5 signs that you need an editor

  1. Your friends, family, writing group colleagues – in fact, all your beta readers – have been highlighting the same problems for a few drafts now, despite your efforts to resolve them.  When groups this diverse are all agreeing, and you don’t know how to fix the problems, it may be time to enlist some professional help.
  2. You’ve twisted and turned that plot, killed off a few darlings, resurrected and re-instated them; you’ve expunged large chunks of text, surgically removed smaller chunks, pasted back large and small bits, jigged it all about, picked a number between 1 and 10, meditated on the fact that the meaning of life is 42, and yet you know in your heart of hearts, it’s still not right, but you are thaaat close!  Time to bring in the big guns.
  3. You’ve received a positive rejection letter (yes, such things do exist!) from a literary agent or publisher with some suggestions or comments. Take their suggestions on board and consider having your next draft edited. It might be just the ticket to get you that positive acceptance letter you’ve been dreaming of.
  4. You are thinking of self-publishing. Please, please, pretty please get an editor. Get two. Or at least two edits – substantive to deal with any structural issues and a copy-edit to help your prose to sparkle.
  5. You’ve already self-published and reviewers are suggesting your book needs editing. Take their advice, especially if you are working on your next book. And when you find a good editor for Book Two – why not let them at Book One as well? If soap scents and chocolate flavours can be regularly reinvented, there is no reason why you can’t sell your own new improved version novel. Who knows, maybe some of your reviewer naysayers will find themselves having to eat their less than charitable words as a result?

For more details on substantive (structural) editing, copy-editing and manuscript critiques, check out Book Nanny’s website at www.booknannyfictioneditor.com.

5 thoughts on “5 signs that you need an editor

  1. I agree that it is worth the expense. It’s so important to have that unbiased view as friends and family, try as they might, are too close to the author.

    Having received positive feedback it gave me the confidence boost to bring this book to publication!

    Thanks and take care


  2. Hi, Arran

    Many thanks for your comment and best of luck with Infertility, Infidelity and Insanity. I am glad that you had a positive editing experience. I strongly believe that a good editor can be an invaluable resource for a writer in terms of support as well as assisting with a manuscript. Yes, editing is expensive, but if the result is a better book that attracts more readers, then surely it is worth the investment?

  3. In a sense it is the age-old issue of reputation. Once lost, it can be difficult to get it back again – so try not to lose it in the first place. If people are paying for your work, you should be concerned about its quality.

  4. Hear, hear! Especially on the self-publishing front. Writers who don’t get their work edited before self-publishing give everyone a bad name and tarnish the whole industry as it’s growing. A writer who doesn’t need an editor, doesn’t need me as a reader either!

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