Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Raise Your Hand by Sandra Ardoin

It pains me to admit this, but I am not perfect. Yes, I know. It stunned me to learn that I had flaws, too.

In addition, I’m not a perfect writer. Ask anyone who has critiqued or edited my work. My commas are, all, over, the, place. I love ellipses… (and parenthesis) and em—dashes. I don’t shout too often! But I do have a tendency toward inner thoughts. And don’t even get me started on the excess baggage I place in my sentences. I mean, who needs two words when you can use six?

I’ve read social media posts from new authors eager to get their books up on Amazon and start selling. They will admit they don’t go through the manuscript more than once or twice and forego an editor peeking at it. 

Just to be clear, I doubt those posts are from our dear Seriously Write readers. You all are too savvy. However, it doesn’t hurt to put out a reminder for us all: Editors are our friends.

If you’re traditionally published, you have no choice in the use of an editor. The good news is you won’t need to pay for one, unless you want to hire someone to edit before you submit.

If you publish independently, you do have a choice, and most likely, it will be your largest upfront expense.  

But is hiring a professional editor necessary? Technically, no. You can use critique partners and beta readers, supplemented with grammar software such as Grammarly or ProWritingAid. From what I understand, the software programs are excellent in what they do. They’re a fine addition to your self-editing, yet they have their limitations.

Is hiring a professional editor the wise thing to do? Here are some reasons why I think it’s important to hire a good editor:  
  • Your editor stays up-to-date on the latest trends in grammar and punctuation. They operate by the book, generally, the Chicago Manual of Style or CMOS. They take classes and are involved in associations. Don’t depend on your mother or best friend or the college student down the street. Don’t even depend on that reader who writes you with each release to let you know where you missed a comma. They have no proper training. I am a critique partner, not an editor. Don’t use me to edit your manuscript. 😊
  • Your editor will point out better ways to say what you want to get across. Many are writers. They get it. They know how to make suggestions without being dictatorial. In fact, you are the boss. You say which corrections and suggestions are accepted. Word of caution: Don’t dismiss things willy-nilly. Take time to see the pros and cons or let the suggestion spark new ideas.
  • Your editor will work from an emotional distance, and they’re being paid to take time with your manuscript. We’re too close to our work to see our weaknesses. A good editor will be well worth what you pay her.
  • Your editor should be familiar with your genre. Hire someone who knows the tropes, the language, the style. I write historical romance. My editor for Enduring Dreams writes historicals, so she suggested some additional period tidbits that would draw the reader into the era even more. I really appreciated that. 
Like us, our manuscripts will never be perfect, even with an editor. But I raise my hand to say I need the extra polish. How about you?

Why hire a good editor before your publish? via @SandraArdoin #SeriouslyWrite


As an author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

Visit her at Connect with her on BookBub, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Subscribe to the newsletter and keep up with what’s new, discover what’s upcoming, and learn of specials.


Loving her might be a blueprint for disaster.

Claire Kingsley once dared to assert herself into the male world of 1890s architecture. It cost
her husband both his life and an heir. Now fear controls her choices and her dreams. When offered a chance to create another design, she fights against the pull, afraid of further disaster. But disturbing news ignites a fierce loyalty to her past love and a powerful attraction to a new one—an attraction she resists…for his sake.

Mark Gregory’s first architectural project in town comes with the proviso that he works with a female. He balks, even though Claire stirs his heart like no other woman. Yet, with a loan payment looming, risking his business on someone of unknown talent invites failure, a word he’s struck from his vocabulary.

When bigotry and Claire’s fears threaten an important commission, will she summon the courage to help Mark succeed, or will she destroy another man’s dream?