GUEST BLOGGER: DR. MELISSA CAUDLE
WWW.DRMELCAUDLE.COM – Author of The Keystroke Killer: Transcendence, Never Stop Running and A.D.A.M. She is also a member of Absolute Authors and is one of our editors.
Is Hiring an Editor Worth it?
Often as writers we type so fast that our fingers don’t keep up with our brains. That’s when it happens. You spell out a word and move on. Then, when you go to edit your work your eyes move right on by and you never see those pesky homonyms or those missing words that should have been in the sentence. I’ve done it, and authors do it. That is why it is especially important for you to edit, edit, and edit your manuscript before publishing it. Here is the tricky part. Most authors don’t have the finances or luxury to spend on a professional editor. I say you don’t have the luxury of not hiring one. My reasons are simple and listed below.
- Your family and friends may have your best interest at heart, but they often don’t understand the formatting and issues surrounding your manuscript. Additionally, I have discovered that they aren’t as ruthless as an editor because they think you are the best thing since sliced bread and will overlook errors. Now if your aunt or mother is an English professor you stand a better chance. They will at least catch your grammatical errors and spelling. However, unless they have been in the publishing industry, they don’t have the knowledge of what it takes to perfect a manuscript.
- You need an objective pair of eyes on your manuscript. Objectivity is the key when editing. If you self-edit it is difficult to cut your own words. I’ve been there and done that. A professional editor won’t hold back. They are not worried about hurting your feelings. Their concern is to edit, find those pesky mistakes, find the gaps in your plot and make suggestions. Depending on the type of editor you hire, they may go as far as rewriting sentences or entire paragraphs. Your family and friends won’t do that.
- Editors read differently from writers. As an author we tend to skip over words and simply miss them when there should be a word. It is almost as if we speed read instead of reading to find errors. Editors are trained to find those pesky missing words in a sentence, grammatical errors, complex sentences, run on sentences and more.
- You save valuable time by hiring a professional editor. It took me two months to write The Keystroke Killer: Transcendence. It took me ten months to edit. The writing part was easy. Editing not so much. Please consider that not only am I an author, I also an Absolute Author Editor vetted by Dr. Carol Michaels. I don’t even edit my own work and I have a PhD. I am too close to my work to edit my own. However, I learned quickly when I turned over my manuscript to a professional editor, I saved lots of hours. Those hours gave me the time to start drafting my next novel Never Stop Running. That way, my time spent wisely.
- A professional editor brings collaboration. Collaboration enhances your novel. Remember, two heads are better than one when it comes to editing. A great editor will make suggestions for improvement that you might have overlooked.
- When you work with a professional editor, you are mastering the craft of writing. You learn by reviewing their work and then you don’t make the same mistakes.
- Your reputation depends on it. The last thing any author needs is for your novel to be full of errors. Nothing makes a reader close your book faster than a poorly written unedited manuscript. The damage will already be done as they are more than likely never to purchase any book written by you in the future.
I hear your pain with finances, but as a writer you owe it to yourself and to your readers to publish the best manuscript possible. I strongly recommend you start a savings account the moment you start writing your first novel. Don’t purchase that extra cup of coffee. Instead, put that money aside and stash it away. You’re going to need money not only to pay an editor, but also to hire a graphic designer to make your book cover, a video production company for a trailer and marketing materials. This all is a part of being an author.
About our Guest Blogger – Dr. Melissa Caudle is an American Author best known for her saga novel The Keystroke Killer: Transcendence. She also have other novels which include Never Stop Running and A.D.A.M. As a member of Absolute Author, she serves as one of our editors and is available to hire on our website.