Once you decide that it’s time to hire a professional book editor, it can be hard to figure out what to expect. This means you may not know if the potential editor will like your work, talk down to you, or even if your manuscript is ready for an expert edit. No doubt, you can have a lot of questions with no clear answers. The good news is that New York book editors are not there to judge the quality of your work. Instead, an editor focuses on improving your work so that it can stand out on the market. This page discusses what you need to know about professional book editors.
The role of a professional editor
You can consider an editor as a professional reader who focuses on identifying writing errors. You can also self-edit, but it’s hard to properly self-edit your work. This is because you are too close to your work. For example, you already know the direction of your story and the characters. Therefore, you may not identify anything without the help of fresh eyes. And, because it can be hard to see your writing objectively, you have to seek someone to do it on your behalf. This is the reason why you need to get a professional book editor.
The good thing is that a book editor has the required experience. They are not only a person with the right qualifications who decided to begin editing as a side job. A professional book editor can be a person with many years of experience at traditional publishing companies. This means they may have worked with more experienced book editors who mentored them. Simply put, a professional book editor can understand the book writing process handling rough drafts to salable stories.
It’s a good idea to consider a professional book editor as a coach. But they cannot write the story for you. This is because your editor can assist you to produce the best story. The editor can do this by pointing out the areas for improvement. When you work effectively together, your manuscript can improve and you can also be a better storyteller.
Working with a professional book editor
Before you decide to submit your manuscript to a professional book editor, you need to self-edit it. The edit that you can do yourself can be different from the edit that a professional book editor can do. Because it’s your responsibility to tell your story, you need to make sure that it’s on paper. Therefore, the first round of edits can ensure that you tell your story.
It also makes sense to tell the story using a few words. Some manuscripts can have at least 100,000 words, so make sure that your manuscript has between 80,000 and 100,000 words.
Also, your manuscript should not be full of spelling and grammatical errors, so try to self-edit it. Remember that your manuscripts should also not be your first draft. When you think that you can’t change or improve anything anymore from your manuscript, you can submit it to your book editor.
Many editors tend to get confused when it comes to understanding the type of editing they need. There are various types of editing that includes manuscript critique, comprehensive edit, and copy editing. By now you may be wondering what type of editing you may need. Well, this usually depends on what you intend to achieve.
Manuscript critiques are also called developmental editing. This form of editing focuses on the big picture and can ask several big questions. Your professional book editor can concentrate on the overall story’s structure. The editor can look at the plot, pacing, characters, point of view, and perspective.
The manuscript critiques is considered to be an entry-level edit. Therefore, an editor needs to do it before you deal with grammar and typos errors. This is because you and the book editor can decide to remove an entire chapter of the book. You can utilize this critique to ensure that your story is going in the right direction. Hence, the editor’s notes can bring clarity and assist you understand what the readers with experience in your story.
Comprehensive edit is also called a paragraph-level edit. This form of edit focuses on your manuscript line by line. It also deals with the story’s language including transition, rhythm, and wordiness. If you intend to deal with a traditional company, then you should consider a comprehensive edit and manuscript critique. But if you want to self-publish, then copy editing can also be a good idea.
Copy editing which is also referred to as a sentence level edit focuses on spelling, grammar, syntax, typos, and consistency errors. Copy editing can also look at the potential legal liability. You should note that it’s a waste of money and time to copy edit before developmental or manuscript critique as you may need to cut off large parts of text while doing these edits. There is a good chance that you may have to work with a different book editor for each of these. This is because a copy editor emphasizes on fine details while a manuscript editor looks at the big picture.
Communicating with your book editor
It’s worth noting that the editing process is supposed to be a partnership between you and the book editor. Therefore, you need to feel empowered and involved during the editing process.
This can begin after you send the manuscript and get an initial consultation from your book editor. You should always tell them what you expect to learn from the entire editing process. A good editor can discuss with you their editing process and address your questions or concerns.
After you get feedback from the book editor, ensure that you check it right away. Remember that the book editor also deals with other writers, so it’s crucial for you to respect their time. And, don’t leave your book editor waiting for you so that you can provide follow-up questions. You can ask them for advice on the best way you can make certain improvements when the manuscript is still fresh in their minds.