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Do you really need an editor for your book manuscript?

Let’s suppose you have finished writing your book. Maybe you are nearly done. At long last, you are polishing the manuscript. Perhaps you’ve spent years giving birth to this work, marked down your memoirs, written your lifelong research, or simply spent the month of November participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Is an editor worth it?

Will you have to come up with hundreds of dollars (or more) to pay an editor to check, correct, and clean up your book before you can send it to a potential publisher?

Publishing plans vary, and so do editorial practices.

Traditional publishers routinely require their own (usually in-house) editorial services before putting books into production. That’s a given. Even so, many authors hire editors to help them whip their works into shape before submitting them to publishers. Often, literary agents suggest this step, or even provide editorial references.

Subsidy and vanity publishers may or may not offer editing. Either way, authors generally have to pay for some or all of that part of the process, whether the publishers or the authors actually hire the editors.

Self-publishing plans are collectively a different animal altogether. Most often, self-publishing authors are responsible for making sure their works are print-worthy and ready for publication. Editing one’s own work thoroughly is a difficult prospect (even for those of us who have trained and worked as professional editors). It’s easy to miss mistakes, especially as writers tend to read what we think we have written, rather than what actually appears on the page.

We all have blind spots when we evaluate our own content. Extra input can be helpful. Besides, grammatical and typographical errors can be sneaky!

Does quality count, when it comes to your published book?

Once a book is out there, it lingers long. How important will it be to you, as the by-lined author, that the content is correct? Will you care if your fiction plot rings true, your research is accurate and clearly presented, or your poetry is well constructed? If these things matter to you, then hiring an editor may be the safest bet.

Adapted by this user
 from public domain image

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