Self-publishing is a viable option for many authors. Our experience is that, like anything else, producing a quality product requires a commitment to quality practices. If your goal is lowest cost, Dovetail is probably not your best bet.
Many of the popular online sites offer packages that headline basic services at low prices. These basics do not include professional value-added services such as copyediting, proofreading, indexing, and other services. These roles exist in publishing because they ensure that publishers bring sound, credible content to market on a consistent basis. We make those services available to self-publishers from start to finish—in a very personalized way.
The basic steps in the process are copyediting, design, layout (and illustration or photo research if needed), proofreading, and indexing (if needed). Authors are involved in reviewing each step.
So what is copyediting? Copyeditors are unsung heroes in the publishing industry. They attend to the “five Cs”: clear, correct, concise, comprehensible, and consistent. A good copyeditor is an author’s best ally. Even the best, most experienced authors appreciate the work their copyeditors do.
Desktop publishing has enabled almost everyone to create something that looks like a book. A big problem with this is that good book design and layout relies on fundamentals that don’t come with the same ease as operating a computer. Well-produced books are always designed with a strong eye on content, audience, and purpose; and real knowledge of the most effective ways of presenting content. Cookie-cutter approaches don’t provide good solutions for most titles.
And what of proofreading? A professional proofreader is good at eliminating not only clear-cut errors (misspelling and typos), but knows and applies rules of good grammar and punctuation and best practices of typography. The latter may include misleading line breaks, poor spacing, and other distractions that can be avoided so as to deliver content that is as clear and accessible as possible.
Though not all books need an index, indexing is another skill in the sequence of events that culminate in a quality book. Professional indexers have a unique ability to understand content and organize entries that give the reader access to key information. Savvy consumers often examine the index of a book as a measure of how well the book covers their areas of interest.
Dovetail can guide you through the maze of printing choices, obtaining estimates for your book, and getting your book files printed. We do not, at this time, provide marketing or fulfillment services, but we can provide experience-based advise on these needs.