Yes, I dared to go there. Many self-publishers pride themselves on the fact that they did not have to hire a professional editor to edit their work and yet, still came out on top. By coming out on top, they usually mean writing and publishing a book, be it an e-book or its print version. And while those two things are indeed admirable feats, what many self-publishers don't realize is that almost anyone today can call themselves a successful published author, and readers are still looking for quality.

What Makes a Good Read?
A good book, if written well and edited properly, must connect with readers on an emotional level. There must be something in the book that hooks the reader from the minute they open the first page and until the last page has been flipped shut. A good editor can guide a writer through the process of what works well and what doesn't. View your editor as your test reader and worst critic, whose only job is to make you look good. I have read some really well-written and amazing self-published works
, just as well as I have read some horrifyingly bad ones. (Let it also be known that not all traditionally published works are first-rate either.) And each time, the difference between the good and the bad has always been that one was professionally edited while the other was not.

When Self-Editing is Not Enough

Many writing forums argue that professional editing is not necessary as long as a writer can self-edit several times before publication. What is missing in this well-meaning advice is the fact that publishing a good book is not just about catching incorrect grammar and spelling errors, and even if it was, self-editing doesn't always catch all the errors. Besides that, professional editing is about structure, tone, voice, character development and so much more - something a professional editor can help bring to light. A book that reads like your first draft is not what readers want to read. They want a story that reflects care, talent, voice, emotion and so much more. An editor can help get you there.

A Beautiful Marriage
A good professional editor is the partner you need on your journey through the writing process. They are your professional coach, cheerleader, friend, confidante, and adviser all rolled up into one, and their main responsibility is to make sure you sound like your best possible self. A good professional editor knows about the publishing process, is a ferocious reader, most likely a writer too, and can offer the support authors need to make it from blank page to print.

Regardless of whether you choose to use a professional editor or not, remember that before all good
reads go out to the reading public, they must go through a series of mills. Self-publishers often skip over these processes in an effort to either cut costs, satisfy their burning desire to get published, cut out what they see to be an unnecessary middle (wo)man, avoid criticism of their work, or for fear that a third-party edit will dilute their voice. However, any good editor worth his or her salt will know how to work with an author to address those fears and to maintain the integrity of the author's work. A good editor is there to help authors and not to hurt them, to make them better. And as an author, it is your responsibility to hire someone you can trust to deliver their best possible work. Your readers deserve the best from you, and trust me, they will remember if they don't get it. So, unless you plan on being a one-time author, you might want to consider your readers, for they will tell you in no uncertain terms the second time around, what they could not tell you before they went out and bought a copy of your first book. Allow them to trust your work as an author by giving them your best work the first time around, and they will be loyal to you throughout your writing life. Plus, you never know what opportunities are passing you by because you neglected to put care into your book. You never know who's going to pick

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I am an avid reader. When I say avid, I mean just that. I'll read just about any and everything with words; sign boards, beer bottles, Facebook posts, cereal cartons, road signs, door posters, car bumper stickers, web content, you name it. My eyes are like razor filters too. I notice everything. Sometimes it seems as if my eyes are trained to pick out mistakes. And maybe that is why I came down a little hard on myself when I submitted an article for publication and realized that even after proofreading it 3 times over, I still managed to miss a mistake in the very first sentence. What should have been a proud moment for me turned into almost two weeks of self-doubt and self-beating. How could I have missed that? People are going to read this. I'm supposed to be an editor. No one's going to take me seriously when they read this, etc.

When I eventually got over my pity party, I realized that my mistake was just that; a mistake. It could have happened for so many reasons besides the fact that I was not careful. Even so, that is one article I still don't proudly circulate. As we head into a new week, I want you to remember that mistakes happen, even against our best efforts to avoid them, they happen. It's what makes us human. What we can do instead of beating ourselves up is to look at what could have possibly gone wrong, correct it, and ensure that it doesn't repeat itself. Then move forward with your head held high. Your mistakes do not define you!

Have a blessed and fruitful week ahead!

PS: What I did was correct the article and resubmit it to a different publication. See the article in Today's Innovative Woman Magazine.
The Brielle Agency recently added a new service to its copyediting and proofreading package. The new service provides editing and proofreading assistance for business and individual LinkedIn profiles. LinkedIn is increasingly becoming the top place for employers to seek out potential candidates, and how your profile represents you can either propel you to the next phase of your career, or taint your reputation. Remember, your LinkedIn profile is your online resume, it matters!

The aim of the new service is to help individual and business profile pages stand out among their peers, by correcting grammar and spelling mistakes, removing the fluff, and by helping page owners stay within LinkedIn's company guidelines regarding word usage. Prices start at $25 and can go up depending on the amount of work required to tidy up a profile. Contact for more information on this new service.