Seriously, your book needs professional help.

 In So you want to write a book

So many people believe editing their own work is good enough, but it’s a fact that we cannot clearly view our words with an objective eye. Reading and reading and reading it some more, top it off with edits ad nauseam and you are headed for mistake city. Our eyes skip over mistakes out of comfort and only a fresh view will be able to catch those pesky writing problems.

I am speaking from experience. I spend day and night editing other writers work, both for the magazine and my business, but my manuscript will always go to a pro editor. And not just anyone. No, I use a pro, someone who understands what works and what doesn’t. That doesn’t just mean grammar or syntax edits, I need content editing for structure, voice, clichés, metaphors, repeated words, etc. The list is endless.

But here is the key:


Saving a few bucks will get you into trouble. Here is a shortlist of some of the problems that arise when enlisting even a skilled writer to do your edits:

Theft of intellectual property: This happens so often and even though I am not a licensed attorney, I did spend enough time in a contracts class while in law school to know that if you don’t protect yourself in writing with a solid contract by a professional who understands the liabilities for theft of work, you are not protecting your art. It isn’t worth it folks. As an editor, I have several attorney drafted contracts that I make all my clients agree to before even accepting their work. It protects me and the writer.

Writers who will not evaluate you with your best interest in mind: Let’s face facts, other writers can be jealous, vindictive and downright competitive and even in close friendly relationships other writers may overlook or worse, give you bad advice, even unconsciously just so you don’t succeed. A pro isn’t worrying about whether or not you are better than them. You are paying them and your success is their success. They cheat you and their business suffers. Period.

Bad writers still write books: Just because they profess that they are an excellent writer, doesn’t mean they understand what sells and what works. You can say you don’t care about what publishers think, but like it or not they know what sells and you want your book to sell, right? Professionals understand the ins and outs, the do’s and don’ts of writing a novel. They understand how to target a demographic, and should understand how to draft effective dialogue, narrative, openings, etc. This is key and you should not entrust this part of your process to just anyone.

Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t use beta readers…you should. I am just explaining why it is important not to use a beta for your edits. They are a wonderful resource for feedback about what and who you are connecting with, or not (more about Betas in my next post). I am saying that editing and feedback are completely different monsters and if you can’t afford a quality editor to help with your work…save up and wait until you do because a bad review stains your brand forever. This is the digital age, friends.

Good luck. And if you are in the market for a content editor check out my website. This month we have a grand opening promotion going on. Our editors don’t do line/copy edits, but we will give you a fantastic content edit.  VMG LIterary.



Originally posted on [fancy_link color=”black” link=””]The Blog of Sara O’Connor[/fancy_link] 

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