Editing your book should never be done by the author. Sure you should pore over it numerous times before submitting it to an editor. Once you’re sure it is relatively free of typos and confusing parts give it over to a professional to make it better. They just know what parts need work, what needs to be cut, and what needs to be added or clarified.
An editor makes your book strong, clean, professional and appealing to readers. After you’ve spent weeks, months, or even years on your book it becomes impossible for you to be objective anymore. Objectivity is one of the editors main appeals. It is not their baby and they will see the gaping hole in logic or jumps in style.
Sure, you can have your friends and family read it, even bribe an English teacher you once had with a plate full of brownies. They will praise you and be happy for you, but they won’t give it the discerning eye of an editor.
All editors are not the same. They have to specialize in order to do the job well. When you shop around for an editor make sure they are well versed in the genre your book is in. Editors tend to sell themselves as specialists, which makes it nice for you the author, but do your research and don’t just pick the first one you find.
When you get to the point where you have an editor’s notes you will find there is more wrong with your book than you would have imagined. Don’t get discouraged most of it is minor things and these little changes will make a big difference in the final product.
You will also find they have made suggestions as how the book can be made better with more description or with subplots that are unnecessary. These are merely suggestions they feel will make the book better. Make sure you consider them carefully and whether you decide to do them or not, be confident that you’ve made the right choice and that you really understood the suggestion.
When you begin to write is the best time to find an editor you can work with and enlist their aid right off the bat. They can help you avoid months of rewrites if you get started wrong or go off on a tangent midstream.
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