5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Book Editor

By Piers Golden

I often field questions about editing. Many aspiring authors think they can self-edit their work, and they can. But that’s not enough. They need a second set of eyes—and sometimes a third—on their work before it gets published. Today, Piers Golden offers five reasons why you should hire a professional editor before you complete your book manuscript.
Have you just finished writing a book? After spending countless hours successfully piecing together your work, the next big step you’ll want to take is to get your book published. However, sending your book off to a publisher without having a second look over the material may end up causing problems for you in the end.

While you may consider editing your book on your own, it’s best to avoid that task. Self-editing can become a waste of precious time and cause you to overlook major grammatical errors. But there are more reasons to hand this editing of your work to someone else.

While you may consider editing your book on your own, it’s best to avoid that task.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Book Editor
Here are the top five reasons to hire a professional book editor.

1. Objectivity
Having an objective person, like a book editor, look over your book is a powerful way to produce outstanding work. An unbiased person won’t hold back. A stranger reading through your writing will be able to pinpoint areas that need more detail or are grammatically incorrect.

Have you used the word “and” too many times? Are there any other words to cut from your writing? Is one of your chapters lacking substance? An editor will know the answer to these questions.

You can be sure that a professional book editor’s critique will be based on editing expertise. An editor can make constructive remarks on your structure, style, syntax, and ability to communicate.

2. Save Time
Spending hours, days, and in some cases even months, revising your work can be time consuming. After all of the time spent completing the manuscript, this process can further postpone publication of the book. At a certain point, revisions can become a serious waste of an author’s time.

As you begin to edit your work, you might get hung up on certain themes, research, or structural issues. A professional editor can help you avoid this dilemma. A fresh point of view allows the book editor to pick up on problems you may have disregarded or overlooked—as well as the ones you’ve identified and with which you’ve struggled.

Producing a perfect final draft will make a huge difference in the success of your book.

3. Perfect Your Writing
Although you may be an amazing writer, even the finest authors understand the importance of improving their craft. An experienced book editor can advise you on different word usages to better improve the way you communicate. They also might offer structural advice.

Always hire a professional book editor to look over your work, especially if it includes a bibliography or professional thesis. Depending on the vertical about which you write, choose an editor experienced in that field.

4. Help Progress Your Project
Collaborating with a professional book editor can help you with more than just your writing. A skilled and experienced editor has many connections, such as to publishers or public relations firms. These professionals can help with bringing your book to market and creating book-marketing strategies.

An editor that has worked with many clients beforehand understands the process of getting a book published. He can guide you beyond simply editing the book so it meets industry standards.

What separates a good editor from a great one is their dedication to your project. A great editor will not only develop your writing but also enable your book to reach more readers.

Collaborating with a professional editor can help you with more than just your writing.

5. Avoid Publishing Less Than Perfect Work
Your reputation as an author is dependent on your work. Style issues, grammatical errors, and communication problems all detract from your work getting the recognition it deserves.

It can be difficult after publication of your book to go back and fix issues or spruce it up. In fact, sometimes you have to wait until the publisher schedules a new print run—and, depending on sales, you could wait a year or more to fix your bloopers.

If your audience sees less-than-stellar writing, your current book and any future books you write will suffer the consequences. Avoid these possible challenges by hiring a professional book editor. Doing so will save you from the frustration of seeing your prized work go unnoticed or get negatively critiqued.

As you can see, there are many reasons for hiring a professional editor for your manuscript. Producing a perfect final draft will make a huge difference in the success of your book.

A professional editor can help you avoid the frustration, loss of time, and potential errors created by looking over your own work. Plus, you’ll be left with a polished manuscript ready to be handed to a publisher.

09282015About the Author

Piers Golden is a freelance blogger. He has been writing professionally since 2013.

2 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Book Editor

  1. As an editor I wholeheartedly concur with the article and not in a self-serving way I assure you, rather, the five points presented are those which I address with every client’s work. As the book publishing date draws ever-closer there is a natural tendency on the part of the author to rush the content in the latter chapters and a strong sense of urgency to get the book published asap.

    With that sense of urgency to publish comes the very real risk of lost objectivity and the tendency to miss errors in content. Publishing today is incredibly competitive. Consider the countless authors publishing traditionally and through indie/self-publishing and distribution houses today. The very same competition exists between the huge volume of business enterprises, large and small and virtually all businesses today have an online presence.

    It all comes down to quality. As an author one must not only deliver a superb, highly engaging and memorable storyline, the product must always be of the highest quality, error free with sound progression of ideas, word flow, paragraph structure and more. The English language is highly complex and while we, as publishing authors, may feel that we are expert story tellers, we cannot afford to make the assumption that we are expert editors or proofreaders.

    I have clients whose editing skills run the full spectrum. I will say that self-editing by the author is a good and advisable exercise as honing editing skills helps to refine the entire process. The better understanding an author has of the various elements of the English language the more streamlined and successful, and potentially less costly, the publishing submission will be. Hire an editor? Absolutely. The performance of your book publication will depend on all of the elements I have mentioned here and more.

    Of critical consideration is not only one’s own success as a publishing author, but also that of the publisher/distributor as well. The publishing houses expect to receive a high-quality product. After all, they need to see strong sales results and that demands exceptional content, bar non. Publishers reserve the right to reject a manuscript submission where the content quality is substandard. Writing can be an exhausting process, especially when the author is also working part of full time. To give the editing practice the distraction-free focus it requires takes time and a lot of tireless energy…the examination of every letter of every word, the flow of each word cohesively and grammatically correct sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph is all paramount.

    The bottom line at the end of the day is that the author wants an exceptional book manuscript and one that will potentially rank high in sales and eventually the author will hopefully produce a bestseller. Make sure the professional touches are not overlooked for the sake of the success of your publication. So much hangs in the balance. You are an exceptional writer. Your product deserves and needs the best of attention start to finish, including the editorial analysis and final submission.

    And then there is the formatting side of the equation but that is for another day!

    Liked by 1 person

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