Consider this for a moment. There is a big celebration feast coming up where you are the host. You have been planning this for months. You’ve taken the time to think about the menu, the decorations are set, the guest list went out, and the date is coming up fast. You are about to have a multitude of people in your home to host this wonderful celebration.
Would you clean your house for this celebration? Would you sweep the house or instead leave crumbs all over the floor for people to walk through? Would you vacuum, dust, and tidy or instead put up decorations with dirty laundry lying around everywhere?
The answer sounds like it would be a no brainer, but this is the same idea as editing your book. You have spent a lot of time and effort to write out either an incredible story or ideas that may have helped you in life that may help others. The thought of publishing this work is also a celebration! But what is the first and very crucial step? Editing!
Here’s the tricky thing about editing; there are so many facets and levels to it. I have heard many authors say that they have looked over their work at least four times, and they had their English teacher review it. This is not the same thing as editing. It can be very helpful to have someone you trust go over your work first. But the fact remains that this is different than having a professional editor work through your manuscript.
You wouldn’t let your two year old clean the house before you host this celebration, would you? Having a professional editor go over your work is so crucial, no matter who you are, because as the author, you simply will make mistakes. You may even read it properly while going over your work, because you know what you meant to say. But the editor will make sure other people know what you are trying to say as well.
One other aspect to keep in mind when editing is to be sure that you get a sample edit and quote before you proceed and pay for editing. Unfortunately, there is no standard degree or test for a person to take that allows a person to say that they are an editor. Therefore, be sure that you are getting a quality edit by seeing the sample edit before hand.
Then, when you have your printed published work in your hands, you will have the confidence that it is ready to go out into the world.
Sylvia St.Cyr is a Publishing Consultant at Word Alive Press. She was also a journalist and the Arts & Entertainment Coordinator for her local paper, The Citizen. She lives with her husband and two kids just outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her first book, Love vs. Fear was just released this fall. For more info, you can find her book here. To read more from Sylvia, check out her blog.