Frequently Asked Questions
What Would You Like to Know?
What does a book editor do?
How can I tell what kind of book editing I need?
The type of editing you need depends upon where you are in the writing process. The descriptions in the sidebar will point you in the right direction:
A developmental editor helps you turn your notes and ideas—even a first draft–into a solid synopsis and outline. A developmental editor will coach you through the writing process, helping you to focus on the strengths in your writing, and identifying the areas that need work.
You’ve completed the first draft of your novel. Congratulations! Although it may be tempting to type “The End” and send it off to an agent (or three), your book will be better served if you take a step back and have a book editor read the finished draft to see where the story is working—and where it could use some revision.
While working on a substantive edit, the editor will read your manuscript several times to get to the core of the story. Notes will be made on characterization, plotting, setting, structure, pacing, and voice. The editor will offer suggestions as to how to make your manuscript more refined, more focused, more marketable, allowing you to revise the manuscript so that it meets your goals.
You’ve revised your manuscript, and all the “big pieces”—characterization, plot, pacing–are in place.
Now it’s time to look at the smaller details. In a line edit, the editor will go through the work, word-by-word, line-by-line, looking for areas that may need further explanation, clarity for meaning, elimination of jargon, smoother language, and other non-mechanical line-by-line editing. A line edit is more detail-focused than a substantive edit.
A copyeditor’s job is to make sure all the smallest details are in place. A copyeditor looks for errors in grammar and punctuation, checks your facts and makes sure that your writing is consistent throughout the book. Work is usually done according to the standards in the Chicago Manual of Style.
What is a synopsis? Is it the same thing as a book proposal?
Can I edit my own book?
Yes, you can–but editing your own book is like trying to cut your own hair! An editor has the benefit of being able to view your work objectively. It can be difficult to step back from your writing to see the weak spots or, more importantly, to fully appreciate the really strong content. Most creative work involves editors at one stage or another—whether the medium is the written word, film or music. A good editor will help you see things you didn’t even know were there.
How much does a book editor charge for their work?
Some editors charge per word, some charge a flat fee, some charge an hourly rate. The cost depends on how much work is involved and the type of editing required. Whatever the case, a good book editor will work within your budget.
Call me and we can talk about costs for your project.
Everyone Has a Story to Tell, And I’d Love to Help You With Yours.
Love is Murder
You Can Do It