This post originally appeared on Jane Friedman’s site on 8/18/15.
In today’s guest post, indie author Teymour Shahabi explains how to find an editor for the draft of your self-published book and what to look for in an editing relationship.
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In traditional publishing, submitting your draft to an editor is an inevitable step on the road to bookstore shelves. But how much editing is required for self-publishing? Does a self-published author need to find an editor? And if yes, when and where, and how?
First things first:
Do you need an editor?
The answer is yes.
The greatest benefit of an editor is that he or she is not the author. An editor is someone else. Some editors are professional writers, but every single one of them is a professional reader. As a writer, you’re probably a voracious reader, but you can never be a true reader for your book. By bringing forth a book into the world, you’re asking other people to read something you’ve never read. If you sincerely want the book to be the very best that it can be, then you must ask someone else to read it first. You owe it to your book, to yourself, and to your readers.
What an editor does is discover your characters, your situations, and your images without seeing any of the creative process that brought them to life. Where you might see all the crossings-out and labors, all the accidents and decisions, the editor sees only a page. This is the clarity you need, and you can never achieve it for your own writing, simply because you envisioned it first. The editor will tell you what an attentive, an educated, and, most importantly, a new reader will experience while reading your book.
When should you hand your manuscript over?