For independent authors, it’s tempting to skimp on the cost of professional editing and try to edit your novel yourself. Enlisting a friend, relative or coworker as a proofreader seems like an easy, cost-saving way to finishing a manuscript. But editing is one area where you shouldn’t cut corners.
There are a lot of reasons good editors are in high demand, and the chasm between a professional editor and an amateur is vast. The biggest difference is that a professional’s income hinges on their work. Hiring an editor with skill and educational background to do the job proper is vital. It can mean the difference between a novel that sits unnoticed, buried in the sea of ebooks on Amazon.com digital book shelves, and a bestseller.
Here are three reasons you need a professional editor.
1) Professionals Care About Their Reputation
Wine drinkers know there is a huge difference between a ten dollar bottle of gas station hooch and Chateau neuf du Pape. The same goes for professional editors. A professional editor’s reputation rides on the quality of their work. The amateur might catch your mistakes and correct some punctuation, but in general, amateur editors are out to make a quick buck on markets like Fiverr. Professionals are in it for the long haul, and as such they want every project they handle to shine. Their livelihood depends on it.
2) They Tackle Your Manuscript With a Critical Eye
Giving your manuscript to a friend who loves to read and owns a lot of books may seem like a good idea. But just because your friend is a reader doesn’t mean he can edit with a critical eye.
Professional editors don’t read your manuscript for pleasure. It’s their job. A lot of the editors we work with lament the fact that they no longer get to read for pleasure. They find themselves picking apart every word choice. Their loss is your gain. A professional editor won’t get wrapped up in the plot of your novel and let typos or mistakes slip through.
3) They Do More Than Catch Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
A good editor will not only catch your typos, they will smooth out your draft, offer constructive criticism on the story arc and help develop the voice of your novel. Good editing is one part art, one part science. Editors are trained and dedicated consultants. They work hard to ensure your writing makes the grade, because their retirement depends on it.