Why you need an editor
Many authors wonder why or if they even need an editor? I thought this before I hired one for my own manuscript and before becoming an editor myself. The answer is the forest for the trees. You spend so much time cultivating your individual little trees you forget about the forest that makes up the entire work, not purposely of course. After that third revision pass, you have read your manuscript so many times you miss things that would be glaringly obvious to someone else. The reason for this is you have the entire story in your own head as it "should be". Your mind will auto-correct the text to match how you expect it to read. It is for this reason you should hire an editor to review your manuscript before having it published. Investing in a good editor can benefit you and your work in several ways.
As editors, our entire goal is to make your manuscript better through critical examination and providing suggestions that may improve your story. First, we will look at your work without any of the attachments you have to it, in essence it allowing us to see the forest for the trees. We read your story with fresh eyes, thus eliminating the chance of our brain will auto-correct the text. Second, editing is a painstaking and highly detail-orientated look at your manuscript. Editing needs to be done by someone willing to tell you where the weak points are, along with the positive aspects, in order to make your work the best it can be. For example, this article your reading right now has been revised and edited several times. I need someone else to look at my writing and tell me when it's broken. When I do not then the chances I put out something embarrassingly wretched go way up; all because I cannot see my own mistakes with the required clarity.
Do you really need a professional to look at your work? You can, and should, complete at least one revision pass over your manuscript before sending it to a professional editor. Performing an initial revision of your work makes the process of cleaning up and finding development opportunities easier for the editor. More importantly though, it makes it cheaper for you in the long run. Yes, you can always have family or friends review your work, but there is the potential risk they may give all positive feedback with little or no constructive criticism due to not wanting to disappoint you or hurt your feelings. While they believe they are doing the right thing for you, it can hurt your final product. Whereas, when you hire a professional editor to review your work they provide you the unvarnished truth along with honest, reliable assistance to help make your work the best it can be.
I am sure you have read various types of writing, either in physical or online formats, where you can tell they did not have a professional editor review it. Which leads you to wonder how the work even got published. Do not let your prize manuscript fall into this category! To ensure you publish a professional manuscript an editor is always a good investment.
Do your revision skills need some strengthening? If so, be sure to check back with us soon! In the future we will be positing articles with tips on revision techniques and tools.