5 Reasons You Absolutely Need a Book Editor in Your Manuscript’s Life

By: Mary Anna Rodabaugh in Publishing and Book Launch

There is an enormous satisfaction that comes with typing the final punctuation mark at the conclusion of the final sentence of the final chapter of your book. Some authors follow that up with the denouement words “the end.” But is it really the end? Your story may have come to life on the pages, but the success and reception of your manuscript is dependent on being cohesive and free of error. After the final punctuation mark, it is time to seek out a book editor. Here are five reasons why a book editor is a must-have.

A Book Editor Is an Objective Advisor with Fresh Eyes

When you’re spending day after day in the weeds of your manuscript, it can become awfully hard to notice gaping plot holes, misplaced modifiers, and characters you know in your head but forgot to introduce in the text. A book editor views your manuscript from that fifty-thousand-foot view and then jumps down from the editing helicopter into the weeds to examine the sentence structure, word choice, and grammatical issues.

Our RTC book editors want you and your manuscript to succeed, and we are going to give you the tough love you may need to get your manuscript to a level of brilliance. RTC editors know how to ask the tough questions (in fact, we’ve been trained) to harvest any seeds of story you may have overlooked. This tough love could also mean cutting out anecdotes you’re attached to. Your editor will always root for you, but they will provide objective advice and editing you need and deserve.

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A Book Editor May Turn Your Manuscript on Its Head

In addition to objectivity and fresh eyes, your book editor may read your manuscript and feel called to suggest a completely different organizational structure for your chapters. Ultimately, it is your book and your decision. However, most book editors are experts in their fields and know what they are talking about.

RTC book editors know you’ve been working a long time on your manuscript and huge overhaul-like changes can seem daunting and unsettling. Remember, a good editor navigates these proposed changes with tact accompanied by a digestible action plan for you to make those big edits the manuscript requires.

A Book Editor Is a Beta Reader

Even if you’ve shared your finished manuscript with family, friends, or colleagues, your book editor is technically a beta reader for hire. This will be the first time they are experiencing your book. A good editor will take note of all the things that stirred up moments of curiosity within them. Then, they will share that list with you to determine if you’d like to answer their pining questions within your manuscript.

Beyond the initial reaction of the first read, your RTC book editor will identify the big questions they were left with after reading the last sentence of the last chapter. Our editors are curious creatures and lean into that curiosity with fervent passion.

“Our RTC book editors want you and your manuscript to succeed, and we are going to give you the tough love you may need to get your manuscript to a level of brilliance.”

A Book Editor Highlights Your Strengths

You probably wouldn’t hire a book editor to read your manuscript and say, “Great job! I loved it!” However, being an expert in the field, your editor will be sure to highlight your strengths within the manuscript. Though they have a critical eye, they can appreciate when writing is done well, when scenes move them to feel emotion, when their curiosity is satisfied, and when they trust the author, narrator, or protagonist. You will receive proper validation for excelling in a number of areas in your manuscript, thus boosting your confidence in your writing ability and the manuscript itself.

A Book Editor Will Improve Your Writing Even Beyond the Manuscript

Nearly every writer is prone to some sort of writing weakness. It could be accidentally ending sentences with a preposition. It could be a reliance on passive voice. It could be using the wrong version of the word “its.” No matter what your writing kryptonite may be, your book editor is going to point it out to you as many times as you make the same type of mistake.

This will build an awareness of your common writing errors, giving you the opportunity to not only fix them in your current manuscript but prevent the same errors from occurring in your writings in the future.

There are many reasons why a book editor is absolutely essential. However, if you want an objective point of view, to learn more about yourself as a writer, and to feel proud of a polished and error-free product, you should hire an RTC book editor after you type that final punctuation mark.