Originally Posted by Brown Rat
We've been talking mostly about typos and sentence-level errors, which are the province of copyeditors and proofreaders. But I'm also acutely aware that a self-publisher lacks an editor's advice about big-picture aspects of the novel.
True. I recently read a self published book called Rutland's Curse, which was generally well written, with less than the usual number of copyediting/proofreading omissions. Sadly the author, whilst excellent at writing about military action in Afghanistan in the 1890s, had tried to put in the obligatory romance in order that the hero could go off with the girl at the end. It totally failed, as he had no idea on how to build a romance at all. Not only that, but his resolution to the story lacked punch, and left me feeling cheated.
These things would certainly have been addressed by a good editor. I suppose that goes to show that an author does well to play to their strengths to begin with - at least until they have found their feet anyway.