When it comes to books, our words are paramount. People can identify our tone, style, and personality through our written words alone. We know that our words matter in our books, and here are several reasons why editing your words is incredibly important.
It builds your credibility
Building credibility on words alone is tough, and one misspelled word or improper use of the word "your" can take the reader out of the experience and not trust what you have to say because they will perceive that you can't use English grammar correctly. Is it petty? Maybe. Does it happen a lot? More than you know.
It strengthens your story, fiction or not
People read based on the experience that reading provides. Some people may want a way to escape reality and some may want to learn something, but no matter the reason, proper use of grammar and story structure helps keep the reader focused on the purpose of why they are reading and can enjoy what you've written, rather than be disrupted by thinking about how the author messed up.
It strengthens you as a writer
There are more levels of editing than just checking for grammar. Editors can copy edit, line edit, content edit, and proofread, and you may benefit from each level. Some levels focus on grammar and some will focus on developing your story by fleshing out plot holes and dialogue inconsistencies, but any level you choose will only help your story get better.
It gets you better reviews
Editors are professionals that know what helps a book and what hinders it, and these improvements will lead to your book reviews to be better than what they could have been had you not edited the book at all. There have been reviews will people will comment and specific areas they messed up, so spare yourself that uncomfortable feeling and edit your book before publishing it.
It makes you feel better
Imagine that sigh of relief you would let out if an editor caught an enormous book error before it went to print. Many authors bypass this editing step and then have the opposite react of relief when they discover they accidentally left out a huge detail needed for people to understand the end of the story.
Ultimately, editing may cost some money up front, but editors are in the business to help writers get better at their craft and to perfect the work they have spent countless hours working on. Even if you don't hire an editor, do some editing on your own and save yourself a gigantic headache down the road.