Does Your Book need an Editor?

One of the most interesting questions that some new authors ask is – Does My Book Need an Editor?

That is equivalent to the Scriptwriter for a movie asking – Does the Movie Need a Director?

If that seems an exaggeration to you, then chances are you do not have enough experience as an author to understand and recognize the absolutely critical importance of having a very good editor

Please read through this post and then consider for yourself whether you can actually skip on having a book editor for your book

The Author and the Editor are the Co-Directors of the Book

When you write a book, you have basically written a story with some characters and there is a structure and a certain flow to the story. You need someone who does all of the following

  1. Makes sure the characters play their part right
  2. Makes sure the story flows smoothly and makes sense
  3. Makes sure the structure of the story is coherent, and the characters fit into that structure
  4. Makes sure the language and wording fits the story – both in terms of ‘making sense’ and in terms of ‘conveying the message correctly’
  5. Makes sure the narrative is powerful

The person who does all of that is Your Editor

You, as the author, must also participate in the process. However, without the Experience and 2nd Set of Eyes that an Editor brings, you will be unable to create a Very Good version of Your Book

What the Director is for a Movie, the Editor and Author are for a Book

Basically, you the Author, and your Book’s Editor, are co-Directors for Your Book

The Editor is absolutely critical because you are too ‘close’ to the book to be able to direct it yourself

Can the Author be the Sole Director of their Book?

Definitely not

You can’t be Rambo/Chuck Norris and do it all yourself

  1. Firstly, it’s humanly impossible to develop the skillset of being a great writer and at the same time develop the skillset of being a great editor
  2. Secondly, even if you somehow manage to develop both skillsets, there is no way you can actually perform both roles for a book – at least not until the Chinese perfect human cloning
  3. Thirdly, one of the biggest benefits of having an editor is having a new, separate set of eyes on your book

It’s very common for new authors to have the mindset that they can do it all themselves – writing the book, editing it, proofreading it. It’s just not possible to do a good job if you are trying to cover three different roles, which require three different skillsets

Worst of all – instead of getting 3 different people taking a look at your book and providing their critical perspectives, you get just your own perspective on the book

Can my Friend/Brother/Aunt/Cat edit the Book?

  1. Friend – No
  2. Brother – No
  3. Aunt – No
  4. Cat – depends on how much editing experience your cat has

After a new author acknowledges that editing is necessary and avoids one landmine (of publishing an unedited book), the new author tends to promptly step on a different landmine – believing that someone with little to no editing experience and skill can edit the book

It is a specialized skill. It improves dramatically with experience

An editor with a lot of good experience of editing books and creating good, powerful books and stories will help create a powerful book that sells well and gets you great reviews

A person with no experience will help you create a book that isn’t a good read and doesn’t get good reviews and doesn’t sell

You cannot replace a highly specialized skill and experience with wishful thinking that someone who is free/convenient can do the editing for you

Can my Editing Software be My Editor?

This is a very strange question

  1. If you think you the author can be replaced by an automated software ‘writing’ books, then – Yes, an Editor can be replaced by Editing Software
  2. If you think software cannot write a book – then you should appreciate the fact that software cannot edit a book either

People who think Editing Software can replace an Editor don’t realize all the roles the Editor plays. Your Editor is your Co Director. It is not just checking spelling and grammar

If you truly believe that your role can be replaced by a computer, then it is OK to believe the editor can be replaced by software

In all other cases – use Editing Software as just a rough proof reader. Please remember – Editing Software cannot replace the Editor. What is more, Editing Software cannot replace the proof reader either

An Editor is One of the Irreplaceable Parts of Writing and Publishing a Book

Many of the Authors we work with, prioritize Editing as the #1 expense. Before everything else

We think this is a very smart attitude to take

  1. A well edited book is considerably better than the same book without good editing. That means more sales, better reviews, and more peace of mind
  2. An Editor is your Co-Director and one of the most important people in the book creation process. Perhaps second only to the Author
  3. Editing is absolutely critical. It is what takes a Good Book and turns it into a Great Book
  4. An Editor is an absolutely irreplaceable part of the Book Creation process. You cannot skip on an Editor. You cannot replace an Editor with a friend or a spouse
  5. All the marketing you do, gets amplified if the book is a high quality book. As good editing is one of the main components required in creating a high quality book – A good Editor is absolutely critical

Closing Thoughts

An Editor is your Co-Director

An Editor is a very valuable part of the creation of your book – Look for someone with a lot of experience and someone who has helped produce beautiful and well crafted books

Missing out on an editor OR hiring a low skill editor -> an instant death sentence for your book

 

 

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