Proofreading, Editing, Critique
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Still Not Convinced You Need an Editor?
If you’ve read through my first article on editing called ‘Why Should I Pay an Editor or Proofreader to Look at My Work?’, but have still decided that an editor is not an important part of the publishing process for self-publishing authors, check that your decision is not based on one of the following erroneous reasons.
I can edit my own book
Actually, you can’t. It doesn’t matter if you are a good writer, there is simply no guarantee that your work is as good as it can be without a second person taking a look at it. It’s common for writers to chase an idea, the words flowing so fast that they skip words in their haste to get it all down before they forget. Sometimes a writer will remember something they want to add, but tell themselves they’ll come back later, and never do. It’s also easy to forget that readers don’t know your characters nor your storyline, and sequences of events that seem logical to you may be lacking big chunks of information for your reader. And we haven’t even talked about spelling or grammar mistakes yet!
I don’t have the money to pay an editor
While no-one can argue with you on this point, as the state of your accounts is your business, it may be interesting to consider the fact that the added value your book gains from being professionally edited far outweighs the cost of editing. Here are some of the benefits:
- A ‘tighter’ storyline without repetition and rambling
- A manuscript without holes in it
- You will become a better writer by learning how to avoid the types of mistakes editors fix
If you want to cut some of the costs of editing, think about asking friends who are avid readers or people who work with words to beta read your book and give you feedback. Make the changes they have advised and then let your book sit in a drawer for another few weeks before taking it out and reading it again. Fix any new mistakes you find and then start looking for a professional editor. By doing this you’ll have cut down on some of the work the editor will have to do to whip your manuscript into shape.
No book is ever perfect
This is true. As editors and proofreaders are human, they do miss mistakes, but the percentage is small. Readers will forgive a semi-colon in the place of a colon or an occasional typo, but they won’t finish your book, and they most certainly won’t buy another of your books if all they can remember about you is that your book was a nightmare to read. Who wants to pay good money for an unfinished product? I’ll bet you don’t, so why invite your readers to do so?
If you want to be proud of that book with your name on it, then make sure it’s being given the best chance possible to show people what you can do. You don’t want to be known as the writer who has great ideas, but who can’t string a sentence together without making her readers cringe at her spelling. You want to WOW those readers and build up your reputation as a great writer they want to read again and again.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Louanne Piccolo