Do I Need an Editor?
In short? Yes. Yes, you do.
Even the best writers need someone to review their work, and most swear that the relationship between themselves and their editors helps them to become better wordsmiths.
But really, at the end of the day, you need an editor because unedited work is unprofessional work. Proofreading your own writing is not enough; by the time you’re ready to review, you’ll have read your text countless times. Your brain simply doesn’t register mistakes anymore, filling in the blanks itself, which means you can make some pretty critical errors.
If you want to put your best foot forward and make an impact on your readers — whether you’ve just finished your manuscript, are looking to refine an academic paper or just want to connect with your audience — you’re going to need the help of an editor.
First of all, what does an editor do?
You may be thinking that an editor is simply someone who checks for spelling and fusses over misplaced (or missing) commas, but there’s a lot more to it.
Editors have keenly-trained eyes and strong attention to detail that allows them to professionally polish your work, providing valuable insights you might otherwise miss.
Some of the things an editor can do for you include:
-Improving the coherency, readability and flow of your writing -Identifying overused words/expressions and subtle language use that weakens your writing -Identifying gaps, missing information and inconstancies -Providing objective feedback on your writing and offering suggestions. (This one is probably the most important. A fresh set of eyes can do wonders.)
And, yes, fixing spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
The list goes on, depending on the specifics of your project, budget and the type of editing you want. Essentially, your editor is your first reader, troubleshooting any problems that might be found in your writing.
Why should I have an editor look at my manuscript?
From editing the structure of a text (known as structural editing, or developmental editing), to copyediting and proofreading, an editor can transform your work and take it to the next level.
If you’re planning on self-publishing your work, it is vital that you have a professional look over your writing. If you plan on going through the traditional route, however, it’s still a good idea to have an editor review your writing before you submit. A polished manuscript is far more likely to escape the slush pile than one riddled with errors.
And, as mentioned before, you can become a better writer by going through the editing process with a professional editor. Identifying common mistakes and bad habits means that the next time you put pen to paper, your writing will be stronger.
I’m not an author. Do I still need an editor?
Editors aren’t limited to the world of publishing. If you rely on the written word in your everyday life, chances are you’ll need a helping hand.
Whether you’re just trying to boost your grades for your undergrad degree, are in the middle of a PHD, or live and breathe academia, academic editing services can be useful.
With thesis proofreading and dissertation proofreading, an editor not only looks at formatting, language and referencing, but also focuses on the logic and flow. The quality of academic writing is determined by how well you can communicate your ideas; an editor makes sure that your work is concise, clear and expressed the best it can be.
Getting a second, objective opinion can also help as a bias checker, neutralising any unconscious biases that may be present in your work.
For higher-level researchers, academic manuscript editing or research proposal editing is a good investment; with journals and funding agencies receiving more and more submissions — and accepting even less — having a professional editor go over your work can give you the edge you need.
Words are crucial for any business. Whether it’s on your website, social media, advertisements or other company documents, your writing is the face you present to potential customers—the first impression they will have of your brand. Quality content suggests quality service, building trust with your customers, so it’s essential to make sure there’s no unfortunate typos or clumsy phrasing. You want your messages to be sharp and clear.
Most business owners may not enjoy or have the time to, polish off their communications. From proofreading documents — reports, eBooks, training material, whitepapers, proposals, and more — that will be read by stakeholders, to reviewing copy to make sure it’s convincing enough, a good editor can help to present a professional and cohesive front.
In particular, hiring an article editor or a web copy editor can make sure that when potential customers visit your site, they’re impressed by what they see.
So, how do I find the right editor?
It’s important to remember that not all editors are the same. Depending on the expertise, methods and personality of the editor, you may find that you relate to one over another. And, considering that copy editing rates can vary greatly, it’s crucial to shop around.
Most editors will evaluate your document first, determining the amount of work they’ll need to do and how long it will take. They will then be able to send you an estimate of how much the job will cost.
(Be wary of editors that ask you to pay upfront, or offer extremely low rates. With editing, you usually get what you pay for.)
Beyond the quote, however, you should reach out and ask about their process, timeline and any other questions that can help you decide if they will be a good fit for your writing style and needs. Intrigued? If you want more advice on editing and proofreading services, make sure you reach out. I’d love to hear from you!