Monday, December 3, 2012

Hire an Editor!

As many of you know, I like to review books. I'm willing to read almost any genre and this is one of the reasons I enjoy being a tour host for Innovative Online Book Tours.

I also enjoy supporting Indie authors. This is a tough time in the world of publishing. Getting an agent, getting your book published by a major house--these things are hard to come by. But there are so many talented authors out there! It's good to see them rise up and do well as Indie authors.


A message to all authors who choose to pursue their dream of being a published author and self publish their work: hire an editor.

Suck it up and pay the money to have someone who knows what they're doing look over your manuscript. Nothing is more annoying than seeing beginning writing mistakes in a book you've paid for. It's one thing to have a crappy story line, but a whole other thing to have sloppy writing, too. While both can be fixed, the easiest to work on is the basics.

Cut the word "that."
Don't argue with me. Just do it.

Stick with "she said" versus "she said loudly."
Let your dialogue explain how loud it is. Make your reader work their imagination a little bit.

Watch out for things like, "he stood up." Drop the up. The only way you can stand is up so it's implied.

I guarantee if you start with those three things, you'll clean up a lot of things and make your writing tight.

Then hire an editor. An editor's job is to catch the pesky mistakes like the ones I just mentioned and to make sure your story is going in a believable, solid direction. The story shouldn't wander around like the muddy back roads of the Texas Hill Country, nor should your characters switch emotions every two paragraphs.

Indie authors get a bad name when they don't take care of the basics.


  1. I have hired an editor for my last two self-published books and will continue to do so for all the rest. Totally believe that everyone needs one, so I agree with all your post except the insistence about not using "up" after "stand." This is just nitpicking, but I have two reasons. One is that "stand up" has been in use so long, the reader probably notices the "up" is missing when not there and this stops her for a second. Not something you want. Also, if someone is standing, they are not going from a sitting to standing position, they are not moving. The word "up" makes standing up active. Simply standing is not as active. And don't forget, a person can stand down, can stand still, but cannot go from sitting to standing without standing up. Why a two-letter word has generated all this attention baffles me. It is not incorrect English to say someone stood up. I am sure this idea was generated in order to eliminate excess words, but I don't believe the "up" after "stood" is excess. Same for up and down after "sat." You can sit down or sit up. If you are standing, you move from standing to sitting down. You don't magically go from one to the other. When the ups and downs are omitted, I see the person being teleported from one position to another. LOL A long comment for a nitpick. Again, I agree with everything else. Just sayin'.

    1. Thanks for commenting! For me the "up" thing is drilled into my head from my publisher and editor at Lyrical Press, so it's become a staple for me in the editing process. However, I agree with everything you pointed out on the subject, too!

  2. Mary Ann's absolutely correct. We're a small indie-publishers and virtually every script we get in is stuffed full of errors. Most of these are fairly minor but they convey a sense of sloppiness.

    There are over 4 million books on Amazon, putting up a book which is peppered with spelling and grammar mistakes is going to get flamed and dropped.

    I hope it's not out of place but (because we've had to develop this service) we can offer editing services at a competitive price. Email if you're interested. Please include a sample chapter and rough word count.

    We can also set the book into mobi or epub formats while we're at it.