So You Think You Don’t Need an Editor–Part One

bookwglassesOne comment I often hear from first time authors is, “I don’t need an editor.  I can do my own editing.


Okay, before I go off on my tangent, I’ll admit I resemble that remark. When I wrote my very first book, Anna’s Kitchen, I too naively thought I didn’t need an editor. In fact, I was such a smart aleck at the time that I thought I knew everything, never mind the fact that I had never written a book before in my life. As far as I was concerned, the spell checker in my word processing software was all I needed. So how did I do?  Well, you may want to refer to my post titled, Just Add Two Tablespoons of Fate. Sure, I can laugh about it now, but it’s a splendid example of why all authors, and especially new authors, simply must have an editor.

An editor is a fresh pair of eyes to go over your manuscript and give it the added polish it needs to turn it into a great book. They are not as much concerned about the content of your work as they are the structure. They look for things such as misspelled words, typos, comma spliced sentences, dangling participles, incorrect homonyms, redundancy, and all the other gaffes that you, as the writer, may have overlooked. The reason why you’re not seeing them is because you’re too involved with your own work to see it objectively. That’s normal, and it’s very human. It’s the same reason why doctors don’t treat themselves or members of their own families.

Some of you reading this may still be skeptical, or you may even think your writing skills are so superior that you simply don’t need an editor. If that’s the case then all I can tell you is that writing can be a very humbling experience. There is nothing quite like having your readers point out all your errors for you and post them on the Internet for the entire world to see. Once that happens your credibility as an author is pretty much shot, and you can kiss your writing career goodbye.

What do Danielle Steel, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Dean Koontz all have in common? They all have an editor. And if these authors all have editors, then what makes you think you don’t need one?

My thought for the day.