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Why Your Book Needs an Editor

Whew! You just typed THE END on the final page of your book baby. Congratulations! Now you probably want to sit back, relax, and start writing your sequel. But here's why you shouldn't. Not just yet, anyway.

Certainly, immediate next steps after you've completed your story are to breathe. Take it all in. Celebrate on social media. Maybe buy yourself a nice coffee or takeout from your favorite restaurant. Realize: You've done it! Your book is FINISHED!

But there's more to it than just reaching the final page.

There's no question that completing your first draft marks a monumental milestone in your journey to publication. However, before you send it out into the world, you should have it edited—or at least proofread—by a professional editor.

Why, you ask? Simply put, your novel isn't publish perfect. Think about it: you've spent days, months, or years rolling the story around in your head and pouring it onto paper. You've warred with yourself over words, plot, dialogue, and chapter breaks. Even though you've completed your story, chances are there're things you've missed while writing.

Here are 5 ways a professional editor helps your novel become ready to publish.

1. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

One of the best reasons to hire a professional editor is to fix your typos. Spelling and grammar contribute to your overall authenticity and authority as a writer. If you misspell one word one time, that's usually not a big deal, but keep confusing "their" and "there" throughout a novel and you could end up with a less-than-helpful review that could keep readers from buying your book. Investing in an editor ensures you defeat your spelling and grammar demons before publishing or submitting.

2. Punctuation

For some readers, punctuation problems can make or break a story. An editor who has worked closely on novels knows all about punctuation and can make sure your manuscript looks as professional, if not more so, than anything published by top publishing companies. Plus, editors know that if you want to get your book in front of industry professionals (literary agents and editors at top companies), you'll want to present your novel as error-free as possible. This not only saves time later in the publishing process, but it also gives you another chance to stand out in a pile of other authors.

3. Plot Holes and Inconsistencies

Your novel is done, but that doesn't mean all of it will make perfect sense if a reader reviews the first draft. Professional editors can help you tie up loose ends, pick out inconsistencies (such as a character who carries a bag in one chapter and then the bag disappears for the rest of the narrative without explanation), hone in on pet phrases you just can't stop using, and highlight plot points that could use a little finessing.

4. Character Believability

Related to inconsistencies, professional editors read as though they are your target audience—and that means they'll comment like a reader on all elements. Most importantly, characterization. You might think your character can do no wrong (or do all wrong, if they're an antihero), but to make absolutely sure, an editor comes in handy. Is your character believable, trustworthy, acting as you think they should? Are the environments or situations a character encounters during their journey exciting? An editor will tell you without sugar-coating it.

5. Marketing Help

Professional editors know the industry ins and outs. They provide you with key knowledge about the publishing process and can help you every step of the way. If you're thinking of self-publishing, your editor can help you with more than just your story elements as well. Need a book blurb to help tell your story on social media, online book-selling platforms, or more? Being the word sleuths that they are, editors can help you capture your novel (or your entire series) in few words and start selling. Plus, they will be some of your biggest promoters on their social media sites and to any others who will listen.

In short, with a professional editor on your side, you have a champion for your story. You can reach the end of your publishing journey quickly and professionally with their help, or you can start a new path to traditional publishing if that's your goal. Regardless, having a professional review your story prior to pressing SEND makes it stronger and more likely to fall into the hands of eager readers or other industry professionals.

Interested in learning more? Check out my services and reach out today to plan the next steps in your adventure in publishing. Let's work together!

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