by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Writers need editors. No exceptions.
Even if, like me, you are both a writer and an editor, you need to hire an editor for your own writing.
A new pair of eyes and a fresh mind will pick up obvious mistakes, inconsistencies, even spelling errors you haven’t noticed.
I was reminded of this last night after I wrote a post for the DVTA (the local chapter of the American Translation Association). The post was about the translation conference I’ve just attended, which, by the way, is one of the reasons I have been absent from this blog lately.
Feeling overconfident, I wrote it and sent it the same day, instead of waiting overnight and reread it as I always do when working on a translation or writing project. But this was just a short piece, it was perfect as it was, I was sure.
I was wrong. Luckily my colleague found the mistakes and edited them saving me from public (if not private) embarrassment.
Still not convinced that hiring an editor is a must?
I’ll show you some examples that support my claim.
Just this morning I read on the second paragraph of a book I was considering buying on Amazon: “My mother died in childbed.” I didn’t buy the book. In fact, I didn’t read past the first page, because this was not the only mistake.
But authors are not the only ones who need help, journalists could use an editor too apparently, for, a little later, I found the following sentences in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Spelling mistake: “The two Columbia University alums.”
Really awful grammar: “He’s a guy, he likes it – and isn’t that who we wear perfume for?” I think she meant to say: “… isn’t to please men the reason we wear perfume after all?”
Maybe I’m picky, maybe it’s because, being a writer, I can’t turn off the editor on me while I’m reading that these mistakes bother me. But I think not. I think if you’re serious about your writing, you should hire a professional editor before publishing your book, both to revise and to edit your manuscript. And, if you want the book to be perfect, I’d recommend you hire a proofreader as well.
We all make mistakes, but your reader doesn’t have to know that.
If you want to learn more about the different types of editing services available click here.