The differences between editing from a professional and getting a little help from a friend who was an English major in college are profound. Writers who have invested hours, days, months, and even years in their manuscript are typically looking for a payoff for their work. It is very difficult to find that payoff – whether the goal is book sales, an artistic splash, or simply getting a great story down on paper – without professional editing.
Of course, most of us are aware that professional editing is the key to publishing success. But why is this so?
Transform the Writer
The biggest difference is that professional editing transforms both the manuscript and the writer. A writer benefits from seeing how a professional tackles the same challenges he’s been grappling with. A writer who absorbs a professional editor’s changes will in turn become a stronger writer going forward, impacting his future work for years to come.
A professional editor knows what types of manuscripts are selling and what publishers are looking for. This can make all the difference when trying to maximize distribution and exposure upon publication.
Make Every Word Count
A professional editor makes sure every single word counts. This is critical for emphasizing well-developed characters and rising conflict, allowing them to leap off the page the way they should.
Sadly, in the publishing business, the advice of friends and family members does not count. If it did, we’d all be great writers and our moms would be the best critics on the planet. The only recommendations that matter for writers with high aspirations come from third-party editors, and there’s no avoiding the fact that the best ones are full-time professionals with years of experience.
In the end, the difference between editing from a professional and from an amateur is night and day in terms of conciseness, focus, and experience. If you’re like most writers who’ve poured countless hours into your manuscript, the only solution is a professional one.