Why do I need a book editor?
If you plan to submit your manuscript to traditional publishers, you should eliminate all possible errors in advance. Manuscript submissions may be rejected for the simplest of reasons. Likewise, you could be unknowingly committing major errors. You have only one opportunity to make a first impression on a publisher; a professional edit will maximize the impression you make. Also, if you plan to self-publish, you’ll want your printed book to compare favorably with traditionally published books, all of which are subjected to thorough edits.
What can I expect from a book edit?
My edit process is to first thoroughly read your project to understand its content and objectives. I will note first impressions and recommendations. The first impression that a manuscript gives will determine if you get any further consideration from a publisher. If I have any concerns at this point I will set up a consultation with you to make sure that we both are on the same page. My second step is to begin the editing process. I will keep detailed notes of any problems I encounter and mark-up any changes that need to be made (Either digitally or on the printed copy). Once complete I will provide a full report of the findings and will transmit or mail you the results (depending on your preference). At the author’s choice, I will make myself available to answer any questions that you have and would be willing to review my findings with you in detail.
Keep in mind that an edit alone will not impact your chances of publication. The quality of your rewrite and incorporating the editors’ advice will determine your level of success. An edit doesn’t excuse you from further work on your manuscript; in fact, the opposite is true. Consider an edit a learning experience.
How long does book editing take?
I can often start a book edit the day you initially contact me, but in any case, turn-around time is rarely longer than two weeks. I’m a full-time editor, so a day job doesn’t interfere with my editing schedule. I will devote as much time as needed to get your work completed and make sure that you meet your publishing deadlines. See my services page for full details.
How much does a book edit cost?
My fee is 1.1 cents per word. (EXAMPLE: A 70,000-word manuscript would cost $770.00) Most editors will charge more, but that doesn’t make their work superior. I keep overhead costs down by limiting the amount of work I take on, keep advertising to a minimum and manage my own website. See my services page for full details.
Why should I avoid sample edits?
Even the weakest of manuscript editors can appear deceptively strong on the basis of marks on a few pages of text. Inexperienced editors encourage “sample” edits because it gives them a deceptive opportunity to compete with more seasoned editors who don’t have to “prove” anything. Besides, there is no accurate way to judge the depth of a potential editor’s skill based upon the results of a few pages alone.
My manuscript has already been professionally edited, but there still seems to be a problem. Should I invest in a second edit?
I’ve worked on numerous projects that had already been “edited” and, I detected almost as many problems in those that had not. What is your manuscript worth to you? If you feel it is still not right and you want to make it the best it can be, then you should invest in a second edit.
Should I opt for a generic critique or evaluation rather than a complete edit?
I don’t offer, nor do I recommend simple critiques or evaluations. My services are limited to editorial only. This is because critiques and evaluations are entirely based on opinion. Ask ten editors for a critique and you’ll likely get ten different opinions. As a result, the feedback is virtually meaningless.
How can a manuscript edit affect my potential success as an author?
I don’t just point out errors. I will explain them. This provides you with an education to enable you to perform a stronger rewrite. For instance, if your manuscript includes point of view violations (a major reason for fiction rejection) I will offer a thorough explanation of the concept and provide easy to understand examples to help you understand the problem.
Is there a downside to hiring a book editor to work with my electronic file and make all changes/corrections for me?
Hiring an editor to work directly with your electronic file actually excludes you from the learning process you would otherwise experience by making corrections to the manuscript yourself. If you’re serious about a career as a professional writer, you should take the time to learn what your editor points out to you so that you won’t make those same mistakes in the future. I will gladly work with electronic files, but keep in mind the potential learning lost. Also having an editor fix your mistakes increases the cost. In my case, I increase my rates from 1.1 to 2.2 cents per word simply because of the time and work involved. See my services page for full details.
Should I copyright my manuscript before sending it to a book editor?
If you’re concerned about the security of your manuscript during the editing process, visit the U.S. Copyright Office’s FAQ page. You’ll find that your work is protected by law even without formal registration. It’s highly unlikely that your manuscript will be plagiarized by anyone.
Are you affiliated with any other editors?
No. I am the lone editor in my business operation and personally edit every line of every manuscript. I never sub-contract your work to someone else.