One question I get from my readership again and again is, HOW DO I FIND AN EDITOR?
It’s an important question, since I think many of us avid readers can confirm: an editor will make or break a book. And without a big publisher behind you, it’s something indie authors have to do on their own.
Let’s start by talking terms…after all, there’s a lot of kinds of editing.
- Developmental editing happens earlier in the process. While not every book needs a developmental edit, most benefit from it. The goal is to whip the book into shape. It can start during the outline process, and take the form of ongoing coaching about structure and storytelling. But it can also be done after a draft is done. It usually involves moving things around, making sure the information is being told in the best way possible, and generally whipping the book into shape. It’s concerned with big picture storytelling.
- Line editing takes a look line-by-line (as the name suggests) to evaluate word choice, sentence structure…all those choices writers make, and that add up to make the story either convincing…or not.
- Copy editing is probably what most people imagine when they think “editor.” Catching mistakes. Checking syntax and grammar. Correcting spelling. Making sure the facts presented are really factual.
As you can see, each of these types of editing are pretty distinct art forms, and they all really do require a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th!) set of eyes.
How do I find an editor?
First time authors often make the mistake of not allowing enough time for the back and forth of editing. It can take 2 weeks to 2 months to do the actual editing, and many good editors are booked months in advance. So don’t leave this lingering on your indie author “to do” list.
Now, as for finding the right person, here’s a couple TOTALLY FREE resources for you to bookmark:
- Our blog post listing some of our favorite editors, editing service companies, editing softwares and ideas for budget solutions – check it out here.
- A YouTube replay of our January roundtable session with three of my favorite editing experts, Lisa Lepki from ProWritingAid, JoEllen Nordstrom from FirstEditing and Kristina Stanley from Fictionary. You can watch the replay for free right here. (And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel – we’re always posting good stuff!)
- An episode of my PublishHER podcast with a panel of editors who are full of fantastic advice! You can check it out here. (And be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode!)
- A YouTube replay of our December broadcast of Your Editing Journey.
Now, go forth and edit that manuscript! I can’t wait to see what comes next for your book!