Because they want you to spend just as much money in prepublication as they did. Okay, probably not, but I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t one of the thoughts that crossed my mind when I hear someone say that you absolutely have to hire an editor or your work is shit. The truth is that your work isn’t shit if you don’t hire an editor. However, there are three things to keep in mind when considering hiring an editor.


  1. Not everyone has thousands of dollars to hire an editor.

  2. You can self-edit your book and get it ready for publication.

  3. There are some really good reasons to hire an experienced, professional editor.



Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Editor

If you do not want to edit your book, or you are not feeling particularly good about the quality of your book, hiring an editor can help you iron out the mistakes. You should never ignore how you feel about your book. If you think it needs more work, it probably does. The caveat is if you’ve already performed 50 drafts. that's called over-editing. Of course, if your book does need more work, you may be relieved to know that I have yet to meet a book that couldn’t be edited into awesomeness.

1. An Editor Is a Second Pair of Professional Eyes

When you hire an editor, they’ve never read your book. This means that they don’t know the text and have no preconceived notions about what’s there or the meaning behind the words. When we, as authors, read our own work, we know what’s there, and we know what we were trying to say. Your editor can clarify passages and locate areas that need more or less explanation.

2. You Could Save Time on the Editing Process

Hiring an editor can save you time in the editing process. Professional editors are typically faster at editing than the author. What would take you four to six weeks, might only take your editor two weeks. This means, especially if you’re self-publishing, that you can get your book to market faster.

3. They Will Find the Deep Errors in Your Book

Editors will find the deep errors in your book. They’ll tell you where your book is moving too slow. they’ll tell you where it’s moving too fast. They’ll tell you if you skipped scenes, lost your major plot and forgot to close a subplot. This type of editing is typically called Developmental Editing.

4. They’ll Find the Small Errors in Your Book

Did you put “then” when you meant “than” or accidentally put in a “teh” instead of “the”? Your editor will find those mistakes. In fact, they’re very good at finding spelling errors, wrong words, bad or missing punctuation and poor grammar. This type of edit is called proofreading, and it’s typically performed as the last editing step before publication.

5. You’ll Have a Cleaner Book Overall

Once your editor finishes editing your book and you review those edits and either accept them or dismiss them, you’ll have a cleaner book overall. Plot holes will be closed. There won’t be as many spelling or punctuation mistakes (no one is perfect, not even your editor), and your book’s message, theme and overall concept will be clear.

6. You Can Start on Your Next Project While Your Editor Edits

While your editor has your book, you can start on your next project. For those of us who self-edit and self-publish, we can only work on the next project after we’ve published our current project. This means that we may have three to six weeks more work to do after we finish the final draft. If you hire an editor, you can use those three to six weeks to get the first draft of your next book completed.

What’s Left After the Editing Process

It’s important to note that you must read your book after you get it back from the editor. Your editor may have had “track changes” on. This means that the work they did may not be finalized in the text. Instead, you’re going to see highlighted text and struck out text. You will need to read through all of those changes and either accept or reject them. Your editor may have also made comments. You’ll need to read them. These are typically suggestions for improvement where the complexity of that suggestion was not something the editor should tackle. Remember, your editor isn’t you. If a scene needs to be added or finished, you have to do it.

If your editor didn’t have track changes on, you'll still need to read the text to make sure you like it and to fix any small errors the editor missed or made. Your editor is also human, and therefore, not perfect. With that in mind, make sure you don’t save the version you got from the editor under the same file name as the manuscript on your computer. If you hate all or most of what the editor did, you’ll need your copy.

Getting Ready for Publication

Once your book is edited, you’ll still need to get it ready for submissions to agents or publishers or to self-publish your book. This means that you will need to format the manuscript appropriately, find a cover or make one and either submit to agents or publishers or upload the files to your preferred publishing platform.


Read More on Editing

  1. What Is Over-Editing, and What Can You Do About It? ...
  2. 6 Tips for Performing Your Final Book Edit Before Formatting and Publication
  4. Should I Hire an Editor for My Novel Before Submitting It to an Agent?
  5.  8 Tips on How to Quickly Self-Edit a Novel
  6. Extreme Fiction Manuscript Editing ...


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