Do you really need an editor?

paper with typing and red corrections, with a red pen on top.

You’ve finally typed “The End” on that manuscript that’s been your baby for the last year. You are so ready to get this thing published. And with the advent of self-publishing, it’s entirely possible to have your book in your hands almost as soon as the word “end” has been typed on the final page.

Unfortunately, many newbie writers forget a crucial step: editing. They either don’t edit at all, or think they can just edit the book themselves. While self-editing is a must, it can’t be the only editing, for various reasons.

I’ve seen this come up several times in writing groups on Facebook: the question of whether it’s really necessary to have an editor, or people asking for tips on how they can bypass this process.

Do you really need an editor?

Yes, your book needs an editor

Truth is, if you want to have an excellent book that will bring you return readers, then you need an editor. Even if your language skills are excellent, you still need an editor. Even if you are an editor—you still need an editor.

Editing your own work is nearly impossible, and even professionally edited books still sometimes have errors. But I guarantee you that if your book hasn’t been edited at all, readers will notice. And it turns a lot of readers off.

If you want to be a writer who makes an income from your work, you must invest in that work. I understand that when you’re starting out, maybe the budget simply isn’t there to hire an editor, and that’s OK. But you still need an editor. Bartering is only one of the many ways you can still get your book edited even if the money’s not in the bank.

For my book “Mind Maps for Freelance Writing Success,” I bartered via the website Simbi. The editor did a good job, and it didn’t cost me any physical money. My book is much better because of this extra step.

So, when will you hire an editor?

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Mariana Abeid-McDougall is a writer, a wife, and a homeschooling mom in an out-of-the-box, adventurous family. She's on a mission to show the world that writers don't need to niche to be successful. She hopes you'll join the conversation on the MultiTalented Writers blog.

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