Over the last three years, I have read a large number of books by present day Indian authors. This did two things: broke my firm belief that all Indian authors today are CB's clones and brought to light why most of these books aren't fairing as they should, in the market.
India has a huge number of under-rated authors who are really good story tellers. They are under-rated for reasons ranging from lack of publicity to poor language in the books. Let's face it, if I am writing a book, I would want it to be a hit amongst the serious readers, would I not? Then why not take the extra step to make it perfect.
Writing is no easy job. It drains you, it takes every ounce of your imagination. So if you are a published author, congratulate yourself. You did well!
A writer is a human, at the end of a day. A good story teller, albeit human. And even if a person who is very careful with his grammar and language, with all his focus on the plot and continuity, it is possible that there are things that they see through. Happens. Like for instance, I am writing this post. I might not be able to see some minor flaw which someone else can. And that is not all that an editor helps an author with:
- An editor reads your draft as a reader would. So, along with editing and proofreading, you also get first hand reader review on how the plot is.
- As someone who has experience in dealing with plots and giving the correct treatment to them, your editor can help you give the right direction to your plot, if ever you lose track.
- It's always good to have a second pair of eyes.
- It's difficult to edit your own work. Your brain is tuned such that it will read whatever you wrote the first time, as correct.
- You have a story to write. While writing, you are bound to move from past to present, active to passive, first person to third person in your narration. Do you take care of all this or do you write the story waiting to be told? You tell the story. Let the specialist bring it all together.
- Grammar. Small publishers don't care about editing and almost all authors who get their books published through these publishers, are handed books with very poor or no editing. Don't depend on your publisher unless one of the big names has signed you. This is a risk you should not take.
A book is an author's baby. Would you give your child a mediocre life while preparing her for the future? No, you will give her the best you can. Then why shape your book in a mediocre way and drop it in the market, totally unprepared? Invest in a good editor. Your book deserves only the best.
And don't forget, mistakes cost money. A well edited book would earn you lots more.