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In my previous article, So You Think You Don't Need an Editor--Part One, I talked about how your editor is a fresh pair of eyes to go over your manuscript and give it the polish it needs to become a successful book.
I understand that for many of you money is an issue, but unless you're one of the very few lucky writers who gets picked up by a traditional publisher, you'll probably have to invest your own money into producing your book. Typically, at least in my part of the county, a good editor will charge around one to two cents per word, which means that for an 80,000 to 100,000 word manuscript, you're looking at spending around $800 to $2000. I know it's a lot of money, so you may be tempted to take some shortcuts. My advice? Don't do it.
Asking your friends, your cousin, your spouse or your mom to do your editing may seem like a good alternative, but unless they have a background in journalism, teaching English, or other professional writing experience, they're not qualified for the job. You would never your best friend to work on your car if he or she had no experience in auto repair, so why would you ask someone who isn't qualified to edit your manuscript? Sure, you can argue that no one wants to break down on the road, and I can argue that no one wants bad reviews on Amazon because their book was so poorly written.
As I mentioned in my earlier article, a professional editor isn't interested in changing your content. They are looking for errors such as incorrect homonyms, dangling participles, improper paragraph formatting and other problems that would make you look like an amateur instead of a professional.
We've entered a time when anyone with a smartphone can write a manuscript, upload it to Amazon Kindle, and then call themselves an author, which means the market is now flooded with poorly written books. I've also seen comments on various forums from frustrated readers who are sick and tired of bad books and they want some sort of vetting process. So, do you want your name added to the list of bad writers? Or do you want four and five star reviews? If you want those good reviews then you'll have to set yourself apart from all those amateurs, and the best way to do it is to work with a professional book editor. Nothing will kill your writing career faster than a poorly-written book with bad reviews.