I’ve been reading a lot of indie published books and short stories in the past few weeks and months. The one thing I’ve noticed across the board is that every single author needs an editor. Yes, even you, the English major. You need an editor.
You know those optical illusions, the one where you pick a C out of a billion O’s? How about the one where you count the number of ‘f’s but miss the one f in ‘of’ because it sounds like a ‘v’? Exactly. No matter how careful a person is, their brain will fill in the missing words or switch back the dyslexic sentences during their own proofing. Even worse? Spell checkers go only so far. Otherwise, the world wouldn’t be full of your/you’re and to/too errors, never mind the beloved their/there/they’re.
If your editor becomes a friend, that’s great. Just don’t hand over your document to a friend and expect them to edit it. Your priorities are not their priorities. Plus, if they’re friends, you’re probably not paying them and they’re not as serious about your deadlines as you are. Editing is one place where you suck it up and pay the man or woman to do their job.
There are several types of editors out there. Developmental editors, line editors, proofreaders, copy editors. Some people offer more than one type of edits with their services. My own editor does line editing and proofreading. She’s invaluable to me and makes my writing so much better.
Here’s a link to more information. The article is very much worth your time to read before publishing. Note to Hampton Roads authors: Don’t cut the editor