I’ll start this post by saying, I am pro paid Editor Services. If you’re looking for a blog post that is cutting down the idea of using paid editors, you are not going to find it here.
I am going to discuss both sides of the argument however, and I welcome you to leave comments about your views on the subject!
Pro: A second set of eyes (or a third, lol) on your work.
Two heads are better than one. Period. This is probably the number one reason you should get an editor. Some people argue that beta readers could do something similar, but for other reasons I will discuss below, beta readers are not editors and each group brings a different set of skills to your editing process. If you use Betas, that’ll make three sets of eyes!
Con: Services are not free. Usually.
Editing services cost money. That’s “bad” no matter how you slice it because anything free is good right? No… but a lot of authors are running on a limited budget. I do want to note that you can always find a service that fits your budget or an editor who can do a payment plan, or something of the sort.
Pro: This person studied the art of editing, you did not.
Editors go to college and take classes so they can do their job, just like many other professionals. They have a degree in making words pretty, you don’t, and your beta readers probably don’t either. The only time this rule doesn’t apply is when you are an editor, and if that’s the case, I’m not talking to you.
Con: This person DID NOT study the art of editing…
I have heard of and witnessed situations where the editor, just wasn’t very good at their job. This is isolated however, and varies from author to author. Your writing skills sometimes make a difference as well. Most editors will provide you with a sample and you should shop around to find the most skilled editor before contracting. Sorry if you found a crappy editor… that’s not cool.
Pro: You are now in a team.
I love working with editors because all of a sudden I don’t feel so alone. Writing can be a very solitary activity so getting someone else involved who can learn to love my story is pretty nice. Throw in some beta readers and you’re really rolling with a crew!
Con: Your feelings might get hurt.
Gotta have thick skin! Someone is going to point out all your flaws now! Get ready! As I will explain in my next Pro, this is actually a good thing, but if your editor is any good, they will not spare your feelings. They shouldn’t. You can’t grow if you’re always comfortable!
Pro: Editing is a learning experience.
Editors notice things about your writing that you may never notice because you are too busy being in love with your work. lol. Seriously, even if you think it sucks, an editor can still find patterns that teach you about your writing style.
Con: You have to be fully engaged in the process.
Yes, you have to be fully involved in the editing process. The editor won’t do everything for you… but I guess, this isn’t a valid complaint because if you did it alone, you would have to do even more work…
Pro: You will release your best work.
The more eyes you have on your work, the better it will be. Beta readers help with prepping a second or third draft, then with an editor going through multiple drafts with you, you’ve had so many people reviewing, looking out for those tiny errors and pointing out where things can be improved. In the long run, you will release your best work.
Con: Editing delays release times.
On the other hand, editing often takes 2-3 months to complete and technically could be very unpredictable, timeline wise. The completion time has everything to do with your editors speed, your return rate – how quickly you make changes, and emergencies can’t be avoided. This could delay your release if editing is not started in a timely fashion. And really, it can’t be rushed. Good editing is done at its own pace, or things can be missed.
So, the choice is yours, but I wanna end with one important note. EVERY traditionally published book is professionally edited. Name your favorite author, mine is the King himself, and yes, their books were edited professionally. Just chew on that.
Lemme know your thoughts! Are you pro editing services, or no?