Do Self-Publishers Really Need Editors

One of the biggest debates in the self-publishing world these days is: do self-publishers really need editors? The answer is yes, yes, and yes. You need an editor, or rather you need editing services. There are (basically) 3  kinds of editing and you need to go through all three steps. However, you may or may not need a professional editor for all three! So why do so many self-publishers think they don’t need an editor?

One of the main motivations for self-publishing is keeping creative control, as I mentioned in the first article in this series on how to self-publish teaching materials. So sometimes self-publishers avoid editors because they view the editing process as a loss of control. In this view, editors are imposing their will on the writer and may symbolize the conventional or mainstream thinking that the writer is self-publishing specifically to avoid.

I think it helps to remember that editors are there to make the work better. Editors do have a different point of view, but it never hurts to consider other ideas and perspectives. It is true that editors may well have a more conventional point of view, but then your readers and customers may also be more conventional. It’s not giving up creative control to get advice from professionals who have worked with a lot of teaching materials. Finally, one of the joys of being a self-publisher is that the editor works for you. So if you really don’t agree with their suggestions, you don’t have to take them.

Three young people looking at a book held by the middle student. All three have surprised or shocked looks on their faces, mouths open, eyes wide.
These are your readers when they see that typo that you missed because you didn’t edit!

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