How to Choose the Right Editor

From a reader’s and reviewer’s point-of-view, books need a professional editor.

Why do books need a professional editor?

Authors are too close to the project to be able to pick up everything, especially if the author is self-publishing their book. Self-editing doesn’t work; many books and author’s sites have errors in grammar and punctuation as books and a web site visited today.

How to choose the right one to work with

  1. Authors need to talk with, and ask questions of the editor they choose to work with to see if the read and understand the genre of your book
·         Have they edited in the genre?
·         Can you and the editor work together?
·         Will the editor accept your input?
·         Are they willing to keep you abreast of how the project is progressing?
·         Does the editor have an estimate of how long it will take to edit?
·         Can you agree on a price that is acceptable to both parties?

  1. The editor should send the author an edited copy for review/proofread.
·         The final say is the author’s responsibility.
·         The editor shouldn’t have changed, but strengthened the sentences.
·         The editor should have corrected any grammar or punctuation errors.
·         The editor should have used Word’s Track Changes.
·         Any questions the editor has should be addressed using Word’s Comment feature.
  1. After the edited copy is proofread by the author:
·         The author and editor should agree on the changes.
·         If the editor suggested a word change, the author and editor should agree.
·         Talking with the editor should be like talking to a friend helping your book be the best it can be.
·         Once the final edits are completed and both parties are satisfied, then the final edited copy is ready for publication.

There should never be harsh feelings about your book with an editor; the editor is there to help the author create a book that is the best copy possible. 

Readers deserve the best book authors and editors are capable of creating. From an ethical standpoint, authors need to offer only their best to their readers.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Marketer


Karen Cioffi said...

Robert, great advice. Writers are much too close to their own work to be able to properly edit it. An editor and author work hand-in-hand to create a better product - it's a joint effort. Excellent guidelines for finding and working with a qualified editor.

Magdalena Ball said...

I agree with you Robert, and this also goes for traditionally published books where an editor is assigned. It's really important to be very clear upfront about the process and how it works.

Bob said...

Thank you, Karen. As a reviewer it is amazing what I see. I visited an author's web site and found errors in spelling and more.

This make me wonder about reading her books.

Bob said...

Magdalena, I have reviewed over 100 books and am find many with various errors. I will never give five stars when there are editing issues.

Authors need someone to read and review their manuscripts.

Tips for Creating Subplots in Middle Grade Novels

by Suzanne Lieurance   If you’re writing a middle grade novel, you want to include at least one or two subplots. Subplots in fiction are sec...