Who Needs an Editor? You!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is just no getting around this truth, author: you need an editor. If I got a nickel for every typo or mistaken word choice that has been found in finished manuscripts, I’d be on my way to wealth. And a good number of those have been in my own manuscripts.

I was recently hired to format a manuscript for self-publishing through Smashwords and CreateSpace. In my initial consultation with the client I asked if the manu had been professionally edited. The client told me that she–the author–had a degree in journalism, and assured me that she had been “over that thing a million times.”

Here’s a reality for you to ponder: when we look at our own writing, we see what our minds intended much more clearly than what our hands actually typed. Read the first paragraph again. You see that I put myself in there–I am not a good editor for my own work. My writing friend, you are not a good editor for your work.

While formatting–and not even looking at the manu like an editor–I found a handful of obvious-to-me mistakes. If I found several while not even looking for them, be sure there are more. I called this to the author’s attention. She was embarrassed. I told her not to be. This is to be expected! I recommended we send the manu to an editor before I format it for publishing. The client agreed. Oh happy day!

We want to produce the best finished product we can. We need to involve an editor. It’s really a small investment that pays big dividends.

Next time: What kind of editor/editing do I need?

Any self-editing epic fails you care to share?