Is it too late? - New York Times Bestselling Author, J. Sterling

Is it too late?

I'm seriously weighing the options on whether or not I should unpublish In Dreams and get a professional edit done?

I know that it might be a little late since the book has already been around for months and there have been a lot of downloads lately, BUT I am beginning to think that I will have more success with it if I take it down now and fix it.

I know it was my first book. I know it needs a lot of work. I want to make a living writing books. And I know that going forward, I will have to pay for a professional editor. There is no way around that anymore. If I want to put out the best work that I can, I owe it to myself to have my work professionally handled. Plus, I want to put out good books- and if In Dreams is any indication to my potential appeal to a broader audience- well then it's clear... I lack appeal. lol

I think my biggest fear in regards to hiring an editor is that they won't understand my vision, or get where my story is coming from. I don't want my story to change. I don't want what i'm trying to convey to get lost in the quest for a "professionally" done piece. I can't tell you how much I genuinely LOATHE people trying to put me in a box that says "one size fits all."

I don't want to be generic.

I'm not trying to please publishing houses and this isn't a quest to sign a big book deal.

I just want to tell the stories my heart wants to tell, in the way my heart wants to tell them. I guess I just fear that my heart will get lost somewhere in an editor's personal opinion or style/taste/preference. Is that a crazy concern?

I'm straying (per usual)... so I wonder what's the best thing to do? Unpublish and polish the book? Or leave it as is?

Ugh my gut is SCREAMING at me to unpublish it and fix it. I want to feel like what i've put out there is the best it can be- and right now, it's clearly not.



  1. First off, you don't have to unpublish it to fix it. You can leave it up until you have a new version ready. No sense in pulling it down if you are having some sales.

    Any work has errors. I find them all the time in major house published books. The question is: How many are you willing to live with?

  2. Jenn Sterling9:55 AM

    Alan- you are totally right. I think the book could use a serious "one-over" you know in the grammar department. I honestly don't want the story touched, altered, or messed with in any way, so I'd like to find a copy editor who could do a quick run through. hahaha @ quick. lol
    But going forward, I definitely want to find someone who will edit it all over- story notes, grammar, etc. They're just so expensive. I know it's worth it, but when we (self published/indie authors) don't have the money up front to pay for it, it makes it really easy to cut corners.
    Thank you for your feedback and opinion! :)

  3. Follow your gut. To say something as strong as 'screaming' shows you already know what to do. And a good editor will work with you, not against you. They won't try to change the story. Remember, it's not like editing with a publishing house. You're the one employing them! Just ask your fellow authors for editors they've worked with and trust. Most editors will happily edit a chapter or three for you to view their work. Choose whichever one suits your writing style the best and go for it! You'll feel so much better about your work once it's done.

    I've recently re-release two novels (books that were previously with a small press) and they'd already been through an editor. However, my writing had changed (and hopefully improved) in the couple of years since they were first published, so even though both books had been previously edited, I paid for them to be edited again. At least now I can be totally proud of the books and feel I've done everything I can to make people love them.

    Sorry for the ramble but I hope that helps!

  4. Anonymous3:06 PM

    I agree with Marissa - follow your gut. I just finished reading this book and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to let you know I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to read the prequel. Please don't wait too long to put that one out.

    You have to do what you think is best, whether that means leaving 'as is' or fixing it. You have hooked me and I look forward to reading more of your work. :)

  5. anon- THANK YOU! :) And my gut is no longer screaming at me. LOL But since you just read and finished it, I have a question for you.... did you find yourself completely distracted with all the grammar errors (that others are saying are rampant), or did you not notice any... or were there a few you could overlook, or what? I want people to enjoy the story I told- and I honestly didn't think it was filled with errors, but what the hell do I know? I can't see things clearly. lol

  6. I just finished reading your book and I came to your website to see if you had anything about the prequel! It was an amazing book and was very hard to put down. I noticed one misspelled word but didn't distract me from the story one bit. It was such a page turner and I can't wait to read more of your stories!

  7. Anonymous7:11 PM

    Hi Ster - I noticed only a few errors (maybe less than 5) - easy to overlook - did not distract me at all from the story.

    I have read a TON of books on my Kindle and believe me there was one that I couldn't finish because it had errors all over the place.

    Your book is not like that. I downloaded it on Jan 14th on amazon - not sure if that makes a I don't understand why so many people are saying there are a TON of errors...

  8. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! I really appreciate the input and feedback! :)
    Leaving In Dreams as is and MOVING FORWARD! Will finish up Chance Encounters and then get to work on the Prequel for In Dreams- it's about half way done. :) love you guys! xo