Have you been sending one manuscript after another to those publishing houses with bosses who make unreasonable demands with a sense of self-importance?
You can treat these people as if they were not there and self-publish your own book. Then you can watch with a sense of glee as they salivate when your book flies off the shelves of major booksellers.
The biggest mistake many authors make is to think that they are jacks of all trades. Others do not even consider using the services of an editor because they have certain misconceptions. Let’s debunk them.
• Editors are expensive. Yes, they are. Few good things that provide value are cheap. However, you can reduce the cost of using an editor by proofreading your own work before asking an editor to look at it.
• I am self-publishing. This is an ironic statement as I certainly think self-publishers need an editor more than authors who have their books published by someone else. Your talent is in writing; let the people who have expertise in other fields do their work.
• No one corrects me. Well, that’s just ego speaking. I do not know many authors who succeed who think this way.
• I produce perfect work. Those who coined the adage, “no one is perfect,” knew what they were talking about.
• It’s electronic. Even if you can correct after publishing, what about those who have already seen the mistakes and told their friends or written unflattering reviews?
What are the benefits of hiring an editor?
There is a reason editor and author are two different words; they mean two different things. Many writers believe that by virtue of being an author they have become editors. This is simply not true. An editor is a writer with extensive experience. Editors can do in a very short period of time something that can take you a whole day.
Having a great idea does not always mean that you have the necessary skills to communicate the idea clearly. As a writer, you need someone to ensure that your work will make sense to the reader. Ever hear about the term readability? This is a test that asks how easy your work will be to the reader. No matter how great your ideas are, if the reader does not understand them, you have not done a great job.
Maybe you are a good writer and your ideas are expressed well, but how sure are you that you have organized your ideas in a coherent manner? There’s no need for guessing. Just give the work to an editor and see what she will do with the organization.
The work of a writer can be stressful and time-consuming, particularly if you have chosen the self-publishing route. You have no agent to help you with the difficult processes that can help you get your book in the market.
Some of the stresses that an editor can help alleviate include:
• Profiling the readers and deciding the best style for reaching them
• Writing technical documents in a way that can be understood by the average reader
• Reducing time taken to eventually getting the book published
• Reducing time required to revise the book before publishing
• Removing errors from the text
Providing an Objective View
It is a fact that when looking at your own work, you lose your objectivity. The editor represents the reader who is finally going to read your work. Attempting to be an editor of your own work is like trying to be a player and a referee in your own game.
If you select a good editor, you are selecting a leader in their craft. You are making sure that you are not attempting to reinvent the wheel. When you have a good editor, you can tap into his knowledge and, in the process, improve your own editing skills. By criticizing your work, an editor can help you build confidence. How? By giving you constructive feedback. Remember, good editors, do not just go out of their way to pick a fight. As you receive feedback and improve your writing, you build confidence.
Ever wonder why there are so many of them bad self-published books? Even though it may be difficult to accept criticism when you think that you are good writer, a strong editor can deliver this critique in a constructive manner that will help you boost your confidence. An editor gives you the objective eye that you lack when you are looking at your own work.
In summary, good editing can make or break your self-published career.
— Tia Moreen
Tia Moreen is a blog editor, writer, entrepreneur and traveler.