Why You Need A Professional Editor For Your Book

I have just sent my first novel Pentecost to my editor for editorial review. In this video, I explain why everyone should use a professional editor whether they are looking for an agent or book deal or whether they are self-publishing.

In this video I explain:

  • How professional editors can improve your work. They can be objective about your manuscript and give you the best tips possible for your work. We all want to send our best work out there.
  • They see so many manuscripts in specific genres so they will pick up things that amateurs won’t pick up
  • Why you need a pro editor even if you are looking for a publishing deal. You need to submit the best book you possibly can to an agent or publisher. If you’re self-publishing you need it even more.
  • An editor will do different things e.g. editorial review on plot, structure, ways to make it more publishable all the way to line editing/copyediting
  • You can find editors online at Twitter or on blogs. You can also get recommendations from professionals. Make sure you ask questions and make sure you get someone with experience in your genre.

Do you use a professional editor? How did you find them? and are there any pro editors who want to chip in on this topic?


You can now get free chapters of Pentecost on the Facebook page by clicking here.


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  1. says

    Great video! You’re exactly right. As both a writer and an editor, I know how important an objective, outside viewpoint is–absolutely critical.

    I don’t know if a lot of companies do this, but the editing company I work for give free 10-page evaluations so potential clients can see if we’re a good fit. Might be something worth asking about before hiring an editor.

    • says

      That is definitely a great option, Annette! I offer a free sample edit as well, so that potential clients can make sure my editorial work has the quality and depth they need for their manuscript. Otherwise, authors might get stuck paying for a service that wasn’t exactly what they had in mind!

  2. says

    This was a very good video! I think everyone should splurge and get a professional editor. For my novel I’m taking two months or so to edit it myself and then submit it to a professional editor for their feedback.

    • says

      Yes, definitely editing it yourself to the best you can do first is a great idea. Then get a different viewpoint to find the holes in the plot. I have so many ideas from this review that I understand now the writer/ editor relationship can really develop into a partnership of trust, and improvement.

  3. says

    Great post, Joanne,

    I totally agree that getting a professional editor to look over your ms is a really good idea. Just this week I came to the conclusion that I needed an editor more than I needed an agent and so I’ve sent my ms off to be professionally edited. I can’t wait to get it back. I’ve had four books published but I still really find it hard to be objective about my own work.

    Thanks for this post.


    • says

      Thanks Dee. I think anyone at any level needs editing. I read a lot of novels that read like they need another edit now. It seems the ‘fashion’ is for longer books even if that means more fluff in the story. Hopefully ebooks will change that behavior. It’s also odd because the “classics” are all short (exception of Tolstoy!)

  4. says

    Thanks for such an informative and positive post! All this time following you, and I had no idea that you had an accent! :)

    I’d like to add that you should be sure to find an editor who will teach you. Fixing the mistakes and sending you on your way is not going to help the author in the long run.

    If your editor is willing to teach and point out common errors you’ll not only be able to use that information in your present manuscript, but in later ones as well. It’s win-win and makes the cost that much more worth it.

    As a freelance editor and a fellow author, thanks again for this great post!


    • says

      Glad you agree Cassandra. I hope that I am learning from the comments, but then I look at everything as a learning experience :)
      I am indeed British, but I live in Australia. Trying to hold onto the accent as long as I can!

  5. says

    Excellent! As an editor, I especially appreciate your reminding readers that they need to book an editor in advance. I mostly edit for publishers (who DO book in advance), but have noticed that many authors who approach me don’t understand that I haven’t just been waiting for them to call. :) Generally it takes 6 weeks just to get on my production schedule. Thank you for these good words!

  6. says

    I have completed my book “Enemies of God”, a women fiction/novel. I want to get it edited by a professional editor(fiction) and then offer for publishing. Please help to get an editor having a good connections with reputed publishers.

  7. says

    This really is a great post. I chanced upon your site when I was reading up on John Locke. I saw your review on his blog and that brought me here. Awesome site, I must say, especially for me because I have completed my first novel and am working on my second. This blog is helping me greatly. Thanks for the cover post especially, I’ve been trying to find a way to create one for ages.

    Thanks for creating such a great blog.

  8. says

    What a great video, Joanna! I particularly like the setting and your beautiful blue eyes! Okay, compliments aside, I’d add some words of advice: balance being “too precious” about your work with also being aware that you’re the person who knows your book best. Select an editor who really “gets” your work, but is also unafraid of telling you the truth. You have only to watch one episode of American Idol to realize that asking your Mom, husband (or wife) or neighbor to read your work is like asking your favorite Grandmother whether you’re pretty! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed helping my clients prune and shape their creations into the best work imaginable so I’m so happy to hear that you’re spreading the word that finding an editor is not a “splurge”, but rather a necessity. All the best to writers on the arduous, yet invigorating, writing and publishing path.

  9. says

    Rightly said, what a writer/author may miss, an editor can get that noted in a glance. Experience and expertise matters a lot. It is quote relevant and mandatory to get a review done before the manuscript gets published. The quality and essence of the content can outshine only when it has gone through rounds of review and is left with no possible errors.


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