Hiring an editor is something all writers need to consider.
I teach classes on publishing and promoting and encourage every writer to hire a professional book editor. Why? If you decide to self-publish, it will be your reputation at stake. If you don’t hire a professional editor, it will show in your work. Skipping this vital step may mean the difference between success and failure in terms of book sales and your status as a quality author. The #1 complaint about self-published books is the poor editing. Don’t be part of the problem - be part of the solution! I also encourage those submitting their manuscripts to publishers to hire an editor. Close to 95% of all writers skip this step, so if your work has been professionally edited, it will stand out from the pack! Many small publishers don’t have an editor on staff and require the submission of edited manuscripts only.
Rather than go into the value of a professional book editor or levels of editing or discuss why authors shouldn’t edit their own work, I’m presenting some quotes from experts, publishers, and authors in the industry:
“Do not try to proof your own work. You are too close to the manuscript and will miss some typographical errors. You need a professional with fresh eyes to proof your work.”
Dan Poynter, “Hire a Proofreader”
“An editor does more than just check for grammar ans spelling mistakes. They also make sure that your plot is solid with no unexplained parts that would detract from the story. They make sure that your character remains steady and consistent. They double check to make sure that your people act consistently.”
Penelope Diaz, “Why Do You Need to Hire an Editor?”
“I wrote a blog about having an unbiased second set of professional eyes look over a MS. (See You Need an Editor) I think editing your own MS is like representing yourself in court. What's that saying? Only a fool reprsents themself? Something like that.
“One needs to pay a professional to do the work. The best advice I could ever give an aspiring writer is to pay the $$$ for an editor. Most will do a chapter for free, so you can get an idea if you are getting your money's worth.”
Stephen Tremp, Breakthrough Blogs
“There is nothing wrong with unpolished writing, but there is no excuse for not having it cleaned up by an editor.
“Each book presents a different challenge. Some require punctuation corrections while others demand a rewrite. According to Brenner Information Group. Editors average sixty-one hours of work per book. Yes, editing is a rewording activity.”
Dan Poynter, “Hire a Copy Editor”
“Typos, misspellings, and other goofs from bargain-basement copyediting diminish a book’s credibility and embarrass author and publisher. Less obvious is the lack of developmental editing, which can cause a book to miss its market. In a development edit, a market-savvy editor guides an author in producing a more saleable book.
“Even authors who market their manuscripts to agents and publishers can benefit from professional editing - before submission.”
John Kremer, “!001 Ways to Market Your Books”
“Authors generally don’t make very good editors… for their own books. We’re too close to it. So hire an editor.”
Peter Bowerman, “The Well-Fed Self-Publisher”
“The truth is, everybody could benefit from an independent editor, so long as you hire a good one. Don’t tell me you already know how to write, so you don’t need an editor. Even the best writers need editors!”
Alexis Grant, “Should You Hire an Editor for Your Manuscript?”
“There is so much an editor can do for your manuscript that you can't do for yourself. Pacing, structure, inconsistencies - so much beyond the line edit.”
Karen K. Brees, Ph.D.
Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen (Chalet, Summer 2010)
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Preserving Food (Alpha Books 2009)
Website - Karen Brees
You poured so much effort into that manuscript. Why potentially shoot yourself in the foot by not having a professional edit your work?