Image shows scissors to illustrate the idea that a book editor will cut words from your manuscript.

When you hire a book editor, you know your book will change. How much will it change? That depends. If a professional hasn’t edited your book yet, there may still be editing mistakes that require major changes.

While different editors focus on different aspects of your book, here are three things that might change once an Argyle Fox Publishing editor gets to work on your book.

Your Book Will Be Shorter

As a writer, you overwrite. Don’t feel bad. Everyone does. When words come into your head, they flow through your fingers and onto the computer screen. Unfortunately, all those words can make for some clunky reading.

A good book editor gets rid of unnecessary words.

Most of the time, you’ll lose a few words here and there. Sometimes, your editor may chop out paragraphs, pages, or chapters. Depending on how verbose you get while writing, your editor may remove thirty percent or more of your book.

This chopping can be painful. After all, you worked hard on every word. But don’t panic. And don’t add the cut words back in. Instead, take a deep breath. If the shortened version of your book moves faster and retains the important parts of your story, thank your editor. (This is true even if you, like George R.R. Martin, consider editors “The Writer’s Natural Enemy.”)

Your Sentences Will Have More Clarity

Love long, descriptive sentences full of prepositional phrases? Be careful. They’re a mine field of confusion.

If readers have to read a sentence multiple times to understand what you mean, they’ll get tired. Force them to do that too many times, and they’ll give up.

Remember—you’re the only one who knows what you were thinking when you wrote a sentence. If your book editor doesn’t understand your meaning, readers won’t either. Part of your editor’s job is to notice confusing areas and clear things up.

Of course, some books are meant to be read slowly. Don’t use that as license for long sentences. Rely on long sentences to slow readers down, and you could lose them on the way to your point. Use thoughtful wording and make your point succinctly. Then, they’ll stop to consider your point, not to untangle your confusing prose.

Your Book Editor Will Reduce Repetition

All writers have favorite words. If you’re a writer, you do too. Don’t get down on yourself. There are a limited number of words at your disposal. However, using certain words over and over gets tedious for readers. Your book editor can help detect and replace these words.

What are you at risk for overusing?

  • Words that describe specific facial expressions. Your characters may tend to smile and laugh a lot. An editor will suggest creative ways to show your characters’ happiness.
  • First words in your sentences. You may have a lot of sentences that start with “If,” “However,” “The,” or another word. Rely on your editor to determine if it’s overkill.
  • Uncommon words. You get tired of characters frowning, so you let one grimace. Next thing you know, there are thirty grimaces in your manuscript. A sharp-eyed editor will notice this and swap some grimaces out for sneers and snarls.

We’ve Got Your Book Editor

Ready to start your book publishing journey? Argyle Fox Publishing’s book editors get your manuscript in tip-top shape. Once it’s polished, we do all the other behind-the-scenes stuff to help get your book off your computer and onto bookshelves. If you’re tired of wishing you were a published author, submit your manuscript for consideration today.