Self-published novelist Matthew Mather used Craigslist as his “secret weapon” for editing his novel.
Since he released his first science fiction novel in August, Mather has counted over 40,000 downloads of The Complete Atopia Chronicles. This week, he shared his free SHAKESPEARE system for self-published authors, including his Craigslist tip.
Check it out: “If your work is not edited well, you will get killed in the reviews and by word of mouth. Go on Craigslist and find some recently-graduated (and unemployed) English lit majors to edit your book on the cheap. A ‘real’ editor can be extremely expensive; while the quality may not be perfect, hiring unemployed English-lit majors can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. There is no excuse to not get an external editor of some kind, and not getting one will kill your chances of success.”
He concluded: “Craigslist and other free online classified ads are secret weapons for new authors. It is incredibly difficult to get outside feedback when you are a new writer. My solution? Post an ad saying you’ll pay someone $10 or $20 to read your book and give you honest feedback. Note that this is not for line editing, but for high level feedback to make your story more engaging in an iterative process. Bonus: Get 20 people to read your book like this; these people will probably become your biggest promoters and will be happy to write reviews and Facebook and tweet about your book when released.”