What to do now that CreateSpace is no longer providing editing services

Did you know that CreateSpace, Amazon’s self-publishing service, is no longer offering editing as an option for authors?

If you’re an author, especially if you’ve used CreateSpace before to self-publish, it may surprise you to know they’ve decided editing is no longer necessary. Editing was once one of the many services they offered their authors. That was one big reason so many authors chose CreateSpace. You could take your manuscript from a simple Word document, and utilizing all the tools CreateSpace had to offer such as editing, book layout, and cover design, and end up with a professional product in no time.

No more. And that doesn’t mean the editing is no longer required before publishing. Many books are being self-published, and even traditionally published (as many publishing houses now expect authors to edit their own books), without ever being professionally edited – and it shows. Glaringly. Even the best writers can’t see every error in their own writing. An author is too close to their own words to see everything, no matter how good or experienced they are. If I could, I would even have an editor look over my blogs before I publish them, but unfortunately, that’s just not feasible right now.

So don’t be fooled: all manuscripts need a professional edit before they are published. There is never a good reason to skip this step. Yes, it will cost you, but that is because they are good at what they do because they have a specialized skill set that authors just don’t have. Almost all authors have extraordinary stories and phenomenal storytelling skills. But an editor can and will take that mind-blowing story and make it unforgettable.

Now that CreateSpace isn’t offering this essential service, what do you do? The first step, in Canada, should be to visit Editor’s Canada. Each editor listed has not only paid annual fees as a professional editor, but they’ve been vetted, and in some instances certified, by the organization. Each of these editors is highly trained and skilled and have different specialities. You can choose to start a conversation with one of them directly, communicate with multiple editors and ask for bids for your project, or even post an ad on the job board.

Should one of these many editors not appeal to you or your needs, try CAFE, a Calgary-based editors group, or Google professional editor associations in your area. Here’s a tip: look for an editor who has a professional editing and/or writing degree rather than having just learned on the job. You’ll find they are little more well-rounded and less biased towards certain styles. And another tip: a good editor will ask questions, sometimes a lot of questions, but they will always be the right questions. A quality editor knows the right questions to ask to do the best job they can for your book.

Using a professional editor is much different than asking a fellow writer, a friend or family member, an English major you know, or someone who offers to “proofread” your manuscript for a couple hundred bucks. It even differs from hiring a company that offers a stable of editors in that those companies have so many so-called editors that are working for pennies, are forced into a quick-turn around rather than a quality product, and are completely impersonal. They don’t know, nor do they have the luxury of caring, about you or your wants needs, thoughts, goals, voice, and style. A professional editor is not only skilled in all levels of editing, but they work with you – rather than against you with a red pen telling you how wrong you are – to create a final product that represents you and that you feel happy with. Your final manuscript will sound exactly like you – only so much better.

A professional editor will fix errors that perhaps you’ve never even heard of while making sure that your voice and style shine through. When a professional editor has done their job well, no hint of their work or voice ever shines through. Your whole manuscript is just that – yours. Only perfect.

If you still aren’t sure about hiring a professional editor, take a look at what others have to say about it:

The World’s Greatest Book

Jane Friedman

Writer’s Digest


Writer Unboxed

As with any other professional you employ on your publishing journey, such as a graphic designer, the associated cost is well worth it if your goal is to end up with a polished, professional product that sells well because it looks great and reads even better.