Isla aitting on a sofa with a cup of tea in one hand and a book about editing in the other, reading the book with a look of concentration

Why pay for an editor?

Why would you pay for an editor?

Can I be flippant?

Why would you pay for a lawyer, or estate agent, or graphic designer?

You can use online forms to write wills; social media and friends to sell houses; or Canva to design your logo and branded stationery.

You can and – some of us 🤭 – probably do. And that’s okay. It does the job.

In an amateur way.

Beta readers and ARC readers are great for helping self-publishing authors structure their stories and find the flaws in their writing. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending that authors find (reputable and proven) beta readers.

Beta readers have read plenty of books in their lifetime and know what makes a good story. They know what they enjoy and what they don’t, and can probably explain why.

Editors, on the other hand… editors have also read plenty of books. They have studied literature or linguistics or editing or all of these. They are members of a chartered institute that requires them to behave professionally and diligently. They constantly update their training. They consult essential reference and style books such as CMOS and New Hart’s Rules.

Beta readers have full-time jobs and read books in their spare time.

Editors spend *all day* reading, analysing and checking copy, making sure it makes sense, flows well, maintains the author’s voice, suits the genre, is constructed correctly, and includes / excludes serial commas [US / Brit editors delete as applicable 😉].

Editors live and breathe words. They are passionate about populating the world with decent stories. They love their work and genuinely want to do everything they can to support authors in publishing the best work they can. Editing is a vocation.

And that is why you pay us.

I thank you 🙇🏻‍♀️

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