Your Best Friend Should Not Edit Your Book. Or Your Mom. Or Your Kids, Friends or Coworkers.

professional book editing

Professional book editing matters. A lot.

Ready to Get Published? Not so Fast.

Errors are distracting. And preventable. Unfortunately, some authors, especially first-time authors, learn this the hard way.

I can’t begin to tell you how many books are floating around that have not been professionally edited. With the advent of self-publishing, anyone can write a book and list it on Amazon. Anyone.

The problem is, readers buy these books and trust they are well written. Imagine their irritation when a book is sprinkled with errors—little pesky, sneaky errors that can’t be detected with rose-colored glasses. Yes, authors tend to wear rose-colored glasses. Of course they do, because their manuscript has become their child.

They have birthed a book—a perfectly lovely, wonderful book. They don’t see the need for professional editing because they have done a fine job with the book, thank you very much. Plus, their moms, spouses, cousins or best friends have given it the thumbs up.

But My Mom Proofed My Book

Your family and friends will gladly read a draft of your manuscript if you ask them. Honestly, reading your book should be an enjoyable journey through plot and setting—not a job. When you ask people to proofread your book, you are asking them to do a job. It’s an important job. They are not trained to do this job. And proofreading is vastly different than book editing.

professional book editing

You need a book editor. You really do.

Your dear ones may provide feedback, like commenting on your story arc or calling out loose ends. But if they aren’t experienced book editors, they may miss issues such as subject-verb agreement, tense, and tricky misspellings, not to mention larger issues such as plot gaps and pacing. They will probably not know what should and shouldn’t be included in your front and back matter, or what the back of your book cover should say, or an acceptable word count for your novel. You are asking them to develop heavy book editing skills overnight, and that’s pretty unrealistic. Right?

So Mom should not be your book editor, nor should your best friend, neighbor, coworker, etc. Certainly they can provide insights, opinions, encouragement and support…but chances are they can’t provide the level of editing your readers deserve.

“I’m so glad that I chose you to edit my book. I remember emailing and speaking with other editors but no one else gave me the kind of feedback you gave me after previewing my first three chapters. Everyone else seemed to simply scratch the surface but you gave me your honest opinion from day one. I really appreciate that.” ~ Yolanda Cornelius, Macon, GA, author of Fit, Fabulous and Focused

Professional Book Editing

Writing a book is hard work. It’s all consuming and personal and sometimes emotional. That’s why it’s nearly impossible to edit your own manuscript objectively. You see, the author’s job is to write, create a story arc, produce a compelling plot and setting, and bring characters to life. That is all. The book editor’s job is to be the objective extra set of eyes—eyes that surveil for flow and structure. Eyes that catch and correct awkward transitions.

Professional book editing is an extremely objective craft. I do not wear rose-colored glasses. I do bring an unbiased expertise to the project, and work hand-in-hand with authors to ensure the book is the best it can be.

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Send an email, and we’ll discuss your manuscript! | Melanie@melaniesaxtonmedia.com

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