Although it’s a common misperception, editors provide much more than just the ability to spot typos and grammatical blunders. As the book’s author, you are with the characters, immersed in the narrative, and aware of every nuance of what you’re attempting to say. But sometimes it’s hard to tell from the written word. To write the finest book possible, an editor is a prominent voice that can point out what you’re missing, how to connect everything, what should be removed, and what should be rewritten. They aid in bringing out the best aspects of your narrative. Here are a few things every author should consider before hiring an editor:
- How is the editor beneficial?
After finishing their first draft, most writers rewrite and revise their manuscripts multiple times. Authors are most likely to skip through the grammatical errors, and professional editors can only spot these.
- What to look for in an editor?
An expert editor will typically be more effective and thorough than a novice, saving you time and money. Before giving an editor your work, conduct some online research on them, and if they don’t have a website, be sure to question them about their experience immediately.
Another crucial consideration is expertise in the respective genres. For example, if you’re writing a romance or drama and the editor only has experience in technical nonfiction, you might want to look elsewhere. While most editors are adept at checking for punctuation and grammar issues, there are frequently other elements of the text they are paying attention to as well.
It is also essential to be transparent and clear about costs and other logistics. An editor should be upfront about the cost of their services, the type of editing they’ll receive, and the timeframe for completion of the project. You don’t want your book to be held hostage by an editor for months as they continuously request more money to finish it.
- What questions can an author ask the editor?
- An author can ask the following questions to an editor:
- Do you have a website where I may learn more about you, and how long have you been editing?
- What were your most recent three books or projects? Can you provide the names and emails of a couple of authors you’ve collaborated with?
- Can you edit a few pages for me for free so I can see an example of your work?
- What kind of editing do you provide, and how much do they cost?
- How long will it take from beginning to end of the entire process?
- How many revisions will I receive as part of this service?
- Do you provide more services, such as creating Amazon book descriptions or book jacket copies?
- Is it worth investing in an editor?
Consider the distinction between a mechanic and a friend who borrows your car and alerts you to a rattling that you were either unaware of or oblivious to. Your friend lacks the training necessary to look inside the vehicle, make a diagnosis, make adjustments, or make repairs. A skilled editor is an expert who scans your manuscript for weak points and knows how to strengthen them, from straightforward difficulties like verb tense inconsistencies or poor dialogue formatting to more fundamental concerns like a weak plot or character.
When readers pick up your book, they anticipate the same engaging, accessible experience they get from a book by a famous publisher. The difference is that experienced editors went through several rounds of revisions on such publications, whereas self-published authors frequently omit that step entirely. It significantly affects your book’s overall quality and readability. Many potential readers may be turned off by one negative Amazon review. You owe it to yourself to publish the best edition of the book you can get after all the effort you’ve put into writing it.
- What do authors benefit from an editor?
Although most freelance book editors offer various editing services, some editors, especially those who work for large publishers, specialise in just one sort of editing.
Developmental editing is a thorough manuscript evaluation that looks at your book’s structure and characters, story, pacing, style, and conflict. It’s also known as content or substantive editing and is frequently required at the start of a book or when the author is unclear on how to finish. The material may need to be substantially cut, moved, and reshaped as part of this procedure. The most comprehensive of the three services frequently excludes proofreading.
Copy editing should be done once your book has a strong foundation in terms of plot structure, character development, and storyline. Your writing will be polished, your prose strengthened, and style coherence guaranteed. This type of editing, known as line editing, looks for factors like verb tense, word choice, sentence structure, consistency in style, and other problems that affect overall readability. Some editors will include additional proofreading as part of this service.
The final step is proofreading, which involves carefully reviewing minor punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes. A proofreader will give your work the last shine but won’t offer advice on structural faults or other more significant editorial problems.
Whether you decide on developmental editing, line editing, or proofreading, each is necessary to advance your book. Editors pay close attention to the small details and concentrate on the story’s plot, characters, setting, and organisation. Editors identify contradictions and inconsistencies and fix them without altering the meaning or style of the text. Your voice and tone won’t be entirely lost even if your editor makes adjustments to your book; they will simply be improved. Thus, the above-discussed points should be considered while hiring an editor.