Genres: Articles, Book Editing
This is one of those questions that everyone will scream “Yes!” And, they are right. The real question we need to ask is how much editing matters and what kind is best suited to your book and your budget?
Editing means picking up careless errors. Such as spelling typos where you got your ‘were’s’ and ‘where’s’ mixed up or you had a brain-strain and you made the cardinal sin of writing and wrote ‘your’ when you should have had ‘you’re’ OR you wrote ‘a lot’ as one word!! Arrrghh!! (Alot is not a word, not never, not at all!)
We’ve all made these kinds of mistakes while writing, don’t worry. This is because our brains were busy forming ideas, calculating plot lines and trying to remember whether we might have left the stove on, but these are not excuses. No, they are reasons why we need to edit!
Self-editing vs a Professional
Sure, you can read through your manuscript and you will pick up several errors, but chances are you are not going to pick up on them all.
Hiring an editor can be the best way to go. A really good professional editor who is affordable, can be just what your book needs for the most enjoyable experience for your readers. Most of the very best authors do just that.
You can also ask trusted friends to read your book and look for mistakes for you. We all know people who are well-educated and enjoy reading. You could send your manuscript out to a whole heap of people and wait and see what they find wrong with it!
Different kinds of editors
Developmental Editors look at your manuscript as a whole. They will help put it into shape, more like your phys-ed teacher tried to do to you when you were in high school. A developmental editor will study how your story was written, whether it is well organized, is the narrative tone consistent and are the characters well developed and believable? They don’t necessarily correct spelling or grammar mistakes.
Copy Editors will look at those grammar mistakes and punctuation errors that let your story down. They will also make sure that the sentences are clear and that you have used language consistently throughout. A copy editor may also rewrite passages for you – just like your English teacher used to!
Substantive Editors are the next step up from Copy Editors. They look at how clear your story is and what writing style you are using. They will rephrase sections or completely rewrite paragraphs, sections and even chapters for you.
Proofreaders are the editors we all think about. They are the mistake-finders and they are the sort of people who can literally find a peedle in a heystick, if you know what I mean. They are often employed last or at least after one of the editors above to ensure your manuscript is at its best before it goes to the publisher.
Edit, and edit well
Try to think of editing as the icing on the cake. If you are an avid dessert fan like me, you probably follow more cake decorators than is healthy on Instagram. And what are we following? The icing and the glorious decorations, not so much the cake.
Unlike cake, your next book must look as delicious as it tastes. It needs to be that one page-turner that every reader can’t put down. Don’t let your story fall short or be misjudged because it has a few mistakes. Let it shine and get the attention it deserves by editing it and editing it well!
To have your book perfectly edited by a professional, we recommend “With a Flourish and a Polish – Affordable Editing”
Does Editing Your Book Really Matter? Yes it Matters!
by Susan Day
Additions Added by Editor
Susan Day is an author of rollicking children’s books and a creative design expert specializing in animation. She lives in outback Australia with her beloved Border collie, Bandit, and four badly behaved chickens. Find Susan at susanday.net
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