As we’ve established, editing is not a cheap exercise. Why invest in it if you don’t need it? It’s your book, and the more time you’ve spent on it, the more perfect it is, right?
If you’ve paid an editor to look at your book, after you spent months (or years!) on it, just for them to butcher it and you have to spend more time undoing their changes, it’s a matter of throwing good money after bad. Right?
There are cases in which people should not hire an editor, and they include:
- Authors with perfect manuscripts
- Authors who are unable to accept constructive criticism
- Authors who believe they are self-editors
- Authors who want to break the rules
- Authors who like to micromanage
Don’t hire an editor if you:
You have a perfect manuscript
If your manuscript is perfect, in your opinion, and you are not open to correction, you’d probably be wasting money hiring an editor. An editor is likely to point out errors that you have missed, and that will mess up the picture of perfection.
You can’t accept constructive criticism
If you’re going to fall apart when your editor adds a punctuation mark you missed, or correct your grammar or spelling, then it might be better to avoid the cost of hiring an editor altogether. But before you do, remember that it’s an editor’s job to polish your work. Small changes that don’t change your story, can hardly be considered butchering.
You’re a perfectly good self-editor
You’ve “edited” your own book once and you’re looking for validation, rather than improvement. You don’t WANT to see how many mistakes you’ve made… You want to believe you’re qualified, since you’ve edited your own book. Please, don’t hire an editor if you’re a know-it-all.
You’re a rule breaker
Editing is all about readability. In novels, it’s about helping your readers understand what you’re trying to say. Most authors have bad habits that extend beyond breaking the rules and detract from the readability.
You like to micromanage
Although you hire an editor, s/he is not actually your employee. You’re hiring an expert for a reason: The expert knows more than you do about the topic at hand. So don’t check up, re-do and over-do all the effort that went into your work, unless you actually wanted to keep your manuscript in its original form – in which case, you should not have hired an editor.