Making the decision to hire a professional editor doesn’t always come easily. There are some writers who don’t see the value in the value in hiring an editor and prefer to edit their books themselves. There are other writers who will proactively include an editing budget in their publishing timeline. But there are also many writers who are unsure of what the editing process involves and whether or not it’s really needed.
In this post, I’ll be discussing the advantages to hiring an editor.
A professional editor will tell you, in a kind, yet unbiased manner, what works and what doesn’t. Even though an editor works on your behalf, they also work on behalf of your ideal reader. An editor will help you see your story through the reader’s eyes. Family and friends won’t want to hurt your feelings (I hope!). They may avoid certain issues with the plot or characters for fear of offending, or they may not want to tell you that your book just doesn’t read well.
A professional editor, whether doing a developmental edit or a copyedit, will not only let you know if something doesn’t work, they will also offer suggestions for improvement. Editors are also readers. They want your book to be the best version of itself.
A Polished Manuscript
Correcting mistakes in our own writing is hard. It’s easy to catch the written errors of others, but it’s a different story when we edit our own work. This is simply the nature of writing and has nothing to do with your level of experience. An editor will bring fresh eyes and a fresh perspective to your work allowing them to catch the errors you missed during your self-edit. When we write and edit our work, there will always be things that we miss no matter how many times we go through the text. And this is true for editors who write too!
A developmental or structural edit will uncover plot holes, problems with character development, and other “big picture” problems. A line edit and/or a copyedit will zoom in and eliminate bad grammar, spelling errors, poor sentence structure and ensure consistency throughout the book. As invasive as this sounds, rest assured that an editor’s top priority is maintaining your voice during the editing process.
Better Book Reviews
Writing a book is hard. You spend months, sometimes years putting your heart and soul into your work. Why risk negative reviews? Readers pick up on spelling errors that have been missed, confusing sentences, plot holes and inconsistencies. While some readers will grit their teeth and read on (or stop altogether and add to their DNF pile), others will not hesitate to post their findings.
Hiring an editor to review your book will lower your chances of a bad review. You will never make every reader love your work, as different readers enjoy different styles of writing. But you can prevent reviews where “Mr. Bookworm” points out that the book switched from US to UK spelling in the second half of the story.
Traditional publishers take their books through several rounds of editing before putting the book on the market. Any writer who plans to self-publish will benefit from doing the same as much as their budget allows. There’s a lot of competition out there. Even if you choose not to get a developmental edit, a copyedit will polish your manuscript, allowing the reader to enjoy the experience more than with unedited text.
Having your book edited is an investment in your writing future. It won’t guarantee success, but it will show that you are serious about your writing and you value your readers.