The Importance of Editors
Believe it or not, the editor is the author’s best friend. They are invested in making your book the best possible version of itself, and you the best possible author you can be. So, while we don’t officially require a work to be edited before running a PR campaign for it, hiring an editor is HIGHLY recommended for the betterment of your campaign. Many reviewers will flat out refuse to read a book that hasn’t been professionally edited, and we can’t really blame them. A raw manuscript can be riddled with unseen typos that knock the reader out the world you’ve built. And that can ruin the entire experience!
Before hiring an editor, however, make sure you do your research and find one that will best suit your book and its needs. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about editors out there.
This article from the Huffington Post reveals 7 myths about editors that authors should most definitely remember are just that, myths.
Now, we highly recommend reading the full article, but here are some of the tips we found the most important to remember.
1. Editors are NOT out to get you, defame your book, or humiliate you.
If you and your book do well, it looks good for your editor and their own credibility, so there is no reason that they would actively seek to put that in jeopardy. Try to keep that in mind when receiving criticism. These are merely suggestions from a trained eye who is not as attached to the book as you are (and that’s a good thing!). It’s always better to have a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective, so keep calm, discuss the issues, and make your way towards an even better book.
2. ALL writers need editors.
This kind of goes back to the issue of attachment. It is only natural that you think your book is perfect just the way it is from the get-go. It’s your baby and it’s definitely an accomplishment, but you’ve spent so much time working on it, dreaming about it, and forming an intimate relationship with your characters that some bias is inevitable. An editor acts as both spell-check and springboard, and is more likely to notice grammatical, spelling, or content kinks that you may have just been too close to the work to have seen. From the self-published pamphlet writer, to bestselling and prolific writer, Stephen King, everyone needs an editor.
3. An editor should be researched and talked to, not just randomly hired.
We all take more of an interest in books that appeal to our tastes. Personally, I’m a sucker for historical fiction. So when hiring an editor, make sure that they are trained, experienced, and have a genuine interest in the type of book that you’re offering. As I said, an editor can be a springboard for ideas, and that leads to all kinds of potential both for your work and your personal life. Take the two figures pictured above, from Flavorwire’s article on 8 Famous Author/Editor relationships.
These two gentlemen are the renowned Charles Dickens and his editor, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. After much deliberation, Dickens eventually allowed Pip and Estella to be together by the end of Great Expectations based on the argument made by his editor and friend, Bulwer-Lytton, that the original ending was much too sad. In fact, Bulwer-Lytton was such a good friend and important part of Dickens’s life that Dickens named his youngest son Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens for him.
Finding an editor is both a necessity and important step in the publishing process. It can be painful to hear their opinions sometimes, but they really are just trying to make you the best author you can be, and your book a success. Take the time, do the research, and really get to know your editor. That could be the person you name your future child after!