Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Why Editing is So Important for Writers Who Want to Continue to Improve

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

One of the best bits of advice a new writer can follow is to have their projects professionally edited, especially in the early days of writing. Turning in your first manuscript is an exciting moment. But even more exciting is to have your editor respond with, “Your writing is so clean (that means few mistakes).

Many new writers seriously question as to why they should hire an editor for their work. 

  • After all, “I made an A in college English.” 
  • “My grandmother is a retired English teacher and she knows where every comma goes.”
  • “My mother read it and said it was really good. She already wants to buy a copy.”

These are all legitimate statements. But unfortunately, neither Mom nor Grandma is familiar with the Chicago Manual of Style, which is the grammar standard for Christian Publishing. Occasionally you run across a publication that prefers a different style book. It’s always good to ask when you are writing for a publishing house for the first time. Then you will know from then on. You might also ask what version of the Bible they prefer to use. You will save them some time editing and changing versions.

How to Find a Good Editor

Study books that have won awards. Look on the copyright page and see who the editor was. Go to their website and see what you find there.

Talk to other authors. Ask them who they have hired as editors. Ask questions if you have any concerns. Find out if they were pleased with the way the editor worked and the timing of the project.

Once you have settled on an editor, contact him or her and discuss your project. You may want to send a sample of your work so that he or she can assess the type of edit you will need. This will give you a more accurate quote. Often an author will choose the lowest price the editor offers when really what the author needs is a mid to more detailed type of editing.

There is a list of editors in the editor section of the Christian Writers Market Guide. You will find reputable editors on that list.

Remember, the first manuscript you send to an editor shows him or her the quality of your work. When you are able to say it has been professionally edited, your editor knows that it matters to you that your work is the best it can be. If you learn from the edits made to your work, your writing will improve with each project and you will receive follow up aceptances from your editor. Don’t miss that opportunity!


Linda Gilden has coauthored 11 books with 5 different coauthors and has #12 and #13 coming out in 2022, adding a new co-author to the list. She loves every one of her coauthors and enjoys collaborating on interesting projects with them. She also has written many books on her own and realizes what a treasure and blessing a good co-author is.


  1. I've been blessed with at least two amazing editors, both you know quite well, in my Christian writing career Ms. Linda. I can honestly say that you both have made me a better writer. Not a perfect one, but better. With each experience, I gain useful knowledge I hope will make my next effort even more polished and professional. As I'm sure you're editing this as you read it so I'll try and leave at least won mistake. :-) God's blessings and thank you for all your encouragement and wisdom ma'am.

  2. I have three amazing critique partners who act as my first editors. We've been together for around 17 years. They help get my work clean. But then the editors at my publishing house take over and make the story better. I LOVE my editors and the process. When the book is published, you look at it and think, I really sound good!" Without editors, that would be okay instead of good.

  3. I am thankful for editors. Having many eyes looking at a writing project allows me to step back and learn. :-)

  4. This is so true, Linda. Too many writers send their manuscripts in too soon. It's a fast track to the slush pile!

  5. Excellent advice, Linda. Thank you.