The Importance of Using a Book Editor

The Importance of Using a Book Editor

As a writer, you know how challenging it is to get noticed. The reality of getting a hard copy book into the hands of readers is becoming less and less likely. Physical bookshops are rapidly disappearing and publishing houses pick and choose only those writers who’ve managed to secure both an agent and a social media following.

But that’s only if you go down the traditional route. The good news is with today’s changing landscape, even seasoned successful authors are choosing to self-publish in order to take back control of the process and profits. There are many examples of writers who’ve had success going down the self-publishing route and you could be one of them.

How to Become a Successful Self-Published Author.

As there is a lot of competition in self-publishing, the question begs- how do you stand out from the tsunami of other writers? You’ve already spent years researching, pouring your heart out and crafting your masterpiece. Now you want to share it with the world. You may have explored publishers and decided that you want to take action now, instead of waiting for months for them to get back to you. Or perhaps the publishing houses do want to buy your book but you’ve chosen self-publishing instead of handing over a huge percentage of the profits to a publisher. No matter which avenue you go down, you will have to market your book, so you may as well publish it yourself and manage the whole process from go to whoa.

These days, self-publishing is a huge industry with options like Amazon print-on-demand or the plethora of other small presses out there. So when you have finished writing your book, you need to make sure that you’ve produced the best possible variation of your work before you get it printed and ready to market. For this reason, you need a good book editor.

Why is hiring a professional book editor so important?

Unfortunately, many self-published authors never manage to attract more than a handful of sales and the reason for this is potentially two-fold. Either the book was rushed and is not well written, or the author is stopped at the marketing stage. It doesn’t mean that there’s not a great concept hidden away in those pages. You could have a real gift for storytelling, but the message may get lost amongst the flurry of ideas. The big publishing houses don’t just print the first write-up of a book that the author produces; they workshop and edit the book to within an inch of its life. A team of people work together to turn an excellent piece of writing into something fantastic. And that’s even after the writer has produced their best work.

If you are going to take on the huge task of self-publishing and step off on that journey of 1000 miles, it’s vital that you have an excellent book editor to work with you. You want someone, or a team of people, who can assist with structural editing, copy editing and proofreading. Working with other professional editors, or one editor who can offer all aspects of editing will ensure that you produce your best work, instead of printing your book and then discovering all the changes that should have been made after printing.

If you are looking for a book editor to help craft your masterpiece, it’s good to know what type of editing service you need as this may affect the pricing. Book editing is divided up into three main areas:

  • Structural editing
  • Copy-editing
  • Proofreading

What is the difference between structural editing, copy-editing and proofreading?

Structural editing, also known as a Substantive Editing or Developmental Editing, is about looking at the bigger picture of the book. The editor will sit down with the writer and discuss the structure of the book at large, with the purpose of clarifying elements including:

• The vision the author has for the book
• The target audience
• The voice and style of the book
• The outline and structure of the book
• Changes to chapter titles
• Organising and changing the flow to make sections more readable
• Basic changes to grammar, spelling and punctuation
• Any major inconsistencies, errors or omissions

The author then uses the editor’s changes or feedback to develop the book further, creating a stronger finished product, truer to the author’s vision of the book.

Copy-editing occurs once the book is complete and encompasses the paragraphs and sentences. It is a process of checking the written content, line by line, for accuracy, style, grammar, punctuation, formatting and consistency.

Proofreading is a final check of the book prior to printing, aimed at picking up any small errors in grammar, style and spelling that may have been missed by previous edits. This is the last stage of editing and involves a keen eye for detail. You may think that you can skip this step if you are a talented writer, however, the brain can play tricks on you if you have read the same words over and over, so it is always best to choose another trusted person to proofread your book before printing.

If you are unsure of which type of book editor you need or would like to discuss your project in further detail, then please feel free to get in touch. We will be able to offer advice or suggestions and put together a quote depending on the service you need.