Do I need an Editor or Proofreader?
Excellent question! The answer is "It depends."
If you're a published author, you're likely familiar with the different types of editors that may be involved with your work.
For the majority of us, especially those of us doing our best on our own as "indie" authors or freelance/small business owners, the lines blur quite a bit.
This form of editing is more "big picture" and helps flesh out the story. This editor helps find plot holes, reviews pacing and character development, and is the first eyes on a project in its development stage.
This editor works line-by-line to review style, consistency, and general readability. The goal is to tighten sentence structure for clear language.
This editor fine-tunes things, correcting grammar, punctuation, and spelling while reviewing style guides.
This is the final set of eyes to be sure literally every "i" is dotted and "t" is crossed! This is your final check for typos, punctuation, and grammar. A proofreader doesn't change words or thoughts, but fixes what's there assuming all general editing has been handled.
Do I need ALL of these?
Short answer? No. Many of these roles have become somewhat blended depending on situations, especially for more "indie" or independent authors or creators. Editors and proofreaders are available for ALL written works, from fiction to nonfiction, but also for websites, blogs, business materials, education proposals/papers, and more. Sometimes a Line and Copy Editor cover the same purpose. These folks may be available to also proofread, but you really should have a third set of eyes on your work at that point. We're all human and miss things with our eyes seeing what we anticipate should be there.
It often comes down to cost.
There's the reality - what is your budget? You want to maximize your own return on investment. But you need to make sure you have an excellent product to get those sales! The old adage "Sometimes you have to spend money to make money" comes into play. All of these editors will have a fee. Some editors and proofreaders may offer multiple services, but you'll be discussing what a fair rate is for their time, effort, and expertise.
But can we leave the red pen out of this?
Certainly! The good news is, most don't even use red pens anymore as work is reviewed electronically via Word docs, Google docs, pdf's, or simply online files or products. Suggestions can be "old school" with cross-outs and additions for you to see, or can be hidden within "track changes" so you just see it all smoothed out.
This is YOUR baby!
Any editor or proofreader worth their salt will be sensitive to the hard work you have put into the project. All editors and proofreaders do is offer suggestions. It's up to you whether to accept them or not! Editors and proofreaders not looking for errors to be mean, but looking for ways to help you shine your brightest!
Have you worked with each style of editor or been able to find multi-talented folks to move your projects forward?
What type of assistance are you looking for?