Have you ever wondered if you need to hire an editor? Maybe you’re currently working on a project, or you just finished one and are debating whether an editor could benefit your work. And if you hire one, what would he or she do for you, anyway? Aren’t editors just glorified spell-checkers? The short answer? No.
What do editors do?
Editors are industry professionals who work in all sorts of fields, from newspapers to books to film. They help artists and writers hone their ideas and professionally polish their work. Although there are many types of editors (that’s a blog post for another day), literary editors refine your writing. It’s not just about proofreading.
An editor will certainly help you with spelling and grammar issues, but a good editor will also review your work for clarity and consistency and help strengthen your ideas. He or she will ensure your work has a logical flow and adjust your thoughts to a more natural cadence. An editor will also look for verb tense agreement, punctuation, formatting, and structure and match your work to a specific style guide upon request. Style guides include APA, Chicago, MLA, and AP, among others.* An editor will also pinpoint weaknesses in your writing and provide ideas to strengthen your work or offer additional word choices. Additionally, an editor can review the requirements of the project and make sure all the requirements have been met.
Do you need an editor?
Perhaps your work is already stellar, or perhaps you want it to ascend to an even higher level. An editor will review your work objectively and with a fresh set of eyes. Often writers are too close to the work and the subject matter. If you’re concerned about this, then have a professional editor review your work. An editor will also help transform difficult or technical language into words more easily understood by your reader. If you feel your work could be improved this way, then you may want to hire an editor. An editor will enhance and polish your work, providing a final, professional product.
Whether you need an editor is up to you. If your writing could be better, or you want to ensure that your work is professional, then hiring an editor is your best bet. Helping you make your work shine is what editors do—let them do their job!
More on editing styles
*For more on style guides, see Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Style_guide.