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Book Editing – Oh joy! *Sarcasm intended*

by | Jun 10, 2013 | The Writer's Tool Box | 3 comments

Grammar-Nazi-1I finished my manuscript for Rules Of The Game back in February and honestly I thought I would be well on my way to seeing the final result (a published book). However, I have been stuck on one step in the publishing process – finding a book editor. A few weeks ago I was ready to run through the streets of my neighborhood pulling my hair out and screaming to anyone who would listen, “I can’t find an editor!”

But then no one on my block would care!?!

And if they did it would only be for a split second while they were calling the police to say, “The crazy writer lady is loose on the block again!”

Well I guess it would make sense to explain to you how I got here.

With the first two books my company published I used two editors, an editor for my novel The Buzz and two for Pull Your Pants Up by Bernice Harris. Overall, I was happy with both editors but even after having both manuscripts edited twice I found errors both editors missed in the manuscripts.  Those overlooked errors ended up costing me additional money as I had to pull the books off the shelf once the errors were found and have them fixed and then sent back to the printer.

This time around I knew additional things I needed to look for in an editor. I was looking for an editor who would not only minimize the missed grammar, punctuation, and usage mistakes but also deliver the manuscript back to me in a timely manner without sacrificing the integrity of their own editing work. As such it has definitely been an arduous process in finding someone who is reasonably priced, with experience and education that supports an editing job, someone who will stand behind their work.

First comes the issue of cost! I’m of the belief – you get what you pay for! (How To Plan A Budget For Your Book – Creating A Self-Publishing Budget).

Knowing your costs in advance will make it easier to assess whom you’ll hire as your editor. Book editing is one area where you will spend the bulk of your budget, so make sure you factor both edits in when choosing an editor.

Secondly the issue of quality. As writers, we need an editor who is going to maintain the integrity of our work, while understanding the tenets of grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. Bare in mind this editor may not be perfect! You are looking for the editor who best exemplifies your work.

As is the case with reading and editing long documents, things may be missed. Ideally what you hope for is the editor who has a low percentage of missing your mistakes, lol. Editors aren’t infallible! They may miss a word or two and as writers we have to give them space for that.

With all of those things considered, I’ve been on the search for an editor. In the end it came down to two editors, both whom I’m very impressed with. I scoured the Internet via Facebook, Twitter and sent out requests to my writer friends asking for recommendations. 

One of the editors recommended provided her own recommendations from previous clients while the other editor edited my first chapter to show me the scope of her work. Hopefully, the editor I’ve chosen will be someone I can continue to use for future projects. 

So that’s where I am in the publishing process for my second novel Rules Of The Game. If you are looking for additional tips, check out Choosing A Book Editor – 3 Tips For Finding A Book Editor.

How have you fared in finding a book editor? Do you still have all your hair? Please share in the comment section below.

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3 Comments

  1. Morgan Hurley

    Pick me! Pick me!!!

    • Stefanie

      Send me your website.Sent from my iPhone

  2. Derek Murphy

    Finding an editor is really tricky, because you can't just review their portfolio and see the quality of their work; and their personality/attitude doesn't necessarily mean much either. A lot of authors will pick people they get along with, "friendly" people – or sometimes people who are really organized and have great customer service. That will make the process easier, but doesn't always mean they are the best. The safest is going with other author recommendations, who have bestselling books in your field (not just happy authors, because it the book isn't selling, it's hard to tell what another editor could have done with it). A great editor will do more than fix all the mistakes; they'll figure out what's wrong with the story / theme and make it stronger; highlighting the best features to please readers.

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