Your manuscript isn’t perfect, but don’t feel ashamed. Every writer needs an editor. Here are 3 reasons why your book will benefit from professional editing.

It took Ezra Pound’s editing skills to turn T.S. Eliot’s early drafts into the The Waste Land that we all know and love today. We all know and love The Waste Land, right?!

A caring, careful collaboration between writer and editor can make a good book great. Why?

1. You’re too close to your book

After all the time, effort, and creative energy it took to “finish” writing your book, you’ll be spinning between moods of elation, self-doubt, delusions of grandeur, and shame. The alternating anxiety and buzz of near-completion can cause you to rush through things and make justifications for imperfections that you’d otherwise have caught and fixed.

You have high hopes, and the idea of turning back to redraft your writing now is almost sickening. But don’t let yourself be fooled by how close the finish-line appears. Now, more than ever, it’s important to get a second set of eyes on that manuscript. If you’ve spent a year or more writing the book, what’s another couple months to do it right!? Don’t be a bad parent: nurture your book to the best of your ability!

A professional book editor will be able to spot problem areas in plot, character, continuity, tone, and more.

2. You’re not always your own best marketer

An editor who knows what works and what sells in your chosen genre will be able to help you make both creative and strategic decisions that will give your book a better chance of success in the marketplace. Should you cut 3 chapters to make sure it’s less than 250 pages? Is your title going to give the wrong impression to readers? An editor will encourage you to consider factors you didn’t even know would make a difference.

They may also be able to play some role in connecting you with agents, publishers, publicists, and readers (though that is never guaranteed).

3. Spellcheck doesn’t dot all your i’s or cross all your t’s

You’d think they would—but computers don’t catch every grammatical, syntactical, or spelling issue. A trained eye can catch errors in your manuscript you’ve overlooked a hundred times. Working with a professional editor will save you the embarrassment of someone posting on your Facebook page 6 months from now saying, “Hey, you slacker—I found typos on page 78, 112, and 204!”

 

BookBaby Editing Services

 

Related Posts
What Type Of Book Editing Do You Need? And When?
Why do you need professional editing for your novel?
7 ways an algorithm can help you write a better novel
Humans vs. Robots: When (And Why) You Should Use Editing Tools
How To Turn A Good Manuscript Into A Great Manuscript

 

Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 570 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

6 thoughts on “Your Book Needs Editing, and Here’s Why…

  1. Rina Tim says:

    Thanks for the article, I found it helpful. As I am a beginner (I am finishing my first book), I am approaching the moment when I will need to find “the right editor” for my first novel. I have come to realize that finding the right person to edit it with is crucial for the future success of the book. So, logically, I am trying to figure out HOW to find the best editor for my book.
    Any ideas about the criteria with which I should do my search? How should I approach the editors to be able to make the best choice?
    Thank you.

  2. michael thompson says:

    I have a friend who does poetry editing on the side, and I’m thinking about getting someone more established to look over it again. if you were to do this, how would you approach it to make sure you get the best results

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