“To Write Is Human, To Edit Is Divine.” – Stephen King
By Scott Lorenz
You’ve finally finished your book and are ready to get it into the hands of the reader. You’ve crafted each sentence with great intention, choosing each word to communicate your meaning. This manuscript has spent countless hours with your eyes on it and multiple people have read it for you. You’ve rewritten and revised, incorporated their suggestions and there couldn’t possibly be anything else that needs changing or correcting.
Is it still necessary to hire a professional editor or proofreader?
What if the editor has a different vision from you and suggests sweeping changes to your work? What if the editor doesn’t like, or even worse, doesn’t understand your book?
Writing a book is an amazing accomplishment, one that less than 1% of the world’s population will ever manage to do. Given the amount of time, energy, and creativity you’ve invested to bring your ideas to life, your finished manuscript is of high personal value. Your work could even be life changing for some readers, if it can reach them. Capturing an audience is no picnic and whether you are publishing traditionally or self-publishing, the competition is fierce.
At this point, your manuscript is like a raw diamond. A diamond in its natural, raw state is full of potential, both in beauty and in value. Yet without taking it to a gem expert, it can be difficult to know how much more value could be added with precise cutting and polishing. Professional gemcutters spend years honing their craft and know exactly what to do to bring forth the maximum beauty of the diamond and increase its market value.
Like gemcutters, editors and proofreaders are experts with a refined skill set. They can evaluate your book and make recommendations about which editing processes the manuscript should undergo. Their extensive training allows them to view your book differently than a casual reader and identify errors or issues with the flow, organization, or plot of the story.
“All manuscripts need something,” says author Edward Renehan. As a book publicist, I’ve seen time and again where the attention of a professional editor has changed a good book into a brilliant one. Hiring an editor is like hiring a personal trainer; it’s still you, just faster, tighter, and more trim. Whether you’re getting a developmental edit, copyedit, or proofread, a professional editor knows how to identify your vision for your work and suggest changes to accomplish that vision.
Most importantly, they are on your team. The editor’s goal is to increase the value and marketability of your work—to cut, and polish in ways that make it shine even more brightly. In an article for Publisher’s Weekly, editor Leila Sales says, “We are as invested in the success of your book as you are. Furthermore, remember this: if we sign up books that don’t perform well, that reflects poorly on us as editors. The future of our careers depends on the success of the books we edit. We are never trying to sabotage your book, because we are emotionally and financially invested in how well it does.”
Regardless of your publishing path, one of the best ways to promote your book is to get reviews. In my experience, if your book has a number of noticeable errors many reviewers will find it difficult to look past them and give a fair review of the entire work. It makes the reading more difficult and creates a poor impression. Even if the reviewer knows that it’s a galley copy or ARC and hasn’t been final proofed, a manuscript in need of editing or proofreading simply will not get as strong or positive reviews.
As a third-party endorsement of your work, reviews are critical for promotion and marketing efforts. They give the potential buyer assurance the book they may buy is worthwhile. Professional editing of your work will take your work to the next level, enabling you to get the best reviews possible from your reviewers. Better reviews increase the likelihood of getting your book the attention and audience it deserves.
The Bottom Line: Let your finished work shine! Hire a professional editor or proofreader to polish your book, bring forth its maximum beauty, and increase its market value.
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.
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