How Important Is It to Use A Professional Editor Before Querying?

Hey everyone and happy Fourth of July Weekend! How many of you have just finished your novel and are preparing to shell out thousands of dollars for an Editor? Well before you break open the piggy bank you should ask yourself, is it worth spending all of your money to get your book perfectly edited before ever getting an agent? Especially if you have never had a traditional publishing deal?

Some agents care more about the quality of your story than the quality of the editing and don’t require getting the novel edited first. If the story is not something that sells then it won’t matter how well the grammar and the spelling are. Because your readers will stop reading after the first couple of pages.

If your self-publishing than yes, it is highly recommended that you hire an editor to do the best job that you can afford. Self-publishing companies will not edit the book after submission. They choose to leave that part up to you. Hiring an Editor is something that I did not do when I self-published any of my books. I edited all three books myself but this is something that I do not recommend unless you are a highly skilled Editor yourself. My situation allowed me no choice but to do it myself.

I feel that it is not worth spending a ton of money that you don’t have on a high-priced Editor if you plan to get a traditional publishing deal. This is something that a former friend of mine did and although I questioned it at the time, I accepted the fact that this is something that he felt he needed to do. I am still hoping that it pays off for him because his novel is worth becoming a huge success. The only reason I questioned it is because I love him and didn’t want to see him go broke trying to make his dream come true. Not to be unsupportive. The reason I feel this way is because traditional publishing companies already have professional editors that work for them who will handle the editing process for you after the deal is made. So even if you get the book edited, it will be edited all over again by them. They will edit the hell out of your book because they are investing a lot of money to help your book to become a success. They want that advance they are giving you to pay off for them. But unfortunately, in many instances…it doesn’t.

Does quality always carry a hefty price tag? That is up for debate. There are cheap editors and there are expensive editors. I feel that a cheap editor can do just as well a job as an expensive editor. Some just offer more services than others and it also depends on the amount of time an editor feels they need to spend on each person’s novel. It also depends on how much money they feel they deserve for spending that much time and effort.

If you feel that your writing ability is so rough that you can’t possibly present it to an agent as is and your editing skills are not up to par, then yes you should hire an editor before you start querying agents. Some will overlook a few spelling errors or grammatical errors, but some agents want your book to be submission-ready when they read it. They want to get an idea of how it’s going to sound after publication.

So, there are many reasons to hire an editor and there are many reasons to wait. It’s really up to the Author and their situation. If your book is completed and you’re ready for the drudgery of querying agents and playing the waiting game, do not let all of those rejection letters get you down. It happens to all authors who are trying to get an agent. Just make sure there are as few mistakes as possible and that your story is tight and you can’t go wrong. Patience and positive thinking go a long way.

Until next time…

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