Many people say they are good editors, but only a handful can back up their claims. Despite its importance (second only to book cover design), it is underrated by authors. Most authors are unfamiliar with editing, and they might have a disastrous outcome. They range from an editor who introduces new errors to one who alters the meaning of their work.
Editing a book can be objective or subjective. There are regulations, but most writers fail to follow. Your goal is to find a professional freelance book editor who understands the standards. A proofreader who can repair your writing while still respecting your voice. And one who won’t take away your humor or colloquialisms unless they’re overdone or don’t work.
What Kind of Author Are You Going to Be?
Now, let’s speak about you, the author, and what you should be looking for and asking for when you hire an editor. When an editor inquires about why a particular scene was included, some authors recommend removing it from the novel. On the other hand, authors will battle editors to keep even the slightest alterations to the text. What side are you on? Own this reality and prepare to discuss it with the person you employ before embarking on an editorial adventure.
Consider the following factors when hiring an editor:
1. Determine What You Need, but Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Mind.
You can hire a freelance editor. Make yourself clear to the editor that you’re willing to hear from them if the material requires a more thorough edit. The editor should offer you examples of what’s needed in the form of sample pages. You have to make sure you agree. You want to see the difference an editor’s eye can make to your work. It’s not a good match if you experience fear or wrath or feel misunderstood. Please share your thoughts with the editor so that they can reply or alter the course.
2. Share Any Details on How Much You Care About Your Work.
The editor should know if you have a sensitivity to changes. He must see if you want modifications to fix what’s incorrect and nothing more. In the long run, it will save time and avoid misunderstandings. This will not cause you irritation if you have this knowledge. As a result, if you want to see improvements in your work, you should avoid making this suggestion. Let go of the idea that your creative expression is being attacked when an editor adjusts your masterpiece. Allow editors to take your work to a whole new level. Most well-known authors need many drafts of a manuscript.
3. A Trial Editing Task for Two to Five Hours Might Help See if They Are the Right Fit.
Authors and editors alike may benefit from adopting this method of working. It’s a win-win situation. Your editor will not edit your work for free in this case. Authors asking editors to labor for free before hiring them may lead to animosity. Editors are discouraged from doing this. The best method to get your feet wet is to pay an editor for a few hours of their time. See whether they’re a suitable fit for you. Before moving forward with the entire project, you may test the editor’s recommendations and comments on your work.
4. Allow Yourself to Be Flexible With the Tasks You Are Given.
The need to “know” their editor makes it difficult for many authors to locate an editor they are comfortable working with. On the other hand, copyediting and proofreading are far more specialized talents. Many of the most excellent freelance copy editors and proofreaders work for publishing firms. These writers are only available to organizations or individuals that have built up a stable of editors over time. Be open to employing an editor if you locate a service with access to a stable of editors. When interviewing potential editors, inquire about their credentials. Ask about previous works they’ve edited, but don’t allow that to influence your decision.
5. Make Sure You’re Realistic About the Price Tag.
There is such a wide range in editor’s prices that it often leaves authors perplexed. Copyediting services range from $20/hour to $300/hour. You can try paying two hours each to two different editors and comparing the results. The quality of the job is more important than the price. Consider this expenditure as a research investment rather than a waste of time and money.
Although editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process, both services need close and careful reading but use other methods and focus on various aspects of the manuscript. They produce different outcomes for writers, and thus, researchers must be aware of what they do. Before you avail of these services, consider these things mentioned earlier. Knowing these factors allows you to hire skilled editors and proofreaders. It also protects you from overpaying.
As a writer, you may get stuck from time to time. You may have a vague idea that something went wrong with your manuscript, but you have no idea when or why. If you’re having trouble believing in yourself, it’s a good idea to take some time to clear your mind.
In some cases, even a phone call with an editor to speak things through can unlock the door. Or you want an editor to check over what you’ve written. Before considering what you would need, try to have a clear understanding of the problems you’re facing.
Remember that no editor can tell you if you should keep continuing or if our odds of publishing are precise. The best way to get a crystal ball is to contact a psychic. When you’re stuck, having some feedback and an idea of where you stand may be helpful. An editor may be able to point out areas of weakness in your work. Once you’ve identified the problems, it’ll be easier to find a solution.