Why is self-editing your book a bad idea?
People have begun to question the idea of writing as a solitary activity. Nowadays, writers work in cafes and co-author books, so it has some relevance. The fact that publishing is certainly not a single activity is undisputed. It doesn’t matter if you’re self-publishing!
It takes a team to bring a book to life, to the market, and into the hands of readers. It’s critical that you grasp this as a self-publishing author. “I’ll write it, publish it, and take care of everything in between!” That’s not how it works! Such foolishness should be avoided.
The “everything in-between” writing and publishing is a massive gulf of editing, proofreading, and book design that is best crossed by professionals.
What does an editor do?
An editor, in simple terms, polishes and refines your text. They steer the story by emphasizing key topics and drawing attention to areas where readers should concentrate.
Try to remove anything that didn’t belong and was irrelevant to the plot. And they make certain that the final product is the best it can be given the time and resources available.
These are the three main layers of editing that must be completed in order to produce a beautifully finished book:
1. Editing of content and structuring
An editor does a thorough, almost forensic examination of every aspect of the book at the beginning – the narrative, structure, style, vocabulary, and characters and their growth are all examined with a magnifying glass.
They point out mistakes and inconsistencies, as well as portions of the story that are unclear, plot holes, underdeveloped or needless scenarios, and language usage.
2. Copy Editing
All good novels you’ve read have through a thorough copy-edit, which is critical to a book’s success. It involves spotting grammar and spelling problems, as well as tone and terminology inconsistencies.
It also emphasizes the need of keeping consistency in the finer points.
Is it true that all quotation marks are of the same type?
Is it written in digits or words?
Is there any uniformity in the spellings between the United States and the United Kingdom?
Proofreading is the final step in the editing process, and it involves a detailed analysis of the text to ensure that no errors were missed during the previous in-depth edits. A proofreader will look for spelling mistakes, typos, punctuation issues, and tone and language consistency.
Proofreading checks the formatting and layout of the pages, which become error-prone after the manuscript is imported from one file format to another, in addition to identifying those final minute editing misses.
If you’re merely aiming to publish an e-book, it’s fine to send a PDF created directly from a word processing file.
So, your book is subjected to all of that scrutiny in the hands of a professional editor. It’s a complex set of skills that they’ve refined over years of reading, writing, and editing a wide range of books and technical documents. As a result, all well-known authors recognize the value of hiring an editor for their projects.
Editors give a book a polish, edge, and skill that a writer might not have or see as necessary in his own work. They improve the clarity, meaning, flow, logic, and structure of your story. Editors serve as a link between the writer’s wishes, the publishing industry’s standards, and the expectations of readers.
They become opinionated, determined, and sticklers for what they believe is correct as a result of their employment. They also persuade the author to do the right thing and make changes that will benefit the book as a whole.
Why self-editing your book is a bad idea?
If you’re still not convinced about the value of an editor, consider the following reasons why editing your book after it’s been written is a bad idea:
1. It is physically impossible for your brain to do it
You’ve probably heard the phrase “wood for the trees.” This is exactly what occurs when you try to re-read words you’ve already written and read several times. Instead of forcing your brain to focus on the words, the longer you look at a page, your brain begins to gloss over and fill in the errors.
We create “brain maps” that allow us to take shortcuts when we already know where we’re going, and proofreading your own story is a perfect example of a situation where the brain is aware of the exact conclusion.
Writers may or may not have received formal training. Editors, on the other hand, have received extensive training in challenging writers. They do it with a large vocabulary and an excellent command of the English language. Still, no one can proofread a book with a 100% accuracy rate.
This is why, we at TrueEditors, edit your book minutely and make it pass through several edits and try to achieve the rate of 100% accuracy.
2. Difference between Proofreading and Editing
A writer may believe they have “edited” their work. This could indicate that they’ve double-checked spelling and grammar, or that they’re going over large sections of the book for narrative issues like too much “tell” and not enough “show,” or plot holes.
A professional editor will perform a content/copy edit as a creative review, taking into account commercial factors such as whether your book is up for a book contract, “sellability,” and trends.
So, even if you appreciate a plot aspect, your editor could know more about what consumers desire and can help you get your story to market. Nobody wants to sell zero books, so don’t be stubborn.
3. Your insecurities will kick in
When writers are finished writing, they often follow the golden rule of giving the draught a break. Then go back to reading it from beginning to end. You should do the same, and you’ll notice the flaws in your tale, language, and narrative on your own.
This will also shake your confidence. You begin to doubt your skills as a writer and wish for someone to come to your rescue and restore your faith in yourself and your work.
You could seek the support of a family member or friend to help you restore your confidence and read over your manuscript. Will they, however, be as courteous, considerate, and committed in your work as an experienced editor? Certainly not!
4. Self-editing is almost equal to destroying your book
A good content edit should bring your book up to the standard, regardless of its current state, but keep in mind that you’ll be required to work on it thereafter to correct, enhance, enrich, and pull out entire characters, storylines, and themes in order to generate a solid text.
This can be unpleasant, but once you get over it, you may discover that your editor was correct, and you’ll find yourself apologizing for your childish tantrum when you heard that she wanted you to remove your favorite character or chapter.
5. Are you willing to defy your artistic instincts?
How much crap that should have stayed in the planning stage of the book is going to stay in if you self-edit? How many plot threads will you feel compelled to keep because you enjoyed writing them and believe your reader will as well?
When a book should be made up of descriptive scenes, not dialogue, how much dialogue did you write like a scene from a movie?
If you don’t handle the difficult issues, the reader will judge your book on its own merits. This can result in poor Amazon reviews, and whatever promotions you ran will be for nothing as sales drop.
6. Overlooking grammatical errors
You readily admit that grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other aspects of writing are not your strong qualities. And you can simply admit your mistakes in writing mechanics in regular conversation.
You might even be sarcastically proud of it. Yet, when it comes to your book, you believe you’ll be able to detect your troublesome mechanical flaws by magic.
Hiring a professional editor for short and frequent blog postings may be too expensive.
But that is not to say it isn’t advised; it should be considered as your writing career progresses, especially for shorter pieces.
However, if the manuscript is exceedingly long, such as for a book, any editing skills you do have will be stretched to the limit, increasing the probability of errors and requiring the need of a professional editor.
Let’s take off the editor hat for a moment and discuss a problem that all writers face: should I hire an editor and proofreader or should I self-edit?
It’s great to engage a professional editor and proofreader for your work in the best of worlds and budgets. You’ll see things you’ve missed or neglected if you use a third-party microscope on your work.
These experts deal with this type of material on a daily basis and can notice your flaws quickly and precisely, assisting you in making your work the best it can be.
Getting your books edited by a professional editor is one of the best steps you can make, regardless of whether you’re going for traditional or self-publishing. In case you’re self-publishing, it’s a requirement.
And if you’re going the traditional route and approaching agents, keep in mind that, unless you’re extremely confident in your writing abilities and have had your book widely beta read by readers, agents are increasingly demanding manuscripts that have been properly edited.
If you want your book to excel then check out our book editing and proofreading services. –Click Here!
Thanks and Regards,
4.5 out of 5 on Google reviews and 4.6 out of 5 on Reviews.co.uk.
I was happy to receive both a tracked and a clean version of the edited document.
I will happily recommend TrueEditors to my friends, and I will myself come back on a later occasion.
Amazing service and a welcoming chat on the website! I love the detailed comments and feedback on the tracked document :) They really did a good job at making my debut novel a lot better while still keeping my style of writing!
Much love from Denmark <3