3 Reasons Why Editors Are Necessary for Serious Writers by Fiona Tarr

3 Reasons Why Editors Are Necessary for Serious Writers by Fiona Tarr

I recently published my debut historical fiction novel and the most important lesson I learned along the way was that as writers, we simply shouldn’t skimp on the editing. Well I shouldn’t in any case.

So here are my 3 reasons why editors are necessary:

1.     Editors help avoid embarrassment.
2.     Editors ensure you present the best work you possibly can.
3.     Editors read the story with a critical eye no one else can provide.

How did I learn my lesson?

I discovered this vital information after I sent my book out to a number of reviewers and received some awesome feedback. One reviewer, Mishka, gave me 4 stars out of 5, but...you know there is always a but. She said she would have given me 5 stars with a more thorough edit.

Another reviewer said he could see the story would be a good read, but he found the editing distracted him from the story. He now has the new fully edited version and has rescheduled the review.

This experience was a little embarrassing and a lesson that I had to learn the hard way. I really thought I had covered all bases. I had asked writers, readers and friends to read the book and help with the edit. I even had my librarian, grammar crazy mum edit the book, but even she missed some major errors. I realized that most people who proofread unfinished work for author friends don’t really read with a critical eye. Additionally, the average reader doesn’t necessarily know the intricate details of editing; only that something doesn’t seem to sound quite right, but not the reasons why. I have come to realize that editors are professionals, who have been trained to read our work and find the errors without getting too lost in the story. I was a little afraid of spending money on editing and to be honest, I still can’t be sure I will ever make my investment back, but at the end of the day, there is no point publishing semi-finished work. Be the very best you can be; consider getting your manuscript edited.

I would love to hear your stories on editing.

I agree.  Editing is very important! 

As Fiona said, comment on the thread below. We want to hear about your experiences in editing, and what valuable lessons you've learned on your writing journey.  :)

Guest Blogger Bio  

I am a multiple small business owner, married for 26 years and have two boys, 14 and 22. I grew up in regional South Australia and still enjoy my space. I now live in Queensland where I kite-surf and Stand up Paddle surf for fun; Australia has some awesome beaches. I love writing so much that I have a number of blogs and along with writing fiction, I also run a small business consulting blog where I share loads of free tips for small business owners. One day I will write that self-help book, but it will be about small business development, not how to raise your kids or anything like that. 

I have studied community development, theology and I am still trying to finish a communications degree in my spare time. It always amazes me how fate offers us all the tools we need to do what we were always meant to do.  

Author Links:    

Fiona's Book:



  1. Every author always has and always will need an editor. There are no exceptions. We don't see what we wrote. We see what we thought we wrote, what we meant to write, and sometimes what we forgot to write. That's why we do our best self-editing after we click the "send" button. It's why we spot mistakes so much more quickly and easily if it's somebody else's writing. I can screw up in a blog post or email, so thinking I could manage an entire novel-length manuscript without something slipping past me is, to quote Vizzini, "Inconceivable!"

    1. Thank you, Michael! You're right. Happy to also know you're a Princess Bride fan. ;)

  2. You are absolutely correct. Editing is very important and it shouldn't be skimped on. A professional editor will find the mistakes, the misspellings, the plot mistakes, and the tuna sandwiches that mysteriously morph into chicken sandwiches two pages later. Authors have one chance to make a good impression on new readers; sloppy editing and misspelled words will not achieve positive results. I've read countless reviews on Amazon that contain phrases like "would have been a great book, except for all the typos" and "the lack of editing bothered me; don't think I'll be buying another book from this author until she hires an editor."

  3. I tell my copyediting and proofreading clients that I'm here to make them and their writing look good! Since I've never seen their project before, and since I'm getting paid, I'm able to concentrate on the work. I also tell them I'll probably miss something. To soften that I tell them I take this work very seriously and do the best job I can do for them.

    1. Thank you for stopping by the blog, Sharon! That's exactly what we're here for, to help other writers. Good editing not only improves a manuscript, but it also makes a writer better because he or she can see where they went wrong and perhaps use that fix in the future. :)


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