10 Unexpected Ways An Editor Can Help You

Posted on July 26, 2013

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You already know that an editor helps you refine and polish your writing. Working with one ensures that you have someone else to catch the mistakes in your writing…things that you might not have even known were mistakes. However, there are other ways an editor can help you with your book that you may not have even considered. There are many reasons that choosing to work with an editor is one of the most important investments you’ll make when it comes to your book. Here are a few things an editor can offer you.

  • 1.     Feedback  An editor is editing, but she’s also reading your work—approaching it as your audience will (just with a more critical eye). As she goes through your piece and makes corrections, she’ll also offer suggestions for how to best word sentences, organize paragraphs, or clarify an idea. Awkwardly worded sentences are problems that the average reader may notice. They’re not always mistakes, but they can interrupt the flow of reading or cause confusion. It’s better to have your editor give you this feedback from a reader’s point of view, than to have a reader complaining about your published work someday.
  • 2.      Organization  As editors offer suggestions and corrections, they look at the bigger picture as well as all those little details. An editor can tell you if a chapter seems out of place or if a particular scene or idea needs to be relocated. He can tell you what is working to make the book flow smoothly and what isn’t. Having someone with the ability to come to your work and study it from every angle can be really helpful, especially if you’re not very experienced with the writing or revising process yourself.
  • 3.      Help when you’re overwhelmed  Writing and publishing a book can be a chaotic process, whether you’re doing it all yourself or going the route of traditional publishing. Once you finish a manuscript and need to revise, you might ask yourself, “Where do I begin?” You wonder what to change or what not to change. Does it flow well? Is everything organized logically? Having an editor’s assistance with the task of making your book the best it can be takes away a lot of the stress and doubt.
  • 4.      Perspective  An editor can help you with fine-tuning aspects of your book such as your tone and style. It’s harder for you to determine which tone works best for your topic when you’re close to your work—mentally and emotionally. It’s also hard for a person to recognize that she has her own unique style, let alone see the strengths and weaknesses it contains. Your editor can pick up on these subtleties and help you revise.
  • 5.      Time  Think about it—having an editor partner up with you saves you a lot of time. The number of times you have to comb through your own work to find errors shrinks when you have someone else who can do it with you. What’s not to love about that?
  • 6.      Inspiration  Yes, receiving feedback from an editor can help you brainstorm. If you’ve struggled with a particular concept for your book or scene in a chapter, sometimes having your editor comment or offer advice can get your creativity flowing again. Knowing what someone else thinks—especially someone experienced in working with books—can give you the confidence boost you need to generate ideas.
  • 7.      Clarity  It’s far too easy to get caught in a haze, questioning whether something you said is clear or not. You know what you meant to say, so how can you be sure you conveyed your meaning well on paper? Having an editor tell you what makes sense and what doesn’t takes away all of that second-guessing.
  • 8.      A fresh pair of eyes  You might think that you can find your own errors, and perhaps you can catch many. However, a lot of the problems you have with your manuscript can become all but invisible to you when you’ve been writing, reading, and rereading it for so long. Your eyes become familiar to the content until it’s hard to catch errors or awkward sentences. Having a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective can make a world of difference in finding problems with your work. It really is important to have someone else combing through your words!
  • 9.      Encouragement  An editor can be there to pat you on the back, too. After all, his job is mainly to point out what you did incorrectly so that you can revise, but a good editor does it in a way that builds you up. His criticism will be constructive, because it’s his job to assist you. He needs to be able to see the beauty in your work and then help you clean it up until your entire piece is beautiful. He can tell you what’s wrong with your manuscript, but he can also tell you what’s right.
  • 10.  Objective advice  Sure, you can send your manuscript to friends and family for review—and that’s not a bad idea—but they aren’t always going to be your best critics. Even if they promise to be honest, it’s going to be difficult for them to tell you things you might not want to hear. And if they are being honest, their honesty is still going to be prejudiced. You need someone who can approach your work objectively to offer you the best corrections, advice, and feedback. After all, you’re publishing so that people you don’t already know can read your book, and that means they’ll be reading it with the same objective attitude your editor will have.

These are all reasons why editors are invaluable assistants on a writer’s pathway to publishing. A writer might work alone most of the time, but her job was never meant to be solitary. Make sure you have an editor to take the journey with you—his advice can mean the difference between a mediocre book and a great one.

Rachel Schade, Editor, Writer, and Publishing Coordinator, Asta Publications

http://www.astapublications.com

Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.

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Posted in: Publishing