Writing your book is one of the first steps to publication. The next several steps involve the editing process. Writing and editing require different sets of skills. Of the two, the author is far more important. Without solid editing, however, the manuscript has little chance of being read, much less published. The editor’s job is to help you make your work as readable and presentable as possible. Think of it as changing from jeans and a t-shirt to a tuxedo or evening gown.
Editors basically help you write your best. We correct grammar, punctuation, and find places in your work that need a little polishing. Some writers need more help than others. You should never send your work to an editor until you have done the best that you can by yourself and, if possible, have had other people read it. Editors are expensive for a reason. We’ve spent years learning our profession. Most of us are published authors as well.
Authors require different kinds of editors. Experienced writers may need just a second pair of eyes to catch small mistakes (copyediting). Line editors catch the grammar and spelling errors and may do some revising on a line-by-line basis. Developmental editors are for authors who need some serious assistance. These editors give advice on structure and guidance on format while working very closely with the author. Proof readers are the people who read your manuscript one final time before it is actually published to make sure every error has been corrected.
Things to know about editors:
- Editors want their authors to succeed as writers. Your success is our success!
- Let an editor see a sample of your work and he or she will tell you what type of editing service you need.
- Editors do not all edit the same way. Editing is an art as well as a skill and we each look at your work a little differently. If you don’t like the way one editor helps you, try another.
- Editors understand that the manuscript is YOUR creation. You pay us to help you make it better—not take credit for your ideas.
- Your work is automatically copyrighted as you write it. Editors have no rights to your original work. We would never share your work in any way without your permission.
- You can certainly disagree with your editor. We make suggestions. We do not do your creative work for you.
- A good editing job does not mean publication or an A grade on a paper. Good editing allows the reader to more easily understand your ideas or follow your story. We don’t change the quality of your content.
- Time is money. The faster you need it, the more it will cost. An editor will give you an expected deadline for returning your work. The price will go up if you need it more quickly.
- An editor is not your parent or your best friend. You’re paying us to find mistakes and make suggestions that will improve your work.
Editors are people, too. Most editors are also writers and know how it feels to have an editor critique their work.