How to Edit a Book: How Hiring a Freelance Editor Can Help Your Self-Published Book

how to edit a bookWe’ve done blogs on how to edit a book before. We firmly believe in the power of the self-published author. It requires the author to wear many hats – writer, editor, publisher, marketer, etc. However, we’re also never going to suggest passing up help, in any form. That’s why we recommend finding a freelance editor. Freelance editors know how to edit a book for publishing. They’ll be able to do so much more with your manuscript than you could on your own. There’s no shame in asking for help; really, a good book depends on it.

Freelance editors will catch mistakes you missed

It’s incredibly possible that you’ve stared at your manuscript for way too long. In these situations, your brain is going to naturally skip right over stuff. This is why a freelance editor can be an essential part of your team. We really emphasize the need to get a second, third, or fourth pair of eyes on your work. Freelance editors are trained to catch small mistakes that others may look over.

Freelance editors can content edit the things you won’t

Remember the phrase kill your darlings? It can be harder than it sounds. Cutting the pieces of your novel that you’re especially fond of, even if they don’t enhance your book, can be incredibly difficult. You’re going to be protective of anything you create; that’s the natural way of the artist. Editors can be brutally honest with you, regardless of your feelings. Hiring a freelance editor can expose pieces of your novel, book of poems, or memoir that need to be edited out.

You’ll learn a thing or two about how to edit a book

Working one on one with your freelance editor can be an educational time. Self-published authors need to know how to edit a book, and how to do it well, and if the freelance editor can provide you with that knowledge, it’s important you take it. That way, in the future, you won’t need to rely on one.

If you can learn how to do the nitty gritty work while treating your manuscript with a sense of objectivity, then you’ll be completely competent in editing your book. Until then, however, it’s highly recommendable to hire a freelance editor.

In the end, you can deny any changes that you want

Unlike traditional publishing, your book getting published doesn’t depend on your editor. After all is said and done, the whole point of self-publishing is that you are the publisher. You create whatever version of the book you want to. If your editor has made suggestions that you aren’t comfortable or happy with, then, guess what? You don’t have to make them. Keep the ones you like, ditch the ones you don’t. Just be sure that the changes you’re rejecting are necessary to reject. Don’t simply cut edits because you like the section of the book or are too stubborn to let go of it. Remember “kill your darlings”? Sometimes you need to do it.

Once you hire someone who knows how to edit a book, you’re one step closer to publication. You can’t afford to skip this step, either. It’s meticulous, time consuming, and, sometimes, extremely difficult. But each step that you take, each edit you make, is making your book all the better.

Need to hire a freelance editor? Try a site like Upwork, Freelancer, or the Editorial Freelancers Association.