The Self-Published Author and Editing

Writing Advice

Self-publishing has opened doors for many aspiring authors. Write something, create a quick cover and slap it on Amazon and you are a published author. Seems easy, right? Is this the best way to become an author? I want to challenge that belief and help writers see the value in hiring an editor.

Most writers have two reasons for not hiring an editor prior to publishing.

  1. I know enough about grammar and sentence structure. I write a clean draft. An editor wouldn’t help me.

This is misguided at best. I’m a teacher. I teach grammar and punctuation every day. Yet my book was far from perfect. I had twelve people read it before I sent it to my editor. Many of them were also teachers. Yet there were still errors. An editor is trained to find more than basic grammar problems. My editor suggests better word choices, addresses POV issues, inserts commas, semi-colons and em dashes and clears up redundancies and confusing sentences. He makes it better. The goal of self-publishing is to look as professional as possible. You don’t want a reader to know the difference between a self-published and a traditionally published book. Editors help you bring your manuscript to industry standards because they know more than we do. Find a professional editor that you connect with and watch them fine-tune your manuscript into the masterpiece you imagined.

2. Editors are expensive.

Yes. Editors are expensive. That doesn’t mean they aren’t necessary. Do you want to make a career out of writing? Do you want to produce the best book you can? Do you want readers to continue reading your books? Then you need an editor. Readers are turned away from books that are riddled with grammatical errors, poor sentence structure or overused phrases and words. And you won’t catch all of them. I wasn’t aware of most of my mistakes and learned a lot from my editor. I carry that with me when I write and my current books are better for it. When you start your book, save for the editor you choose. It’s an investment in your career and will help you increase your book sales. If you want to improve in any area, an editor can help you. As they edit and discuss your book, you are learning new things about writing. Think of it as a writing class. Invest in your book and your career. There is much you can learn from an editor.

So, you decided to hire an editor. Now what? How do you find a reputable one? I have two suggestions for you. Both of these editors are professionally trained and know what they are doing. Please consider hiring them for your next project and tell them Alaine sent you. You won’t regret it.

Brian Paone is my editor. He is an author as well, so he understands both sides. Even he has an editor because it’s impossible to edit your own material. Brian is easy to work with, sticks to the schedule and is always available to discuss his suggestions. He also makes sure that he doesn’t change your voice as an author. He gets all my editing projects. Please check him out.

My other suggestion is Kimberly Hunt from Revision Division. She has been my Beta Reader in the past. She helps you see your book in a different way and suggests improvements that make it more realistic and dynamic. Please check her out at

Please leave comments about editing and share editors you would recommend.

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