I’m publishing FAB Club myself and I don’t have a huge budget, but editing is vital. It’s one of the differences between a professional-looking book and an amateur one. It’s also important because the book’s audience is 8-12 year old kids and:
a. they need to be able to read the book and
b. parents, librarians, teachers etc. need to know that the book isn’t full of grammatical, or factual errors.
For the copy editing, I used FirstEditing.com. I was able to upload a sample and get it edited for free. I was really impressed with the results and was glad that the editor who had worked on the sample (Toni Palombi) was able to do the whole book. She turned it around in a few days. It took me longer to go through all her changes, as she was very thorough. My blogging/emailing bad habits (too many dashes & ellipsis’s, use of the passive voice, over-long sentences…) were undone.
That took care of the grammar, but I wanted the book to be beta-tested before it was finalised. That’s where the crowd edit comes in. I have reached out to friends I thought might be able to help and the response has been fantastic. I got great feedback on how the first chapter read to kids, how certain things didn’t work (like the use of the word “tomboy”, or words that were too complicated, or the fact that G force is singular) and also some tips on formatting in InDesign (which I have taught myself, with a lot to learn).
All in all, it is shaping up to be a much better book because of it.