Congratulations! You’ve written an article, book, or essay and you’re super proud of it. You should be – it takes a lot of work to wrestle words from your mind and put them onto paper (or screen). You’ve probably read it over dozens of times. You think you’re ready to move forward with publishing.
But wait! Why haven’t you hired an editor? You may think we are just glorified spell-checkers, but that’s not the case. Yes, we fix spelling, correct grammar, and adjust punctuation. But we are also trained to look deeper into your document. Here are five reasons why hiring a professional editor is an essential step to take before publishing your writing.
Because appropriate language is important.
Language refers to the jargon that you might not realize puts a wall between you and your reader. It refers to the colloquialisms in your writing that may be too casual if it’s meant for a formal setting. Editors will also check that your writing is free from offensive language that may be racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory. You also don’t want to be sued after you publish your writing, and editors will help guide you if they find any areas that could be deemed libelous.
Because you’re too familiar with your own writing.
It’s an unfortunate truth, but our minds are great at filling in missing information that we know should be there. But just because you as the writer know what you’re trying say, doesn’t mean you’ve actually communicated your thoughts in the most clear and comprehensible way. You need a set of fresh eyes that are otherwise unfamiliar with your piece to help make sure your sentences, paragraphs, and overall document structures are cohesive and complete.
Because you need to ensure your information is accurate.
Editors will check the internal consistency of your document. Did you say your character was 28 years old in chapter one, but 29 years old in chapter eight? If agreed to in your contract, editors can also check research in non-fiction and essays to ensure facts are collected from reliable sources and that all your research provides a cohesive, complete argument to a single conclusion.
Because you can improve as a writer.
Even the best writers are constantly striving to improve their writing. Working with an editor is one way that will help you become a better writer. Editors will notice when you overuse certain words or phrases and can provide clarity on confusing grammar rules or particular style elements.
Because mistakes can cost you.
Ultimately, publishing an unpolished piece of writing that has any errors in spelling, grammar, language, consistency, or accuracy could cost you or your business. This cost may be reflected in lost revenue or damaged reputation. Clients and potential customers are forming perceptions about you and your business the moment they begin reading, and hiring a professional editor will help you publish writing that will leave a positive impression on your reader.