Book Editor: Why Authors Shouldn’t Edit Their Own Book


book editorDo you know that as an author, you can’t do without having your manuscript thoroughly proofed and edited before you publish it anywhere? Do you know that becoming a New York Time best seller begins with little things, as simple as error-free content? Also, do you know that any content or text without the touch of professional editing is like a life without rays from the sun? Here, you would find 3 reasons you should not edit the work you have written with your own hands. So, before we start, who is an editor, and what is his work?


The Importance of a Book Editor

An editor is a person who proofs the work of a writer, assesses the direction of a story or the content, checks for the accuracy of the text, and ensures that the flow of thoughts follows a definite, understandable order of expression to a potential reader. Also, he makes sure that the non-essential parts of the story, that is, unnecessary parts, are cut out.

Generally, his job is to make sure your book is publishable. No traditional publisher will want to publish poorly written contents that will tarnish their image in the public place or the industry at large. And, no reader will want to find it hard to comprehend the thought of the author, or enjoy a smooth read without stumbling on stones—errors—along the way.


My Little Story

Sometime ago, I wrote a 2-page Gospel tract, proofed it up to five times and believed that it was perfect. On a given day, we wanted to go for evangelism in our neighborhood, and a sister, while reading the content, called my attention to two words to ascertain whether they were mistakes or not. To my utmost surprise, they were misspelled words — too bad that they distorted the sentence therein. That was just a tract, not a book. If it were a book, then an average of 1-7 mistakes might likely be on each page! Too bad for someone who dreams to be rated as a Best-selling Author in New York Times, someday!


“Ooch!” you seemed to grind your teeth when you found out mistakes in the final print of your book. You felt bad. You don’t need to feel bad anymore, you can flush them out in the next edition, but let someone do it for you.


3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Edit Your Own Book

Now, let’s delve into a few reasons why you shouldn’t edit your own books. If you’ve just written a book, you might want to re-read it several times to fix errors. You may want to do this so you can cut cost in the production process, but it’s not a wise decision.

  • Mental Burn Out

You wrote the content. Now, you have proofed it the second time. Naturally, because you were the one that wrote it, the storyline is familiar to your brain and every part of the content is your thought in a written form, you won’t have 100% concentration to fix things by yourself. Everything looks perfect and in order. Because of this, the quality of your job will be affected. It takes someone to see your back — on your own, you can’t tell what it’s wrong with your back.

  • Native Speaker Syndrome

Yeah, I don’t doubt the fact that you’re a native English speaker. Maybe you were born in downtown New York, your ancestral line dated back to 13th century. But then, your content may contain several errors. Accents differ from one region to another, but there is a SAE (Standard American English) version, which is highly recommended to authors. Whether you like it or not, your accent, local slangs, and diction will show up in your writings. If you have a Southern accent, how would a reader with Northern accents have a smooth read? Now, in my experience as a “book vetter” (I vet Christian manuscripts for doctrinal soundness and do some copyediting), I’ve found out that many native speakers still have problems with spelling, grammar, and punctual issues. Well, the reasons for that are beyond the scope of this article. Therefore, being a native English speaker doesn’t mean your content will be error-free.

  • Your Skills Set

I agree that writers use the left hemisphere of the brain, while editors use the right one. You can use both anyway; but I’m of the opinion that you can’t be the author of a book and be the editor, at the same time. It’s not professional and ethical.

If you choose that path, you will come up with poor performance. If you’re a gifted writer—a major—then editing is more or less a minor and you will have a limited ability to edit your text perfectly. A good skill in proofing a manuscript is needed to make the content flow appropriately.

From the foregoing, you should have gotten an idea you need to take yourself to the next level of competence as an author who can send out high-quality books to the markeplace. If you will do a good research, you can find a book editor that can offer you cheap, professional editing services, so you don’t have to break the bank to get the job done. Watch out for the next articles on the kind of editors you should hire, and how much it even costs to get your book edited.