It boggles my mind how many self published authors work so hard on their books and somehow skip over hiring an editor. When you write a book, you are too close to the book to really give it the fresh eye it needs to be clear and readable to your audience.
One of the great things about self publishing is that we get to cut out a lot of the middle men used in traditional publishing so we can syndicate our message on our own. However self publishing doesn’t mean that you do it ALL by yourself. It’s important to have a team — and your team should certainly include an editor. I talk about it on the 3rd episode of my podcast, How to Create Your Self Publishing Team.
So I wanted to take a few minutes to bust some of the misconceptions you may have about hiring an editor for your next book project.
#1.Hiring an editor is too expensive.
You say hiring an editor is too expensive? I say that NOT hiring an editor is too expensive. Why? Because high quality editing can transform your book from mediocre to something that your readers will love, appreciate, and share with their friends for years to come. Hiring an editor based on price alone is like letting your cousin take your wedding pics with his smartphone. Sure, it does the job, but are these the kind of pics you want to hang on your wall as a keepsake for generations to come? Of course not.
#2. All editors are the same.
Some wellness entrepreneurs are surprised when they find out my price for editing their book. This is because they often believe that all editors do the same work. In short, there are 3 kinds of editors:
Developmental editors check your book for overall continuity, flow, tone, structure. These editors want to know that the ideas in your book make sense to those who are reading.
Copyeditors go through your book line by line to ensure that each sentence makes sense. They also check for grammar, spelling, syntax, etc.
Proofreaders go through your book once it has been laid out in its final format and before it goes out to print. The proofreader looks for any fixes any final embarrassing mistakes.
While I am capable at doing all 3, most of the work I do with clients falls between developmental and copyediting. Developmental editing is often the most important and the most expensive part of the editing process that entrepreneurs often don’t see the value in paying for. However if you are the only person that understands what your book is about, then what was the whole point in writing it anyway? It’s kind of like going to the hairdresser and saying, “I’m only paying for you to do 3/4 of my head today, please.” It just doesn’t make sense. If you go through the trouble of writing the book, finish strongly by hiring the right editor.
#3. Editors fix 100% of all errors.
Fixing 100% of all errors in your book, or any kind of writing for that matter, is generally impossible. Why? Because human beings make mistakes. Sure, we can try to do our best to ensure that the book has as few mistakes as possible, but to ask an editor to give you an error free book is like asking God for no more rainy days (I’m in the mood for analogies today). It just doesn’t work. Pick up a classic novel, or even the latest New York Times Bestseller and count how many errors you find. I bet you’ll be surprised.
I hope that this gives you a bit more insight into how and why hiring a qualified editor to edit your book is important. Do you have any other thoughts about why you need or don’t need an editor for your book? Share them with me below.