ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Should You Hire An Editor For Your Book?

Updated on November 27, 2013

CONGRATULATIONS

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.

Salvador Dali

So you have finished your book! I say bravo to you and a job well done, mate! Maybe you haven’t finished yet but you are in the middle of the process, and again I say bravo to you.

Once the job has been completed, you then face the decision of what to do with it. Should you just tuck it away in your memoirs? Should you publish it as an ebook? Should you take the traditional route and try to find a publisher to handle it?

How you answer that question will determine how you answer the question at the top of the page. I know, I know, everyone has told you that you need an editor, and I understand why they have said that, but truthfully, hiring an editor is not always necessary.

Let’s’ look at three different scenarios and then we’ll discuss the cost of editing and the benefits derived from it.

It all begins here
It all begins here | Source

Not Going to Publish?

Well, if you aren’t going to publish then why in the world would you pay someone big bucks to edit your work? I mean seriously, unless you are made of money and rolling in green, why would you do this? You finished your book for your own satisfaction, and maybe you plan on having a few copies printed for your family. Just proofread it yourself and save some money. Money is tight and editors are expensive.

Publish an Ebook

Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.

Mark Twain

Okay, now we are venturing into the gray area. I cannot crawl inside your mind, so I don’t know what your hopes and dreams are. If you want the best shot at being read as a professional writer then yes, hire an editor. If money is an issue, then edit the book yourself or have a friend or family member edit it.

Remember always the old saying about a doctor who treats himself has a fool as a patient. The same can be said for editing yourself. I can tell you from personal experience. When I finished my novel “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today,” I proofread it no less than seven times and still missed grammatical errors and misspellings. I had money issues at that time and could not afford an editor, so I had a close friend do the job. She still missed errors.

In short, you get what you pay for.

Finding a Publisher for Your Book

The fast answer in this case is yes, you need an editor. End of story!

You will either need to hire your own editor or the publisher, if they accept your manuscript, will provide one, but either way there is no way a book is being published by a major firm without going through the editing process.

Consider the fact that publishers see thousands of query letters each month. There is no way they are going to even consider your book if there are grammatical mistakes. If you decide to go the traditional publishing route, my suggestion is to hire an editor before you approach a publisher.

An editor does more than just weed whack.
An editor does more than just weed whack. | Source

What Does an Editor Do?

My goal is to strip things down so that you need just the right amount of words or shape to convey what you need to convey. I like editing. I like it very tight.

Maya Lin

Many people believe an editor simply checks on spelling and grammar and yes, an editor does do that, but an editor also does much more.

Editors will also check for consistency in the story, for repetitions, flow, rhythm and transitional phrases. They will check on tone and tense, and will provide suggestions on certain parts that do not read well. They can be asked to check facts and statistics.

Do you need it all? That is a question that calls for a subjective answer, and only you, the author, can answer it.

What Does an Editor Cost?

This is a tough question and there is no easy answer. All I can do is give you a ballpark figure. There are thousands of editors out there more than willing to edit your book, and prices vary greatly.

The first determining factor is what you want an editor to do. Most editors charge by the hour. Basic editing can cost between $25 to $40 per hour with a pace of five to ten pages per hour. If more is asked for than just basic grammar and spell check, then the price rises to $65 per hour or more.

Some editors charge by the word and some will charge a base fee. I know that when I edit someone’s book I charge between $500 and $1000 depending on the number of words and the work required.

Shop around! You might check out local colleges and find a student who needs cash and can do an adequate job for you for considerably less than you will pay a professional editor. As is always the case, though, you quite often get what you pay for, so beware of incredibly low price quotes. Editing is a time-consuming job and as such it should cost a fair amount. What needs to be determined, then, is how important it is to you the writer.

The finished product after editing should look like this.
The finished product after editing should look like this. | Source

Those Are the Basics of the Situation

Times are tough for many folks economically. Money is scarce, and most writers I know are struggling financially, so the idea of paying someone to edit your book is daunting at least considering the cost involved.

Still, a good editor is well-worth the cost. A writer becomes too close to their book. After spending six months to a year working on the manuscript, a bond forms between writer and book, and it is very hard to see weaknesses and mistakes. An editor is an impartial judge and jury with regards to your writing. Their only job is to see your book through their eyes, eyes that are not distorted by emotion and partiality.

So it really comes down to how important your book is to you, and what are your plans for that book. Only you, the writer, can answer those questions. Your work is done. You have written your book. What happens at this point is completely up to you, but again I say bravo to you for at least reaching this point of decision, and best wishes from this point forward.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Peg. It's always nice having you stop by.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Bill, I love the Mark Twain quote and think I'll use that one on all my work. Good one. Your ideas here are important points to remember.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, your point is a good one. I can find a mistake in every one of my hubs; now imagine 100,000 words and the number of mistakes in that mess. LOL I do the same thing, editing every book I read. :) Thank you for all the visits this afternoon.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      This is really spot on Bill. I would think everyone would do this. I go back to review old hubs and no matter what, I usually find a mistake or two. A book is an entirely other matter. I would not feel right not hiring an editor. I have also always thought it would be fun to edit. I find when I read a book that I am silently correcting or rearranging some things.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, how is the winter up north? A bit chilly? :) Thank you my friend. There are some jobs I just won't do for free; I wish I had the time and resources to be more generous, but I have bills to pay just like everyone else. :)

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Billy-you bet your time is valuable. Why would you do a job and not ask for what it's worth. Good for you! Hope your having a good start to the week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True words Sweetie Pie. Best wishes in your endeavors.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Well I am a pretty good story teller, so I know I shall do well. Friends keep asking: when will the novel be done. Soon, but there is art and other interests to also work on. Those of us with a myriad of interests are just stretch thin.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      SweetiePie, if you are happy then that's all that counts. My goodness, in the end we have to wake up next to ourselves and look in the mirror. It's our work and we have to like it.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I think a lot of bad stuff gets in the mainstream popularity market, and the editing is not always the best. I do know of publishers who offer editing, but sometimes this means going to a smaller press. I guess I know my writing has touched people, and I will be alright in the end. One thing I know is I have very certain tastes, and I want to publish my writing for a like-minded audience. This might not always have mass market appeal, but it is quite doable.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dizzy, I understand completely about the financial aspect....maybe barter with another writing friend so neither of you has to pay for anything....online writing groups will do the same thing....just thoughts.

      Thanks for your experience and perspective, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, my day has improved greatly now that the internet is working. Thank you lil Sis!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      SweetiePie, good publishers will edit your book; the trick is getting a good publisher to even consider reading it. Not an easy task. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, I lost an editing bid the other day because the person thought $500 was too much....but my time is valuable and I refuse to work for less....been there done that and I'm not returning. LOL Thank you!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      Agreed. Editing yourself is so, so hard. Hope yer having a good day!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Good publishers will edit your book. If I am ever going to publish my novel, I expect they offer editing services.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Wise words, Bill. I have done editing on the side for my friend's books, and she was most pleased with my efforts. Yes, I check not only spelling and grammar, but as you pointed out, also tense, verb/subject agreement, flow, consistency, and sequence. Sometimes writers get carried away, get ahead of themselves, and some event in the story is out of place in time.

      However, I did not charge her, as I am just venturing into that sideline, and she was tight on money. My pay was the ability to list that job in my portfolio. ;-)

      For my own writing, I do find that here on HP, I sometimes miss things, especially when I'm writing on the site instead of doing a draft in MS Word first.

      Most of the time, however, I find all the mistakes after the work has been allowed to sit for a period; that is the same thing I do with my book of poems on which I'm currently working. I let it sit for a couple of months, and when I re-read it, I'm a bit more distanced, and can see with an objective eye and say, "Why on earth would I have put that phrase there?" or "Uh-oh--a major typo over here."

      For me, in our current situation being in merely 'tight' financial circumstances would be in improvement. There is no extra money at all, so I must do it myself.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      You give great information here Bill. I was surprised to see what it costs to get a book edited but I think it's worth it if you want to get it published. I agree that it's hard to edit your own work. I'm sharing this informative hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I think that too, Genna. Too bad they cost so much. :) I hope you are having a great weekend...thank you!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      "A writer becomes too close to their book." Amen! i wish I could carry an editor around with me in my pocket whenever I write as I often miss what is right there in front of me. I then think, "Sheesh, girl...wake up!" I truly believe that good editors are worth every penny. Excellent hub, Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      jainismus, for sure you would need to do that. English as a second language is full of pitfalls. Most English-speaking natives make a great deal of mistakes as well.

      Thank you my friend.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 3 years ago from Pune, India

      I would surely like to higher an editor if I want to publish a book. The reason is that English is not my first language, and only an editor can correct the mistakes in my writings.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Deb. It ain't cheap but it can be necessary. Look me up if you decide you need one. We'll find a price that works for you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for the info. These are things that I didn't fully consider, as I had no idea what to expect from an editor, much less how much one cost. Thanks, Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      and thank you vkwok....have a great weekend.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the useful tips, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo! We did have a nice Thanksgiving my friend; now back to work. As for sharing the wealth......I just assume everyone does that. :) Have a wonderful weekend and blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Graham! I hope you have a great weekend my friend.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, this is why you have so many avid follows. You generously share a wealth of very practical and valuable information free of charge. This will help many writers here, unfortunately, I'm not there yet, but it's still good information for the future. I hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving day, take care and my best to you.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Great information here Bill, especially the cost of Editor's time. Helpful as usual.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, torrilynn; it's just a matter of whether the writer can afford it. Thanks for your thoughts on it.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      I personally would have to say that hiring an editor would be a great choice and an overall good investment especially someone who has been editing for a long time. Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, thank you for visiting and the comment. The only consideration should be whether you can afford a pro editor, but yes, it is essential for anyone serious about publishing.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Ah yes, the editor. I think having someone to look over your manuscript prior to publishing it, or prior to sending it to a publisher for reading, is essential. You give a great intro to anyone wondering if they need an editor. Keep up the great work, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, LOL...the elbow power is fine my friend. Thanks for asking. There is no doubt that editing can be expensive. To my way of thinking, if I have spent a year working on something then I want it to be the best it can be.....but that's just me. :) Thank you as always.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Yep, you get what you pay for, as in so many walks of life. I know what you mean about becoming attached to your work. It's also easy to read what you want to read or what you know should be there - you don't notice your own mistakes! I find I notice a lot if I go back to it having left it a few days; not only spelling and grammatical mistakes but also phraseology, sense and flow.

      Great advice. I think it depends on how well you want to do your job; if you want the perfect product then you have to put in maximum effort and maximum funds, at least that's my opinion. Then, how exciting it is to find you've produced something worthwhile! By the way, how's the elbow power?! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great point Pamela...all editors are not created equal! I love that line. :) Happy Thanksgiving Pamela and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I am blessed with some wonderful followers and friends. Thank you my dear and enjoy your Thursday as winter settles in.

      love,

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE....have a wonderful day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, you just named one of my pet peeves as well, and it happens with some very well known authors. I guess that just goes to show how important it is that a good job be done. Thanks for mentioning that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Joelle! It is not an easy job at all but it is definitely worth doing well. Have a great day and thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

      I think hiring a good editor is wothwhile as editing is about much more than punctuation and grammar, as you pointed out. My son recently had a book published and it was edited by two different editors. The result was well worthwhile. I paid someone (who is well known on Hybpages) to edit and help me write my first book and my mother found numerous mistakes! All editors are not created equal. I ended up re-writing much of the book. Your hub is very useful for those us that are new at getting a book published.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another wonderful read Billy. Voted up ,across and sharing. As I repeat myself once again ou are an amazing teacher and by the amount of your comments many many more agree with me. Wishing you a great day billy.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Sound advice here a well approached subject informative and useful indeed.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I appreciate that you chose this valuable topic to write on and found your advice most helpful. It unnerves me to no end to pay good money for published books and catch grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, plot and character inconsistencies and redundancies, etc. A thorough editor would have noticed.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great hub and a lot of great advices, Bill! I worked for a little while for a publishing company in Ottawa (educational material) and we were 4 of us proof reading every document. As a proof reader, it's easy to get caught up in the content and then miss some of the mistakes and for that reason they had 4 different people going through each document. It was an interesting job because one day I would read something in music, the next day something in chemistry, etc.

      They are so many steps to accomplish to have a book ready to be published. A lot of people don't realize it! So your article will help a lot of people!

      Have a nice Thanksgiving!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, you are an accomplished author and your word is gold as far as I'm concerned. Thank you for your thoughts and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      From personal experience, I'd say hiring an editor is a must if you are going to be selling your book. When I first began writing, I thought I could "get away" with editing my own book, read it probably 100 times and still missed mistakes. Not so much spelling or grammar, but more with content and timelines. If it is a book for personal use, however, I wouldn't hire an editor- I'd simply do the best I could with editing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope so too, Nadine. This is a side of the writing business few people understand and it is important. Thanks for adding your info to the mix.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, affording a good one is a bit tough for most of us. I'll give you a discount; that's the best offer you'll get today. :) Thanks as always for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, you are a natural at this editing stuff. I'll recommend you forthwith. LOL Thanks for the chuckle.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mylinda, one could go broke paying for everything a professional editor does and charges for. I don't have that kind of cash, so I have to improvise. Of course, if someone has the cash and wants to give it to me, I'll be more than happy to edit their book. :) Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Always a pleasure to read your hubs Bill. This one was no exception. The topic is a good one. Most of the manuscripts we see are indeed edited, but often by friends or family members. We use several editors depending on the topic of the book. We only use editors that are very clued up about esoteric subjects. There is a lot more to it that just grammar. If the author is from the UK, her or his book will be edited with a UK dictionary, the same applies for the USA. Then a style sheet is prepared. Each book needs a different layout, fonts and or illustrations...etc... I’ve asked my partner – my publisher, to write some hubs with the topic: From the publishers desk, and am hoping that he gets around to it soon.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      I think getting a Editor is a great idea, I know my writing would definitely be better after being polished up and cleaned so to speak! lol! I am sure we all have the best editor here.....um....bill any thoughts on erm editing my erm.....book? Haha!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Excellent advice, Bill. I kould eazily get a job as an editer, Bill, because my grammer and speling is perfekt. Butt I preferr to rite instede.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

      I don't get editing jobs very often. When I do I charge $5.00 for 500 words as measured by my Microsoft Word. I was pretty good in English and Grammar in high school and college so I actually enjoy it. I didn't know that real editors did so much. I usually read for consistency just because it bothers me if a story or paper is disjointed. Anyway, love this information.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always Faith. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you my dear friend. Blessings always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that Jackie! Bev will catch many of my mistakes, and I trust her to be honest, but I'll probably get an editor for this book I am currently working on.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Kim, I love that. We never do stop teaching, do we?

      I was just adding some fillers today to the book I am working on and found some mistakes...how I missed them the first three times is beyond me, but miss them I did. Human nature; no getting around it.

      Have a very Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      You know it, Bill ... having an editor is oh so important, for we, as the writer, are so close to our work, that the obvious may not jump out at us, when it does someone else! Up and more and sharing

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,

      Faith Reaper

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Having a husband and son interested in my writings when I started (a children's book) they both read it as I wrote it and were my editors so I was really lucky. They did find things even after I was sure it was good so you know what you are talking about. ^

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      This is - as usual - important information. It is difficult for some to realize just how difficult it is to edit one's own work, but writers are just too close to their hard work. If someone is planning on publishing, I believe the same as you. Get it edited. If you can't hire someone, find a close friend who is willing to do it for you. I recently finished an editing project for a professor. Not only did I edit hard copy and digital, I created a poster board presentation so he could see (visual learner) how major aspects of his plot flowed. I suppose you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but not the teaching out of the teacher. Smiles.

      Many Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It really does, Lizzy! It is just impossible to see the forest for the trees with 100,000 words. I wish I could but alas, I can't. :)

      Thank you my dear friend...Happy Thanksgiving!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jaye!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      It's easy to see that we all need editors. I read and re-read everything I publish online, yet so many times I've gone back and found obvious errors. I imagine this happens even more often if you write a book.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and Bev too, Bill!

      Jaye

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, it is a tough call for any writer. I agree that an editor can, at times, lose the voice of the writer. I don't like giving too much freedom to anyone with my work, but it is necessary to give up some.

      Happy Thanksgiving my friend. I find you an excellent resource and friend and for that I thank you.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Some damn good tips, billybuc! (Love that Mark Twain quote.) As an editor myself, I often suffer from the "doctor treating herself" malady, but hoping to recover soon. :) Just talked with a friend who went through the editorial process with her book (done by a big publisher) last year. She said she found the editor's advice helpful. But I have to say that I can tell the parts which were edited. They totally lost the author's voice and appeared "sanitized." So I guess I'd say be an editor with your editor! Happy Thanksgiving! So grateful to have you in my writers network!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      loveofnight, you are very welcome. Good luck with your decision.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Vicki! I know from experience that that is true. It might cost some money but it is important if the goal is to sell our book.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend.

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 3 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      you have left me with a lot to digest. i have had a completed manuscript sitting on the back shelf of a of a dark closet for some time now. i originally wrote it for me but now i am thinking of sharing. thanks for the info as well as the heads-up.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I think one of the truest things you said is that we get close to our own work, so it's hard to really see it anymore. An outside pair of eyes is important, I think. Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      W1totalk, I am guessing you would be surprised how much material you have, and you have certainly lived a life...there's a book in there somewhere. :) Thanks for the visit and Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Jaye, I didn't explain it as well as you did. LOL Thank you for a passionate explanation of what writing should look like. Now I'd better go take a look at my novel and make sure I'm pulling my readers along with it.

      Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

      bill

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 3 years ago

      I can only hope to one day publish. I never believed I have enough materials to do so. This is great advise though. It is a great hub.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      The credibility of any author lies with the quality of the finished product. In this age of self-publishing, the writer who is either extremely accomplished at editing his or her own work (and by this I mean accomplished at a professional level) or hires a professional editor to ensure not only grammatical accuracy, but consistency and structure, is the writer who will be taken seriously.

      It requires more than knowledge and a message to produce a non-fiction book that sells, more than a terrific story and the ability to tell it to do the same for fiction. Professional editing is a must if you want your book to sell to a broader audience than friends and family, to possibly even become a bestseller. (Yes, there are self-published books hitting The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists these days, but they don't get there by chance.)

      Your writing must grasp the reader by the nape of the neck, pull him or her into your message or story and ensure there is no distraction to prevent pages from continuing to turn (or the screen from scrolling) until the end of the book is reached.

      That's why editing is so important. Thanks for explaining this so well, Bill.

      Voted Up++

      Jaye

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Mike! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Melissa! I'm sure there are online communities where you can get it done. I just don't know of any. You have time to do some research before making that decision. Enjoy the writing process first. Happy Thanksgiving Melissa!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pearl! Look me up when it comes time to edit; I have a special discount for friends. :) Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

      Very interesting and informative hub for any writer out there, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge on this one Billy!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Very interesting! I guess I haven't gotten quite that far yet, but its good to know your options. I know you say you get what you pay for, but what do you think about having it reviewed on-line? There are so many websites where writers gather and read each others work and give feedback. Does any website take it further and provide editing for eachother? As you said, you get what you pay for...but money can be tight and I was just wondering if this option was out there?

      Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you take the day off and enjoy it with your family!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, you always give us such great advice and information. I had no idea that editing costs so much! I may have to re-think whether I want to write or edit! Have an awesome holiday, my friend ;) Pearl

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, editing for free is about as good a deal as you can get. The book I'm working on now....I was 25,000 words into it and decided to go back and read the first couple chapters....and found inconsistencies. It is that easy to get off track as a writer.

      Thanks for your reflections on this and Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I'll bet your comment applies to every office in America. I write for several real estate companies and damn, those guys can't write at all and need me dearly. LOL

      Happy Thanksgiving buddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Unfortunately, Mary, no, nothing comes cheap. I wish I had better news but editing is expensive and needs to be budgeted for if one is a serious writer.

      Thank you as always, Tillson!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, not a day goes by that people do not surprise me with their behavior. There are days I simply do not understand them at all. You did a good thing and it was a win-win for both of you. Too bad she is too stupid to understand that.

      Happy Thanksgiving my dear

      love,

      billy

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      I hired an editor for my last book. I thought she did a great job..but the publisher did not. I went over the book and made many changes..Not so much grammar and spelling but some stuff did not make sense..As we know when we write..we often can ramble .....The first book which was a Business book..we edited and re-edited.. I was not concerned about perfection as it helped so many people..SO half sentences etc worked. However Someone who was going to buy my book offered to edit for a free book..Why argue with success ..I sold thousands.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent as usual. When the computers and faxes made it quick and without absolute need for secretaries editing common business correspondence took a real hit. In my office we had to make a rule. Nobody could send out anything without another person proofreading. Oh my -- some of the stuff I write now is just horrible. But I am learning.

      Thanks

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Another paving stone on the road to publishing. What would we do without you? Your advice always covers all bases and leaves no questions in our mind.

      Nothing comes cheap in this world and I know, as you said, you get what you pay for!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I've had a couple of copyediting jobs fall my way recently and I must say, I enjoy it. I'd like to do more editing on the business side of my writing, rather than write copy for businesses. That way I can concentrate on my creative writing, which is much more enjoyable to me.

      I recently had a rather disturbing experience. A woman on LinkedIn put out a plea to have her short story edited for verb tense. The caveat is she's not able to pay. I offered to do it for her in exchange for a recommendation. She sent me her story, I made the appropriate corrections and gave her some feedback regarding several inconsistencies in the story, repetitive phrases, grammar errors, etc.. (She confided that the story was to be entered in a contest. I felt the 'free' feedback I offered would increase her chances of winning). She became absolutely incensed and copped a major attitude towards me. Nevertheless, she got what she wanted but refused to write a recommendation for me. Maybe she'll think back on what I suggested when her piece doesn't win the prize!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DJ...yes, it is expensive, but certainly not necessary until the final product is ready. I am very proud of you for continuing with your work. Carry on my friend and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Joe from foggy Olympia. I hope you are well my friend, and I wish you a wonderfully Happy Thanksgiving.

      aloha

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing all that, Mary! It is a big decision and one that needs to be considered very seriously....big money involved and all that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And cygnetbrown, that is always the main concern. Pros are expensive so we have to find more creative approaches. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      As always, great information!

      You answered many question that I was wondering about.

      As you have taught us, writing is a process with many stages of growth.

      And, with most growth, there will be growing pains.

      Editing sounds like it is a must and an expensive must.

      Thankfully, the need for an editor is in my distant future.

      Bill, thanks for this article. Hope you and Bev and family

      have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

      DJ.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Good morning, Bill!

      This came as a new learning experience for me. I'm still in the dark ages. LOL! You know...send it in to the editor, he marks it all up in red, sends it back to you for a rewrite, etc. Thanks for sharing this vital piece of information.

      Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friend! Aloha!

      ~Joe

    • Mary McShane profile image

      Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

      Very good article, Bill. I know for myself when I read through my work, I miss simple grammar and spelling errors and I could kick myself for it. I know why I miss them - because I'm so concerned with looking for WHAT (content) I want to say is in my text, that I don't look for errors in HOW (spelling, punctuation, etc) I want to say it. It is like my eye just doesn't see it, I'm blind to it. I know this to be true for me because I'll put something away for a couple of months, come back to it and find errors and say to myself, now why didn't I see that and fix it when I was editing it before? You can edit your work 20 times in a week and your eye will miss errors because it is subconsciously looking for too many other things that need correcting - content being uppermost.

      For me, hiring an editor is foolish money to spend if I am nowhere near submitting to a publisher and the manuscript was not stamped with FINAL COPY on my end. In recent years, agents often steer authors to editors they trust, so choosing and hiring an agent was a bigger decision for me than hiring an editor. You have good info here for all of us, no matter where we are in our writing journey.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      I learned the hard way that I needed an editor for my books. I didn't have the money to do it at the time that I needed the editing done, but I managed to find someone who did an excellent job.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine and I hope one day you do take a look at that novel. Happy Thanksgiving to that wonderful family of yours.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marilyn, indeed we should all be blessed with one. Money is always an in issue for most writers.....it's a tough decision if money is a factor. Thanks for your thoughts.