Saturday, 25 January 2014

Why Edit?

There’s been a lot of talk lately on whether or not an author should have their manuscript professionally edited. Some feel it’s not necessary and that a mother, sister, brother, teacher, friend is just as good at editing a manuscript than an editor and it’s free. Besides you can self publish anything edited or not now a days. While others, like myself, think you’re crazy. You are committing author suicide if you do not work with a professional editor.

Don’t be one of those egotistical writers who thinks your work is bang on the first or second draft. News flash! It isn’t. A manuscript will never be perfect even after it's been edited but it will read better.

As an author I refuse to put out work that hasn’t been edited. This is an impression of me. I expect readers to pay for my books and quite frankly it's a slap in the face to them if I don't present a great read. Why would they want to buy another one of my books if the first one was unedited and horrible? I am hell-bent on creating novels my readers will enjoy, therefore I’m willing to put in the time and money to hire an editor to go over my work. 

In the world of writers and authors you are competing against thousands. Why wouldn’t you want to stand out? Plot, characterization, tense and dialogue all come into play to what makes a good book. An editor will help you with all of these things. It’s not all about grammar.

Your only impression to a publisher is your manuscript. There are no face-to-face meetings. There are no sit down interviews. We submit manuscripts via email. There is nothing personal about the submission phase. With that being said, don’t waste a publisher’s time. Get your work edited. And quite frankly why waste your own time sending in manuscript after manuscript if you haven’t had it edited?

Let’s turn the tables for a moment. You’re the publisher. You have hundreds of manuscripts on your desk that you need to go through. Which ones are going in the slush pile after the first page is read?

The ones that haven't been edited!!

Edits cost money. A publisher will always edit your book. They have a certain way they want a novel to read and so edits are necessary, but they don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to do so and why should they?
What makes you so different from any other author? Why do you stand out? How serious are you? Publishers ask these questions when going over manuscripts. Why would they want to put their money into an author who won’t put it into himself?

I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have the money to pay an editor. I understand. I’ve been there. However, there are editors out there that won’t break your bank account.

Todd Barselow, who has edited some of my books through my publisher Imajin Books is well priced and damn good at his job. Check your local Writer’s Guild to see if there are any editors listed. You may find a few that are reasonably priced. Look online at the editors association. 

**Remember when you’re looking for an editor to make sure you check their references.**

An editor’s job isn't to change your voice, but instead to enhance it.

If you’re willing to sacrifice a ton of hours to write a novel, to put a piece of yourself into those words, then do yourself a favour and get it edited.



  1. Great post, Kat, and so very true. Oftentimes authors only get one chance at a first impression; why not put forward the best work you possibly can? Having a professional edit is one of the ways that an author can do just that.