7 Reasons Why Every Book Needs A Good Editor

Over the last three years, I have read a large number of books by present day Indian authors. This did two things: broke my firm belief that all of Indian literature is substandard and brought to light why most of these books aren’t fairing as they should, in the market.

“There Are Two Typos Of People In This World: Those Who Can Edit And Those Who Can’t”  ― Jarod Kintz

India has a huge number of under-rated authors who are really good story tellers. They are under-rated for reasons ranging from lack of publicity to poor language in the books. Let’s face it, if I am writing a book, I would want it to be an absolute hit amongst most readers, would I not? Then why not take the extra step to make it perfect?

Writing is no easy job. It drains you, it takes every ounce of your imagination, concentration and discipline. So if you are a published author, congratulate yourself. You did well!

A writer is a human, at the end of a day. A good story teller, albeit a human. And even for people who are very careful with their grammar and language, it can be difficult to spot all the errors, with all their focus on the plot and continuity. Happens. Like for instance, I am writing this post. I might not be able to notice some minor flaw which you might already have. And that’s not all that an editor helps an author with! Your editing package will include everything there is to make sure that your book goes out to the market as a complete, polished product – content wise.

Here are the reasons!

  • An editor reads your draft as a reader would. So, along with editing and proofreading, you also get first hand reader review on how the plot is.

  • As someone who has experience in dealing with plots and giving the correct treatment to them, your editor can help you give the right direction to your plot, if you ever lose track.

  • It’s always good to have a second pair of eyes. And, mind!

  • It’s difficult (not impossible, but sure is difficult) to edit your own work. Your brain is tuned such that it will read whatever you wrote the first time, as correct.

  • You have a story to write. While writing, you are bound to move from past to present, active to passive, first person to third person in your narration. So, do you pause your writing and take care of all this, or do you write the story waiting to be told? You write the story. Let the specialist bring it all together.

  • Grammar. Small publishers (at least in India) don’t care about editing and almost all authors who get their books published through these publishers, are handed the final product with very poor or no editing at all. Don’t depend on your publisher unless one of the big names has signed you. This is a risk you should not take.

  • An editor helps you keep your emotions away from your manuscript. If your favourite character needs to die for the sake of the plot and its readability, your editor will tell you so. If your favourite sequence is absolutely redundant in the plot, your editor will chew your brain until you delete it or re-write it altogether. Yes, we are a bunch of harsh taskmasters, but all for the sake of your wonderful book!

A book is an author’s baby. Would you give your child a mediocre life while preparing her for the future? No, you will give her the best you can. Then why shape your book in a mediocre way and drop it in the market, totally unprepared? Invest in a good editor. Your book deserves only the best.

And don’t forget, mistakes cost money. A well-edited book would earn you lots more. There is an essential checklist you should have handy when selecting an editor for your manuscript, I shall write a post on that very soon!


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