Some authors feel that Editing is not as fun-filled as penning down words that eventually form a full book. And a lot of times, it is easy for them to get carried away just by thinking of how readers will wow and aww and drop wonderful comments and reviews. Of course, you’re the writer and you know how much work you put in. But being too close to your work wouldn’t help you see all the errors that need to be removed or the plots that need to be re-written or developed.
You need some distance from your work, and a pair of external eyes to help you have a re-look at your manuscript and make edits, thereby cleaning up the book. After writing Your Manuscript, it is at this point, a professional Editor should be brought in.
It is true that once a book is released and your promotion is yielding good results, as a lot of people have placed an order for the book, book reviewers and critiques will also pick up a copy of your book, be it fiction or non-fiction. And if they open it to see a not-so-well-edited work, it’s going to be a long time before you raise your head up in public again, as they will tear you and your book apart with terrible reviews.
I can assure you, a lot of these book reviewers or critiques have large followers online and if they tell their followers your book is shitty, badly edited and sore to the eyes, you’ve lost a huge market.
What’s worse, if your personal readers read the book and start to drop bad reviews all over the place, they will be confirming to potential readers, that what the book reviewer and critique said, is true. And some random people out there can discourage others from buying your books.
An example of the above was when I strolled into the state library. The books I wanted were in the fiction and nonfiction category respectively. So as I looked through the fiction collection, one of the people in the library, a guy, returned some books to the same shelf. One of the titles caught my attention and so I asked him for it.
He looked at me, surprised. “Are you sure you want to read this?” that was his only question, as he handed it to me. I took the book, said my thanks and went on to find the second book. Thank Goodness, I found it.
I returned to my usual spot by the window. All I wanted to do was scan through the three books, pick out the points/plots I was after and then be on my way. After I was done with the two main books I came for, I sat with the third, and that was when I understood why the previous reader asked if I really wanted to read the book.
The words/sentences in the book were either spelled incorrectly or do not correspond with the expression the author is trying to portray. It was marred with grammatical errors especially. I really had to look at the author’s name again and read the short author bio at the back of the book, just to be sure if a grown-up person wrote and published that book without getting the services of an editor.
Don’t get it wrong. The storyline was beautiful. And if an editor had worked on the book, it would have been way superb.
So Why Should You Hire an Editor?
Should it be because you’re scared your work isn’t good enough? Or is it because you feel you’ve done all you can to make your work clean and so need an extra pair of eyes to help complete the process?
If you ask me, I will say option two s what you should go for. An Editor’s job isn’t to turn your book into a bestseller overnight. Their job is to clean up what you have written and make it perfect. In the course of editing, if there’s need for a scene or plot re-write, the Editor will still involve you in the re-write process.
So what types of editing do we have and which should you go for? See them below.
Proofreading –This type of editing costs N0.70 per word. This service is all about cleaning up basic grammar, punctuation and spell check errors that you as an author may have missed or don’t really know anything about.
Line editing (This is almost the same as copy editing) – Line editing costs N0.90 per word. Line editing is all about the writing style, the voice of your book, use of sentences and paragraphs. Line editing helps perfect the voice and message you want your book to carry, by re-working on the language and communication style.
Developmental editing – This type of editing costs 1.50 per word. It focuses on the development of your storyline, development of your characters, tying up all the loose ends and building bridges to properly link one scene to another. This will involve re-writing those scenes that don’t fit well, making it almost similar to ghostwriting. The author still has 100% right to the book.
Now don’t go hiring someone for line editing, when you actually need is Developmental editing or just basic proofreading.
So Why Should You Edit?
- A well-edited book brings about good reviews. And good reviews increase sales
- A well-edited book means all unnecessary words and explanations that may have confused readers have been removed, making your point and focus clear
- A well-edited book means people will be happy to associate with your book and as such recommend it to their friends, family or colleagues.
- A well-edited book means publishing companies will be happy to promote your book on their platforms. For example, On Okadabooks, even if you pay for book advert, if your book is not well edited, your advert payment will be rejected.
The above are just a few points. I’ve worked long enough at OkadaBooks to know what authors with poorly written works face when readers drop horrible reviews for them. These reviews go a long way in affecting sales as no one else who reads these reviews, will want to buy their books.
So, are you an Author in need of editing?. Two heads they say is better than one. Let’s talk here