The Editor is Your Friend
You have finished your first draft of your novel. Running it through the spell checker, making minor changes here and there as you read through it. You’ve sent it out to beta readers, made changes and fixed things they pointed out. Now you think you’re ready to publish the book. Stop right there! News flash! You are not ready to publish! What? Sure I am. Nope. Trust me on this. You are not ready to publish. You need an editor to go through your book. An editor! Aren’t they expensive? Yes, they are the most expensive part of publishing a book, but one that will serve you in the long run.
All right, so what type of editor do I need? I understand there are several types.
That’s right. Below is a list and brief explanation of the types of editors for fiction.
Types of Editors
Developmental Editor: They are mainly concerned with the structure and content of the book. They look for structural problems in the story, character development, point out strengths and weaknesses of the plot and the characters.
Line Editor: A line editor literally goes through the story line by line, marking grammatical errors, awkward sentences, making sure the proper point of views are being used, marking where you let the tense slip, letting you know when you do too much ‘telling’ and not enough ‘showing’. They will reword to improve the clarity of the story. If something doesn’t make sense, they may rearrange things. This type of editing is the most extensive.
Copy Editor: A copy editor corrects punctuation, grammar, and syntax. They also deal with continuity issues — example: your main character has blue eyes, but in another scene their eyes are violet and they didn’t use colored contact lenses. They also check for spelling errors and proper word usage.
Proofreader: A Proofreader does a final read through before publishing the story. They check for missing punctuation, misspelled words, double words — example: ‘the the cat purred. They help put the final polish on the book before you publish it.
Fine, so I need an editor. How do I find a good one?
If you are looking for an editor for the first time, here’s a few tips.
What to Look Out For
- Some editors purchase direct email lists to find new clients. Be wary of receiving an unsolicited email from them.
- The promises of making your book a best seller with their editing. Right. Sure.
- Limited time offer on reduced rates for their services. Like an author really needs added pressure.
- No client list on their website. Run away as fast as you can.
Finding a Good Editor for Your Needs
- Contact other indie authors on Facebook. Politely inquire who edited their work and if they were happy working with the editor. This is where networking with other indie authors comes in handy.
- Find an editor that deals with the genre you are writing in. If you write horror or paranormal, don’t contact an editor that deals strictly with romance or children’s books.
- Do a search on Facebook for pages called Editorial Services. Research them on the web.
- Decide on the type of editing you need. Some editors offer package deals and payment plans so you don’t end up murdering your bank account.
- Also check Preditors & Editors for any red flags on an editor you are thinking of contacting.
In the end, after all the suggestions made by an editor, it is up to you, the writer, to decide whether or not you want to make the changes. However, if you want to put out the best book possible, listen to your editor. That’s why you hired them. A well-edited and written book brings high reviews and more sales. Keep that in mind when you are looking to hire an editor.
May the words ever flow!