8 Reasons Why All Authors Need an Editor

So you want to publish a book. You’ve taken the time to peck away at your laptop or use immeasurable amounts of ink to get it done. But before you can become a bestseller and sign millions of copies, there’s one important stop you need to make. Your book needs to be edited. Now, even though your best friend may be a school teacher or you got all A’s in English 101, your manuscript needs to be edited professionally. Here are eight reasons why.

1. You won’t catch your own mistakes.

I know we all think we are perfect, or near perfect at the very least. But the truth of the matter is, the average person will not catch their own spelling and/or grammatical errors in their own writings.

2. It’s a free first read and critique.

Your editor is usually the first point of contact once you finally decide to take your hands off and really close that final chapter. Most editors will not only edit the manuscript for spelling and grammatical errors, but they will also analyze the content and the overall message of the book, and provide feedback to fill in loopholes, if necessary.

3. Your friends don’t want to hurt your feelings.

It’s natural to want our bestie to read our most recent completed project. But because they value your feelings and usually aren’t professional editors themselves, they will not point out spelling and grammatical mistakes, let alone analyze the content and tell you to go back and rewrite because something is unclear. You may never talk to them again. Your editor is not paid to hurt your feelings, per se, but to help make you and your manuscript better.

4. Spell check only serves one purpose.

It checks spelling. It does not check that the word is used properly in the sentence. It does not check whether or not the word should be a possessive and have an apostrophe or whether it should simply be plural by adding an s. Simply relying on spell check as your ‘editing process’ can land your manuscript in the trash of a major publishing company.

5. Professional editors have a keen eye for others’ mistakes.

You may not realize that you used Times New Roman font in one paragraph and Calibri in another. Your editor will. You may not notice that you made one headline 16 point bold type, and another one 14 point bold type. But your editor will. Yes, they get that deep and nitpicky.

6. Your credibility depends on it.

People don’t know who you are unless you are a well-known celebrity who just chose to start writing today. You have to build credibility and build a following. If your manuscript is hard to read for all of the misspelled words and horrible grammar (unless it’s a book where slang is intentionally used), your image is shot from the first manuscript and very hard to repair in the future.

7. You’re too close.

I know the book may reveal some of your innermost deep dark secrets or hurts. It may be your entire life story. The editor will help you hone in on your true goal for writing the book. It can’t be just to vent. There has to be something in it for the reader, and your editor will let you know whether or not you have connected with the reader and what you need to add or omit.

8. Lastly, it helps you become a better writer.

You’re not just paying a professional editor to correct your mistakes and then you never review the manuscript again. Some editors send authors a copy of their manuscript with changes and errors marked and highlighted in red. This allows the author to not only see the amount of work the editor had to do, but it also lets them know where their weaknesses are in their writing. An editor truly is an author’s best friend. They may fight, they may argue and they may not always agree. But in the end, they work together to perfect a manuscript that could one day hit bestseller status!