If you’ve written a book (or you’re in the process of writing a book), I’m here to tell you that hiring an editor is non-negotiable.
Even if you think you can DIY it and edit your book yourself, there are certain things an editor provides that cannot be DIYed. For real.
So if you’re on the fence and you’re not really sure how an editor is going to help you, here are 9 vital things an editor does that will transform your book.
An Editor Spots Holes in Your Content
This is your editor’s biggest job. They’re going to read through your book and point out the big issues. It’s gunna hurt a little, but you’ll be so glad they did.
You’re so close to what you’ve written, it’s hard to spot these big picture problems. But as soon as your editor points one out you’re going to have a “doh!” moment and be so relieved it was spotted before being published.
I edited a book once for a Chiropractic Doctor. He had years of experience, his own segment on a news program on American TV (yeah, for real) and had worked with hundreds of clients.
Not once did he mention any of that in his book.
It was a massive hole and a missed opportunity to build his authority and show his readers just how qualified he was to be writing the book.
When I pointed this out to him, he just started laughing because it seemed such a huge thing to miss out. Good thing he’d hired an editor!
They Remove Any Confusion
The last thing you want is your reader thinking, “what the hell is this person talking about?” when reading your book.
You’re the expert at what you do so it comes as second nature. Because of that, it can be so easy to skim over important aspects of what you’re writing about because you think everyone will know what you’re talking about.
Your editor is going to tell you where you’re oversimplifying important concepts, where your writing becomes confusing, where you’re going to lose your reader’s attention, and where you’re over-complicating things.
All of this means you’ll have an easy-to-follow plan of how to simplify your content so it reads beautifully and explains your topics like a pro.
They Tell You What to Add
There’s a fine line between giving your reader value and going off on a tangent. You want your book to be focused and strategic - every word needs to be important and keep the book moving.
But on the quest for simplicity, sometimes it’s easy to leave out aspects that your reader might love to read about.
Most books I’ve edited I’ve left a note like, “it would be really cool to add this in here.”
The usual response is, “Well damn I never even thought about adding that in!”
They Fix Awkward Sentences and Structure
You know those books that read so beautifully you feel like you’re flying through them? It almost feels like it’s reading itself and you’re putting no effort in at all.
That’s what you’re aiming for with your book.
But the thing that stunts the dreamy flow of a book is awkward sentences and structure.
If your reader has to stop and re-read a sentence because it didn’t make sense the first time, you’re leaving a tiny negative feeling in them. The more awkward sentences, the more negatively they’re going to have towards your book.
Your content could be groundbreaking and be the solution for world peace, if the sentences and structure aren’t on point, readers aren’t going to feel that spark.
Your editor will make sure your book flows and reads like a dream so your wonderful message can shine through.
They Fix Inconsistent Style
You want your book to sound like you. But it’s real easy to come across as rigid or robotic when you start putting words to paper.
As part of my editing package, clients have to fill in a workbook before editing which includes questions about their voice, style and brand. If your brand is fun, lighthearted and cheeky, I’m going to make sure that’s what’s coming across in your book.
If you’re sarcastic, straight-to-the-point and brutal, yup, I’m going to make sure that’s shining through.
A good editor doesn’t edit your voice and style out of your book, they help to make it come through even more.
Whatever your style, voice and message, your editor will help you bring that out in your book.
They Remove Typos & Errors
After working on your book for weeks or months, it’s ridiculously easy to miss typos and errors. Your brain just starts glazing over them. But you don’t want a book strewn with spelling mistakes and grammar errors!
No need to stress – your editor has you covered.
They Tell You What’s Awesome!
Who doesn’t love praise? I sometimes feel like the bad guy as an editor. All I do is point out what’s wrong with a book and what needs to be changed. It’s like working really hard on an essay in school and your teacher writing all over it in red pen. Ugh, right?
So I also like to tell my writers what’s brilliant about their book. And there are always a bunch of different aspects of each book that make it epic.
This gives you a much needed boost and it also gives you confidence that you’ve written a good book, it just needs a little polishing to make it sparkle.
They Do the Formatting
Formatting a book for Kindle can be a pain in the ass. You’ll think you’ve got it perfect and then when you upload it to KDP it turns into a jumbled mess and you want to throw your laptop out the window. Trust, I’ve been there.
As part of my editing package, I’ll format your book for Kindle. That means when you receive your final copy, it’s ready to publish – no extra work needed. Talk about taking the stress off!
They Give You Confidence to Hit Publish
This is the best thing you’ll get from an editor. They give you an unshakeable confidence that what you’re publishing is high-quality, valuable, and professional.
Without an editor, the stress and fear of publishing a book can be overwhelming.
You’ll stress you’ve left something out, it’s too confusing, it’s not valuable enough, there are typos and spelling mistakes, and a million other things.
Your editor is going to make sure your book is the best it can possibly be before you hit publish. And that confidence you feel is priceless.
Need A Book Editor?
Hi, I’m Emily! I’m a non-fiction book editor for creative entrepreneurs. If you want your book to establish you as an expert in your niche, grow your business and create consistent passive income, I’m here to help!