You’ve just finished your book. You sit back in your chair and heave a deep sigh of relief. It has been fun to write, but now you realize just how much work it has been. Unfortunately, your work is not yet complete. There are errors lurking in your book that you haven’t spotted yet. Knowing how to find an editor for your book can help you hunt those errors down so they don’t spoil your perfect ending.
Lots of people might say that they can edit your book, but it is up to you to find the right editor. You need someone who understands your style of writing, gets the points you are making within your narrative, but will also help you craft a book that’s better than if you did everything on your own.
A good editor does more than just a detailed line edit, but they should also be able to properly complete one. To know what kind of editor you need, it is essential to know what type of editors are available for your book right now.
There Are 3 Different Types of Editing
The role of an editor for a book has three different facets. Although one person can sometimes cover all three types of editing, it is usually a better idea to approach editors who specialize in one specific role. These are the three different types of editing that your book is going to need.
- Proofreading. This is the most common form of editing for a book. It should also be the last for of editing, but it usually ends up being the first edit. Proofreaders should be looking at your absolutely final draft to make sure every typo, grammatical error, and punctuation issue has been eliminated.
- Content editing. Content editors are concerned with the big details of your book. They look to make sure there aren’t any plot holes that you haven’t filled in with your story. These editors can point out writer tangents that might be present, scene or character inconsistencies, or a dull pace that puts the reader to sleep.
- Copyediting. This editor is going to look at the overall readability of your book. They’re concerned about making sure the reading experience is smooth because the writing voice is consistent. They’ll also help with some basic fact checking throughout the book, making sure specific details are as accurate as possible. This editor will also catch some of the language and grammar issues which might be present in the manuscript, but that won’t be their first concern.
Finding the right editor to cover these tasks is the tricky part. Anyone can claim that they can edit a book. The proof is in their portfolio. No matter what their asking price might be, ask if there are any published references which you can independently review. Ask about their education credentials.
Experience is important as well, but it must be an educated and professional experience for it to be valuable to you.
When Do I Need to Have a Book Edited?
Every writer should have their book edited. Even if the goal is to send the manuscript to a literary agent, the editing process will help provide a polished, professional appearance on your behalf. It’s up to you to make sure your book is ready to be published right now. If it is not, then there’s a good chance your manuscript will be rejected.
If you are self-publishing, then it is a good idea to bring in a person or two to review your book. You can edit it for months on your own and still miss common mistakes simply because you’ve been looking at it for so long.
Then you just need to find the right editor. If you know other writers in your community, ask them if they have a recommendation. If you don’t know anyone, then send an email to a favorite author to see if they have a recommendation. You’d be surprised how many writers will help other writers find the help they need.
The best editors will also offer you a sample of their work for a low or no-cost review. This will allow you to make sure they get your style and voice. If this isn’t an option, then you might want to find a different editor.
When you know how to find an editor for your book, then you can turn something great into a potential masterpiece. A professional editor will be expensive and there’s no getting around this. The results, however, are almost always worth the investment into your work.