I do understand that indie authors who are self-publishing with their own capital will find it difficult to afford professional assistance in all areas of getting their books accomplished. Do you put your money into cover art because you can only draw stick figures, or do you put it into professional marketing plans or editing and proofreading? I do advise against counting on your own self to reread your material for proofreading. Another set of eyes and brain is really crucial to fine-tuning your prose. An English major may or may not be necessary, but you will “get what you pay for.” Another set of eyes will create some improvements, but someone who’s been trained to read in a certain way will be more likely to see typos, missing words, awkward phrasings, and in my experience all the inconsistencies in capitalization and term formation (to hyphenate or not to hyphenate?) that amateur readers miss.
And although peer editing or proofreading will certainly improve your text, you will have a cleaner copy if a professional eye is comparing how you capitalized something in Chapter 2 vs. Chapter 3. Especially since the inspirational authors I work with love to capitalize important or transcendental terms on a regular basis. 😉
The idea, by the way, is to create a prose text that is so smooth to read that the reader forgets they are reading and is pulled into your world of experience and thus transformed by it. If they have to stop and scratch their heads (unless you are just challenging their old beliefs, of course) because they can’t follow what you’re saying, or because they keep seeing typos and whatnot (credibility will suffer here), then you have lost much of the impact of your story. So, editing and proofreading do affect content and results.
Just sayin’. 🙂