Why Hire a Book Editor

The manuscript is all typed out, ready to go to the publisher’s. You’ve read it a million times already, double-checked the punctuation, looked up those unfamiliar words, went through it line by line, watching out for repetition. You can’t possibly have made any mistakes there, right?

Ah, you tell yourself, this will give me my first National Book Award.

Stop. Before you send that attachment, did you remember to have that manuscript edited? Yes, we understand you don’t want a total stranger messing up your work or changing your prose, but have you ever thought of how a professional editor will be able to improve your work further?

  1. Even the best writers make mistakes. Yes, nobody is perfect. We are certain even Nobel Prize winners had editors reviewing their work to make sure nothing was amiss.
  2. You want your readers to take you–and your book–seriously.
  3. Typos, bad grammar, and mispelled words can distract your readers. They certainly will put down that book if, after flipping through the first five pages, they realize that you confused your pronouns, or that you can’t tell the difference between lay and lie.
  4. You need a fresh pair of eyes to find that mispelled word or that misplaced punctuation. After reading your manuscript a thousand and one times, you’ll certainly miss a quotation mark (yes, it happened to us too!) and accomodation [sic] will start looking right.
  5. Writers don’t always make good editors. Your job as a writer is to tell the story. The editor’s job is to make sure the style and grammar do not distract the story flow.

Matt Baker, author of The Art of Confession, and Nathaniel Kim, who wrote Khwarazm, tell us how editing helped improve their books.

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