Editors make a difference

All those self-pubbed ebooks mean that many aren’t edited, or they are edited by someone who has an interest in making their client the author, rather than the reader, happy.

As one editor turned writer says in an essay in The Guardian: “It is extremely dispiriting to sit in a room with your editor and be told that the book (in my case novel) you have lovingly crafted over a long period of months is not gripping, charming and perfectly turned out, that it is in fact repetitive, unconvincing, too sketchy here, too drawn-out there. But I'd be mortified were anyone other than my editor and agent to read the first draft. It is vital that an author has someone willing to be tough with them. It's in their best interests, and if that person is employed by the author themselves on a freelance basis, I question how tough they'll be willing to be.”

Read more about the importance of editors.

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I am very lucky to have a friend who does freelance editing for Harper Collins Greenwillow division and for MacMillan. She was tough enough with me that I ended up changing a great deal of the structure of my book. It was difficult but my book is so much better. It still doesn't make me want to self publish though. I'm just filing away the rejections to show off someday.

I went through probably 100 rejections before I got published.

And more since - only after I got an agent they were from editors.
I found your post through jongibbs. You are right, writers do need editors. Personally, I want an editor to read my work critically, because that's the only way it's going to be the best it can possibly be.

However, I'm a freelance editor as well as a writer, and I assure you that when I am editing my obligation is to the reader. That's the best way to serve my client, because that's what it takes to make their book a success. It's a concept that Carol Fisher Saller articulated well in The Subversive Copyeditor.