Should you hire a book editor?
Are book editing services worth the money?
Before you submit your manuscript to literary agents or publishers, you want to make sure it’s the best it can possibly be. This means it should have gone through multiple drafts, revisions, and readthroughs by both yourself and others. Still, millions of books are rejected each year from publishers. While a decent amount of these are cut right away from the query letter, the next most common reason for rejection is poor writing. Many writers consider book editing services, though these require a time and money investment. So, is it worth it to hire a book editor?
It’s not a yes-or-no answer. Any amount of editing will improve a book, but there are no guarantees in the publishing industry that it will be successful. If it’s not in your budget, it’s not something to stress over. It depends on how much you’re willing to invest in your project. As The Writer’s Ally put it in their post on book editing services: The value has to be based on how badly you want to successfully publish a book and what you’re willing to do to make that happen.
Most common types of book editing services for authors
- Developmental, structural, or content editing looks at the big picture of a book and overall structure. Developmental editors may assess a book idea, draft, or outline to tell authors what is working and what is not. This is usually the first stage of editing since the bigger picture questions should be addressed before polishing the writing.
- Line, substantive, or stylistic editing focuses on spelling, grammar and usage, language, and writing style. This is considered on both a sentence and paragraph level. This service looks at more than just grammar, but rather, how the story is communicated to the reader. Line editors concentrate on elements like redundant information, digressions in character dialogue, pacing, and inconsistencies in the writer’s tone.
- Copy editing is focused on the technical makeup of your manuscript to ensure it meets industry standards. Copy editors will comment on sentences, typos, fonts, syntax, paragraphs/spacing, and punctuation. After copyedits comes proofreading—the final stage of reading a manuscript.
- Depending on the editor you select, copy and line edits are sometimes considered the same thing. Be sure to read through exactly what their services include.
Spring Cedars book editing services
Spring Cedars offers all levels of editing services to help you at any stage of your novel-writing process. We offer developmental, content, and copy editing, proofreading, or a full editing package. Additionally, many editors offer review services to help authors gain an idea of what works and needs improvement. At Spring Cedars, this includes initial consultations, manuscript assessments, and market analysis. A manuscript assessment offers an objective opinion on the overall structure, content and style of your manuscript.
What to look for when selecting an editor
- Recommendations: Is this person recommended by many writers, especially writers in your genre? How often do authors work with them? What are the reviews of their services?
- Rates: Most book editors that you find online are freelance editors, which means they set their own prices. They can charge per word, page, hour, or project. It can be worth the investment to hire a reliable editor, but you shouldn’t choose an editor based only on price.
- Samples: Most editors will edit a sample of your work for free or a small fee so that you know what their editing style is. Make sure you recognize if these edits are helpful. Consider if you’d be willing to work with this editor long-term.
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