Writing a book is a commendable job and is not everyone’s cup of tea. Once an author writes a book, it is essential to have it professionally edited.
You may wonder why that is necessary. Since the author wrote the book, wouldn’t he/she be the best judge of it?
Authors spend so much time writing, that they are completely familiar with the content. Their brain will “see” what it expects to see, which makes mistakes less obvious to their eyes. Having someone review your work ensures that a fresh mindset looks through it. It is easiest to point out mistakes while reading new content and hence, getting a book reviewed is a wise decision.
Your next question may be, why can’t I get a friend or a family member to edit the book?
It is crucial that the feedback you receive be an honest review from an impartial third party. If a friend or family member tries to protect your feelings, it will do you no good. Apart from the fact that they will be emotionally compromised, most of us are not lucky to have such gifted editors among our social circle. It is imperative that the review you get is as objective as possible so that you can improve upon the content. A professional review will ensure that you get the absolute facts about your work along with suggestions on how to improve.
Now the next question is, how do you choose an editor for your book?
If you write a book on stock markets and have it proofread by a doctor, who isn’t familiar with trading, you will not get any added benefit related to your content. Similarly, if you are writing a children’s book, having an architect proofread it will not help you to ensure the book is easy to understand for children. Grammatical and punctuation mistakes may be rectified, but the essence of the book lies in the content. Hence, it is essential to have an editor who is proficient in the genre of the book to be edited.
Additionally, a book cannot be a continuous text. The content must be divided into suitable sections and subsections, to make it readable. Each chapter should have a well-defined content of a practical length. There must be a glossary for details related to certain commonly used terminologies and abbreviations used in the book. An appendix with additional information on the content of the book is also essential if it is an uncommon topic. These kinds of details can be improved upon in an experienced manner by a professional book editor.
Writers tend to have a particular style of writing, which leads to certain words being used frequently in the text, something that is generally disregarded by writers. A professional editor will ensure that such words are not repeatedly used. They can provide advice on word usage to ensure the content is being communicated clearly.
After all the hard work involved in writing a book, editing will help you polish the content and structure it perfectly. As writers are experts in their particular fields, the nitty-gritty of content writing may not be their stronghold. Writing is an art and it is vital to have your piece professionally proofread to do it justice.
By Anne Mitchell
The WriteSmartly Team