Here’s why you need a professional editor for your novel

Ashley Earley

There are many advantages to hiring a professional to edit your novel. One of the biggest is ensuring your book is targeted to the correct audience.

by Ashley Earley

Hiring a professional book editor can bring many benefits to an author. Not only does professional editing benefit the story, but it can also bring more positive reviews, which can encourage sales. Without at least the basics of proofreading, authors tend to receive negative reviews relating to errors, and that can lead to lower sales on sequels.

Before publishing a book, authors need to ask themselves what they want to get out of publishing their book. If an author is seeking recognition, fans, sales, etc., they have even more reason to hire a professional. And that is not just to say an editor. A proper book cover designer and maybe even a marketing team might be beneficial for the reach that author is looking to achieve. But hiring the correct professionals can significantly elevate the quality of the work, enhance its marketability, and increase an author’s chances of connecting with readers. Professionals are an investment in one’s writing career and can help a writer achieve their goals as an author.

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With all that being said, let’s discuss some advantages to working with a professional editor:

As a person and a writer, one cannot catch every mistake in their manuscript. Our eyes gloss over things all the time, whether that be a misspelled word, a misplaced comma, or even a gaping plot hole that keeps getting passed over because the author is too close to the story. A professional editor offers an unbiased and objective perspective on one’s work. They can provide constructive criticism, identify weaknesses in writing, and offer suggestions for improvement. Their feedback is valuable in helping authors refine ideas, strengthen their storytelling, and enhance the overall quality of work.

An editor’s feedback is valuable in helping authors refine ideas, strengthen their storytelling, and enhance the overall quality of work.

Along with this objective perspective, a professional editor can assess the structure and pacing of a book, ensuring that it flows and will properly engage readers. Not only can an editor help identify areas where the plot may need assistance, but also where character development can be improved and where the narrative may benefit from restructuring. A skilled editor can provide guidance on elements such as plot arcs, character arcs, and overall narrative coherence.

One great bonus to hiring an editor is the help in ensuring a book is on the right track with an author’s desired target audience. There are many subgenres. What if you believe your book is a gothic fantasy when it’s really an urban fantasy? An editor can help authors fine tune their books to resonate with their target audiences, ensuring that the story, characters, and themes connect with readers on an emotional level. They can offer insights into genre conventions, market trends, and reader preferences to help effectively position an author’s work. Basically, an editor can tell what needs tweaking to correct the genre or lead an author in the right direction when it comes to how they should market their book. Once an author knows which genre they’re writing in, they can promote to the target audience of their book and gain more sales.

We already discussed errors within text, but let’s just touch on how a professional editor can assist in improving an author’s writing style, enhancing clarity, and ensuring consistency throughout the manuscript. Editors have a wide range of knowledge to help them identify issues with grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and more. They also do this effectively by using a style guide, such as the Chicago Manual of Style. Additionally, an editor can help refine an author’s voice, ensuring it aligns with the intended tone and genre of their work.

Lastly, having a book professionally edited shows a commitment to quality and increases an author’s chances of attracting editorial reviewers, readers, and self-publishing success. A polished, error-free book is more likely to be taken seriously by industry professionals and can significantly improve an author’s chances of success in the competitive publishing landscape.

Ashley Earley lives in Colorado with her dog, devouring any book she can get her hands on while writing and editing for her clients at Earley Editing, LLC. In May of 2021, she graduated with distinction from University of Colorado Boulder, receiving a B.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing. She also enjoys snowboarding, exploring, annoying her dog, constantly eating chocolate, and sharing her writing adventures on Instagram. Her thriller/suspense short story, Chasing Hair of Gold, won first place in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards.

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