You’ve worked and worked and worked on your manuscript until it’s as good as you can get it—but you know it can be even better, so you’ve decided to take the plunge: You’re going to work with a book editor. Now comes the hard part. How in the world do you find the right person for your book? What things should you even look for?
1. Type of editing
Contrary to popular belief, editors are not all the same. Some specialize in polishing your work by focusing solely on spelling, grammar, formatting, and other very specific errors. Others engage in minor rewriting and revising, improve clarity and consistency, and offer suggestions on everything from narrative arc to characterization. And still others work with writers from the very beginning to help develop an idea and turn it into a complete manuscript. Some editors even take on different roles with different clients.
It’s not only important to understand what type of editing your candidate does but also why you should trust him or her over someone else. That means asking about qualifications. Where did the editor study? Does she have industry experience? Has she worked on other books in your genre? Is it possible to see some before and after samples?
An editor’s job is to point out everything “wrong” in your manuscript. As you might imagine, it can sometimes be difficult to sit through an editor’s critiques. Some writers get defensive or become depressed, feeling like the editor is tearing apart their work.
Because of this, it’s important to understand yourself and how you’ll react, then choose your editor accordingly. For example, if your feelings are easily hurt, you probably don’t want an editor who describes himself as blunt or who recommends that you have thick skin. Other writers may thrive with this kind of brutal honesty.
You’ve probably heard that you get what you pay for, but with book editors, it’s a bit more complicated than that. While cost can’t help but be a consideration, so much of book editing is about finding the right person. The editor needs to understand the type of work you’re doing, be a great writer, and know how to work with you to bring out the best. Of course, you need to find someone who fits within your budget, but one thing you don’t want to do is equate the price you pay with the quality you’re getting.
At ProofreadingServices.com, we have skilled, experienced professionals ready to handle all types of book editing. Our editors undergo a rigorous testing process to ensure they’re qualified for the job, and we take the time to match each writer with an editor who has the right background for his or her genre and subject matter.
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