Thursday, January 23, 2014

Do I Really Need to Hire a Professional Editor if I Self-Publish My Book?

The Book Doctor Is In with another fun, brief video just for you!

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This is a question I hear all the time ... and the answer is a resounding, non-negotiable YES!

Allow me to explain ...

Here's the truth that all successful, credible authors know: 

There is no greater or more vital investment you'll make in your book than professional editing, so you don't want to consider for a moment publishing your book without it.
You see ... some pesky thoughts often go through writer's minds ... thoughts that keep them from doing what's best for their books, such as:  
I'm a great writer ... I don't need professional help.
I've heard editing is really expensive ... I’m not sure it’s worth it.
My critique group's given me positive feedback ... that's proof it's already great.
A few people have read it and say it's good ... how much work could it need?
Now I'm all for grabbing confidence wherever we can as writers—I know firsthand how hard that can be—but here's why you must kick that particular voice to the curb and do right by your manuscript and yourself as a published author:
  • NO author—no matter how famous—EVER has a book go to press without months of thoughtful editing to polish it before its release. NEVER.
  • Every big and small publishing house—from Random House to She Writes Press—considers the editing process the most crucial phase of the book production process. Bottom line: You must do the same.
  • No matter how good a writer you are, you must put your ego aside and realize that we as writers are simply too close to our own work to see inconsistencies and imperfections. No matter the genre, you simply need the eyes and skill of a professional editor. Trust me on this.
This case in point may help: 

I'm a professional editor. I've also written a novel. You'd think I could edit my own work, right? Sure, the grammar and punctuation is polished, but even I know I'm just too close to my own work to see potential weaknesses in plot, character development, or the like, so there is NO WAY I would even consider not hiring a professional editor. It's simply a no-brainer for me if I want to self-publish a potential best-seller—or at least a book I can be really proud of. 

So your Book Doctor Prescription for the week is:  

I guarantee that when you find the right editor for you, he or she will be an invaluable partner—and most worthwhile investment—in bringing your labor of love to fruition with excellence. You, your book, and your readers deserve it! 

Where do you find a great editor? The best method is to ask other writers with well-written books for referrals. But there are also some excellent online resources for finding editors:

For a list of questions you should ask when hiring an editor, please pop over to my previous post, Why Quality Copyediting Is Crucial When You Self-Publish, where I share what to look for in finding the best editor for YOU.

And stay tuned for next week's video where I explain the difference between developmental editing, content editing, and copyediting. And in the meantime, if you liked this video, I'd love it if you gave it a thumbs up and shared it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or your favorite social media site so that other writers can benefit too!

Write from the heart ...

Stacey Aaronson is a professional Book Doctor who takes self-publishing authors by the hand and transforms their manuscripts into the books they've dreamed of—from impeccable editing and proofreading to engaging, audience-targeted cover and interior design—rivaling or exceeding a traditional house publication.  

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