Self-publishing encompasses more authors than ever. Over a million books were self-published in 2017 alone, and the trend isn't slowing down anytime soon. But many readers complain self-published material doesn't hold up to their standards.
Unfortunately, self-published books don't always look so hot. Many self-publishers don't take the time to have their manuscript professionally edited before the story winds up in the hands of readers.
In this article, I'll show you why skipping the editing process is a HUGE mistake. Editors do much more for your manuscript before publication than simply fix typos. Here's what no one tells you about why you truly need an editor, in 5 legit reasons.
1. They're More Than a Typo Fixer
When you think of an editor, you probably envision someone who can improve grammar and make your manuscript error-free in time for production. Like many occupations, there is much more that goes into editing a self-published story beyond finding typos.
With technology today, any basic text editor like Grammarly can help spot small mistakes. You may think technology can replace small jobs like proofreading a final copy. However, a professional editor can fix much more than typos. They polish the story. And the story is the most important part.
The story is what keeps your readers coming back for more. You can polish the writing style and grammar all you want, but without a compelling story, you've got nothing. No amount of combing through the sentences can fix a terrible story.
Editors explore techniques to improve the overall writing of the manuscript, whether your book is fiction or nonfiction. They comment on the character or plot, and they have the trained eye for spotting things like added spaces between words. The little things like this make all the difference.
2. They Spot All Types of Mistakes
Sure, editors don't just fix typos. They spot every mistake. Editors have an eye for detail that allows them to notice small flaws no one else sees. New self-published authors are known to make a few mistakes, but everyone has off days.
No matter how good of a writer you are, unedited books don't look professional. Professional publishing methods help, and your editor knows what to do.
You need an editor because everyone makes mistakes. The brain is known for filling in details that you, the author, thinks make perfect since but an unknowing first-time reader may not understand the connection. You may miss small things, whereas editors know what tiny flaws tend to show up in manuscripts (like passive voice or repetitive word choice) and exactly how to fix them in seconds.
3. They Tell You How They See It
Editors go beyond correcting grammar by offering their educated and professional opinion. They know what features of your story truly matter, and they tend to read a lot, so they know what the industry demands, what people enjoy to read, and what titles sell. It's their job.
Expect your manuscript to come back with thoughtful comments and suggestions you may not have considered. Advice isn't always easy to receive, especially if you've put your whole heart and soul into a story. Editors know hearing the title you've worked on for over 2 years doesn't work or that their main character isn't interesting. But they tell it how they see it with the goal of making your manuscript better, not to hurt your feelings.
What you receive back could be so marked up you don't recognize the writing. The truth hurts, but in some cases, you have to tear down the rubble to build something new and improved.
4. They Form Special Bonds with Writers
Collaboration, like glue, forms strong bonds. Because writers and editors open up to each other so much through their work relationship, you may begin to form a connection with your editor unlike anything you've experienced.
Most editors care just as much about your story as you do, and they dedicate their working life to see the title succeed. You can trust your editor to become a reliable, trustworthy confidant.
Another way editors are more than a typo spotter is that they, over time, become your writing coach. They are another helpful pair of eyes ready and willing to make your book shine, and these professional story weavers may become your best writing mentor. Editors may push you to complete another chapter, tell you when you're not performing as well as they know you can, and cheer you on when you need a bit of encouragement.
5. They Can Help Your Book Get Noticed
Traditional publishing is changing. It's harder than ever to break into the business with the next best story, which is why many authors turn to self-publishing. There are pros and cons to traditional publishing vs self-publishing, like how publishing houses typically have a team who polishes the text and creates a stunning book cover design whereas going it alone means you must find this team. Once you find the editor for you, however, no worries.
One of the biggest differences to self-publishing is that you have to get your book in front of readers yourself. Don't expect to make a living on book sales, but an editor can help your book gain more recognition. Hopefully, people like your book and this turns into sales.
Self-publishing places you directly in front of the people who are most interested in your story. The readers can locate your work easily, especially if you use Amazon KDP or Sellfly. The process is faster and easier than ever.
If You Want to Sell, Find an Editor
You shouldn't skimp on the editing process if you want to stand apart from the thousands of crappy eBooks who never go through editing before publication. Many people, myself included, will simply stop reading after spotting too many errors.
If you want to produce your best work, a top story to rank well among the best authors of our day, you need an editor. Most self-publishers don't strike gold, but you have more say and possibilities when you own the complete rights to your creation. Editors help you get there, as these 5 legit reasons you need an editor shows.