Would you rather be an expert at editing or an expert at marketing? I’ll go with marketing. A book that’s well-promoted but poorly edited can still outsell a book that’s brilliantly edited but poorly promoted. Which is a crass answer, I know, but hear me out.
I’m not saying that editing isn’t important, or that it’s where corners should be cut. A good editor can polish a book and take it from just okay to absolutely brilliant. But a book with some flaws can still be a great book. You might take a few hits in reviews, but if the core of the writing is solid, you can weather that.
An Expert at Marketing
If no one knows about your book, though, it won’t matter how great it is. You won’t have any reviews, not even bad ones, if people never read your book because they’re not aware of its existence. When you can afford to do both, by all means invest in editing and marketing. Faced with limited resources, though, I think it’s okay to put less into editing and more into marketing.
The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.