Your first book is going to determine how readers view you as an author. You may think that readers will overlook those little errors because the plot is so riveting or the characters are so compelling. (As a reader, I can assure you that this is not the case.) You may even believe that you are the best person to edit your own work, or that professional editors charge too much or don’t do enough to make your work shine.
Stop making excuses, do your research, and find an editor who will challenge you and be unafraid to critique your work honestly. It may hurt to have your work criticised, but look at your editor’s suggestions objectively once that feeling of having been punched in the gut has passed. Ultimately, you are the one who will benefit the most from this process.
Thanks to Helen Jones, author of Oak and Mist, for sharing her decision and experience working with a professional editor so openly.
For more information on her choice to use a professional editor, check out Helen’s guest blog on Writers & Artists. (This site has excellent resources for authors.)
I’m currently working with an editor on the first book in my Ambeth series, Oak and Mist, getting it ready for publication. It’s the first book I’m going to publish so I want it to be as strong as possible, which is why I’ve chosen to invest in a professional edit. And I’m so pleased with the result – her suggestions are spot on and she’s also picking up on the extra spaces and commas and quotation marks throughout my work.
No. There is no but. This edit is just what I needed. The editor has also given me a page of editorial notes about the structure of the story and, well, I’ve had to suck it up and agree. Because she’s absolutely right about the points she makes, and has actually cleared up a few niggling issues I hadn’t been able to resolve.
It’s just how you…
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