Why Every Writer Must Have an Editor

Posted on August 15, 2014


         images   To some degree, all writers are also editors. Every time a writer makes a change to his or her work, he or she is editing. However, an editor’s job isn’t simply skimming over a manuscript and occasionally discovering spelling or grammar errors. The editor is also there to make your writing project the best it can be by making suggestions on how to develop your ideas and using his or her knowledge to improve your work.

            An editor’s expertise is usually gained from a formal education (usually a bachelors or masters in English or journalism) and extensive work with other writers. Editors may also begin in a technical field, such as biology or medicine, and do specialized editing based on their knowledge and background. Because editors are needed in an assortment of areas, they tend to specialize at what they do.

            Put simply, your editor is there to help you communicate better with your audience. However, what an editor does varies greatly depending on the type of editing desired. For example, a technical editor specializing in biology and physics might work with biomedical engineers to help write thorough, easily understood lab reports, while a freelance editor who predominantly works with fiction writers will focus more on helping create likable characters and interesting dialogue. Primarily, an editor will help with organization, clarification, and grammar, spelling, and punctuation. He or she may check facts and permissions to make sure you are correct and don’t accidently plagiarize. Whatever your writing project is, an editor is a key step to improving the project and your writing.

            If you’re wondering whether or not you need an editor, it’s probably safe to say that you do. An extra pair of eyes is always good. Even if you’re working on an E-book that could be edited after publication, you should ensure that your book is already the best it can be. An editor acts as a new pair of eyes; he or she can see what the writer cannot. Any book can benefit from an experienced editor’s feedback.

            Even if you have invested hundreds of hours developing your writing, there is a limit to what you can accomplish without feedback from an outside source, and chances are your roommate or best friend cannot be the help you need. That’s where an editor can step in. A ghostwriter or writing coach could also be the solution, but if you want to do the writing yourself and focus on a single project, then an editor is what you need. If your manuscript submission is continually rejected or you are about to submit your manuscript for the first time, then have an editor take a look at your piece. He or she will be able to tell you where your writing needs work. Afterward, you can apply what you’ve learned to future writing.

            Once you have a complete or mostly complete manuscript, you should begin to consider hiring an editor. However, if your project is quite long, you will most likely need help before that point, so ask a friend to read through your work. You may also be able to find a local writers’ club to exchange manuscripts with other writers.

            Keep in mind that you should attempt to edit your work several times before hiring someone else to do it. Rather than spending time on snags you could have fixed on your own, your editor can focus on more pressing problems. Your draft may not be perfect, but an editor can definitely help to get you there.

Alex Thurman, Writer and Editor, Asta Publications


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.

Posted in: Publishing