So you’ve finished your novel? Now the next step is to go to KDP and upload your novel, right?
WRONG! What about editing?
But why? You might ask.
Well, for starters, you do not want to charge your readers for a DRAFT. And unless you get your book edited by a professional, your book is essentially a draft, no matter how many times you revise it.
So let’s have a look at why getting your book edited by a professional editor is so important.
5 Reasons To Get Your Book Edited By A Professional Editor
1. To Develop the Story
In stories written by novice authors—not necessarily first-time authors, but also some authors with experience who have not studied the craft of storytelling enough for whatever reason, they rarely develop the plot according to the story. (If you are wondering about the difference between plot and story, you are definitely in this category. Anyhow, read this article: Plot Vs Story)
These developments have to be applied and inserted into the story on the root-level and not just superficially, and this takes skill as well as experience, which a novice writer lacks.
In certain genres such as fantasy and science-fiction, and even complex mysteries and thrillers with multiple characters or plot-lines need development on base-level no matter how good a writer you are. In such cases, development of not only the story but also the characters, sub-plots, narration and the author’s voice becomes very critical.
Usually, the authors get too consumed in getting the story on the page and cannot see how it would translate to the readers. They get so lost in the process that they forget about the audience, the Reader. As the story is in the author’s head, despite several readings, they fail to identify the problems with the story and the things it cannot convey to the readers.
But the development of the story is also, almost always, needed for first-time authors because they usually lack the thread that ties up their vision of the manuscript to how the final draft translates onto the page and, thus, to the reader. That gap can be bridged only by a professional editor who has years of experience working with stories in order to help the authors fulfil their vision for their book – the novel.
2. To Have the Prose Polished
A professional editor will strengthen the prose in your manuscript by correcting the narrative structure on the cellular level, which in literature means, sentence-level, while also taking care of the narrative voice, descriptive tone, expository ratio, and the overall mood conveyed by your prose to the Reader.
An editor helps the author strengthen their writing voice style by examining the prose closely and picking up the weak areas that need rectification in terms of description, narration and/or exposition.
3. To Improve the Readability of the Story
Every story has a flow and while the Reader does not consciously know about it, it is this flow that keeps them going, page after page, wanting to finish any book. This flow is either completely off in manuscripts or is stilted and comes and goes throughout a 40K-80K manuscript. There would be amazing paragraphs where the flow is excellent, but then the flow would come to a standstill for pages on end. And this is a massive problem as the moment it would happen in a published book, the Reader would simply put it down and move on to the next book.
A professional editor is needed to take care of the flow of the story and the rhythm of the build-up, something that only an experienced editor with a lot of reading experience can pick up on.
4. To NOT have an Erroneous Plot
If I had a penny for every time I came across a book, especially a self-published book, unfortunately, that had more than a dozen plot holes and loose ends, I would have a LOT of pennies today!
This happens especially in novels where there are multiple timelines, characters and POVs and is understandable, as an author can do only so much even after having spent 6-7 years on the story. Yes, I am talking from experience. So do yourself a favour and hire a professional editor who’d be able to put a finger on all these issues and so much more only in the first couple of readings of your book and save you more years of figuring out what exactly is wrong with your story.
5. To Present the Best Version of Your Book to the Reader
The Reader is your primary target audience, the audience for whom you’ve written the book (and even if you are one of those writers who simply write for themselves) it is the audience who would be consuming your product, i.e., your book. Imagine reading your favourite book and going over those perfect passages over and over again, saying them out loud and falling in love with those imperfect and flawed characters that resonate with you. Well, all that is thanks to an editor sitting in an office eating the head of your precious favorite author to revise the characters or the sentences over and over again! And what you love is the end result.
In order to achieve at least some percentage of this kind of an end result, you need to hire an editor and if you are lucky enough to find one who really gets you and your story, it would be your readers who’d be swooning over your writing soon enough.
To conclude, I’d like to quote one of my writing idols, Stephen King:
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