Jack Messenger | Feed the Monkey

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Copyediting for Indie Authors | Cover Reveal

Jack Messenger, Copyediting for Indie WritersHere it is! And I can hardly contain my excitement! What started off as an idle thought, grew into a side-project, then developed into a fully fledged obsession, will soon become a reality. Launch day is fast approaching. Aaargh!

I’ve spent my career in the publishing industry as a writer, copyeditor and editorial project manager, submissions reader and reviewer. I’ve worked for major trade and academic publishers such as Berlitz, Routledge and Wiley-Blackwell, plus major international organizations in the not-for-profit sector. I’ve helped literally thousands of authors on many thousands of books – books of all kinds, from travel guides to children’s picture books to cutting-edge academic scholarship.

The ten top tips in Copyediting for Indie Authors are among those I’ve used in my professional career to make thousands of books the best they can be. The difference is that instead of spending a lot of money on copyeditors who may not be right for your book, you can do these things yourself, right now, for free.

Over the past six months or so, I have had to refuse a great many requests for book reviews for one reason or another. Sometimes the book is not the sort of book I like to review; sometimes I don’t feel qualified to review a particular book.

However, the main reason I’ve found myself saying no to reviews is because the published book is not in good shape and contains lots of avoidable errors. I’ve written this short guide to provide some basic tips for improving the editorial presentation of books. It addresses some of the simple problems that put off potential readers and reviewers. In my experience, I know that if I see one or two of these errors on the opening page of a book, I simply won’t review it. I’ve copyedited hundreds of books in my time, so I suppose I have come to recognize many of the danger signs.

Copyediting for Indie Authors includes a link to two more free tips, plus a handy copyediting checklist. It will be available as an ebook only on Amazon.

Now we’re good to go!


  1. Jack, I know from my own experience of having you read and comment on my writing how brilliant you are and how much difference even the small changes you suggest make to the finished piece. Your new book will enable the knowledge and insight you’ve gained from your years in publishing to be made available to a wide audience. It is much needed by Indie authors and I’m sure it will be a wonderful success. You deserve it. Can’t wait until publication day! Best. Liz.

  2. Wonderful! This looks like just the ticket for all of us – those who want to go indie and those who want their submission to an agent – to look professional. Thank you, Jack!

    • Thank you, Laura. You are right, of course. And these tips relate to all kinds of writing, not just books. As I mention in the post, it’s all the surrounding stuff – emails, press releases, summaries, book descriptions, author pages, you name it – that authors also need to write carefully in order to be noticed.

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