If you are choosing to pursue the self-publishing route, hiring an editor is critical to the success of your book. Many writers skip this step due to cost or belief in their own ability to do it. It is hard to step out of yourself and be objective, even though much of editing is subjective. Read a few 1 or 2 star ratings on Amazon or Goodreads before you decide you don’t need an editor.
There are different kinds of editors to help make your book professional and primed for rave reviews. While some editors might overlap a bit in what they edit, most stick to one angle and do a thorough review. The way you read a manuscript is different for each type of editing. Here is the difference between a content, line, and copy editor.
The content editor will use a broad brush to review your work. The editor will be an expert in the genre in which you write. They will look for balance, story arc, character development and can give general feedback, for example, as to whether the story should be in first or third person. They should have the tact and guts to tell you that you are on the wrong track if you missed the mark.
A line editor will look at your work more carefully. They will help you organize paragraphs and your thoughts about a topic or help rearrange chapters so the story flows better. They will help with sentence structure, word flow, and overall readability. They will help make your story come to life.
A copy editor will look at details of your work. They are your proofreaders. They’ll look for typos, grammatical mistakes, and smooth out unclear sentences. It is easiest to find a good proofreader. You can enlist freelancers or virtual assistants to handle this task.
While it is not recommended that you skip hiring one or more editors, reading your manuscript through 3 times using these angles will greatly improve your writing and make professional editing even more effective.
If you are looking for more insight into editors, check out these posts. Before hiring any editor, check out books they have edited and ask for references whenever possible.
What is your experience with editors? Do you have one you recommend?