are available through Elance.
Erin Kelly can be searched by her Elance profile: ErinKellyWrites
Erin McCabe can be searched by her Elance profile: mccabee17
If you aren’t lucky enough to get Erin McCabe or Erin Kelly there are many other talented editors available on Elance. It’s perfectly okay to post the job and narrow down by asking them to do a sample edit of 5 pages. It’ll help you see what their editing style is like and what you can expect. Believe me, 400 pages of edits is a LOT of time to spend with someone. The cost is very reasonable and worth every penny.
Hire a great cover artist!
People do judge the book by its cover and once you have it polished by an editor you need to show it off with great cover art.
Jaime Grant of An Author’s Art (www.anauthorsart.com) did the cover for Another Man’s Bride. Her covers are beautiful and she is terrific to work with!
Linda at Treasure Line Books (www.treasurelinebooks.com) did the gorgeous formatting for the interior of Another Man’s Bride. She has newbie author info on her website that you should check out – see her work at Treasure Line Books.
Steven James Catizone did the cover for Stardancer. He’s an amazing artist and you can search for him through his Elance profile name – sjcatizone
Get a professional website!
My AMAZING, beautiful website was designed by Marija T. She is talented, fast and her portfolio is fabulous. You can contact her on Elance through her profile name : bestartman
The website programming was done by Aivar Kavshevich who did a wonderful job of turning Maria’s design into a functional website. You can contact him on Elance by his profile name akavshevich or via his email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elance was a great resource for me and I really recommend hiring there. I was amazed at the talented professionals I was able to work with and Elance has great customer support if you have any questions.