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Do You Really Need An Editor?

KWE Publishing Newsletter - 07/27/23

Is there actually an editor (or several editors) behind every great author?

There are so many talented writers out there who know how to create exciting stories, believable characters, robust settings, and nearly perfect sentences. Do they need editors?

There have been books published without editors, and some of those books are pretty amazing!


We do think that every author could benefit from an editor of some sort.

Maybe we're a little biased, but stick with us! We'll explain the ways an editor can help you throughout the writing process.

1. Let an editor help shoulder some of the work.

Whether you know your grammar rules inside and out or you find yourself relying on spellcheck (and there's no shame in that!), you'd probably rather spend your time writing rather than searching your work for minor errors.

A good editor can help you fix grammar and technical issues that are sometimes glossed over. Even with tools like spellcheck and Grammarly, it's often easy to miss these problems in our own writing (and apps and built-in programs aren't always totally accurate), so it's often smart to let an editor review your work.

An experienced editor will also help to ensure your book has a cohesive feel to it, which is important to readers. They check that your perspectives or points of view, verb tenses, and names are all used in the proper context. These changes, though they might seem small, will elevate a reader's experience.

2. Ensure your story makes sense from an outside perspective.

When you've read your own story upwards of five, ten, or fifteen times, it's easy to gloss over major or minor developmental issues. After all, you're so intimately familiar with your story, characters, and setting that everything makes perfect sense to you, and sometimes, it's easy to forget that readers don't have all the insight you do!

A skilled developmental editor will help you look for structural issues that could confuse readers or take them out of the story. Having an objective perspective is invaluable and can prevent you from realizing your potential mistakes after your book has been published.

Working with a developmental editor early on in the writing process can also save you a lot of time. Instead of having to rework huge elements of your book when you feel you're close to finishing it, you can talk out issues and make changes well before you've done a lot of the writing. Note that many editors do multiple types of editing, so this may be the best strategy for you!

3. An editor wants to make your book the best it can be.

Getting feedback from an editor can be hard for some people, especially if you've spent a long time creating your story. I've admittedly been terrified to get critiques of my own work before, especially early on in my writing career; in school, I absolutely dreaded hearing a peer or professor share their thoughts about my writing.

I was protective of my work, and at that time, I felt like a comment about my writing was really a comment about me. If something didn't make sense or there was an error in my work, I took it personally.

But over the years, I shifted my perspective. I've edited a lot of content—blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, marketing emails, websites, and books from so many different genres—and never once has my intention been to upset or hurt the writers whose work I'm editing. I don't say that to brag; I say this because most editors feel this way. We really want you to succeed! We believe in you, and that's why we do what we do—we want your story to be told well and have the intended impact on your readers.

Of course, every editor has their own demeanor, and you might seek out an editor whose style fits yours. Some writers really appreciate a blunt editor, whereas others need a gentler tone. Don't be afraid to find an editor who you click with.

So, while you technically can publish a book without an editor's help, an editor can help you catch errors, find developmental and structural issues, and strengthen your book, and we highly recommend you work with at least one editor as you create your book!

Do you think authors benefit from working with editors? Reach out and let us know; we appreciate hearing from you!

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