A lot of the time, when a practitioner or coach decides to write a book, they spend so much time worrying that they are not writers, that their writing isn’t good enough, that they give up before they’ve even begun.
One thing I always tell my authors is that their job is not to be the ‘perfect writer or editor’. The author’s job is to get their genius out of their head, (with my help if needed, that’s what I do,) in order to share their expertise and unique message with their readers. I remind authors that there are people specialise in polishing their work. That’s their job, these specialists are there to help make the author’s genius and message shine, to help the manuscript flow so that it meets world standards and is easy to read, memorable and enjoyable. These people are professional editors with very specific jobs.
Unfortunately, there are also new authors who think they can get away without engaging an editor at all. Maybe they think they can do it themselves or they have friends and family who will happily read the manuscript and tell them how fantastic it is. But unless those friends and family have experience in the structure and flow of the message and how to best engage and keep a reader’s attention, then the friends and family approach probably won’t be all that helpful.
You need your manuscript to be as polished as possible before you start sending it out into the world and a professional editor can help with this.
So, the question is – What type of editor do I need?
Now you might be saying to yourself, my friend’s an English teacher, they’ll pick up any mistakes I’ve made. Well, you might be right when it comes to proofing your manuscript, but spelling and grammar isn’t the only thing that is looked at in the editing process.
Some of the types of editing a book goes through in the publishing process include:
Developmental or Structural Editing
Developmental or structural editing looks at the big picture. It will focus on the structure, form, and content of the manuscript, while keeping your target audience and the expectations of works in your industry in mind.
A line edit looks at the style and language used in the manuscript. It can point out inconsistencies in style, overuse of particular words or phrases, and issues with pacing. This edit will help to ensure that each sentence is tightened up and as effective as possible.
A copy editor will make sure the text is clear and understandable. They will check for things such as an effective ‘flow’ of information, and technical issues like grammar and punctuation. They may also check that any facts included are accurate, but it is possible to get a fact-checking edit done specifically if needed.
Proofreading comes after any other edits. It looks for and corrects any final mistakes in spelling, grammar and formatting that may have been missed. Proofreading is usually the last step in the journey from first draft to publishable manuscript. Proofreading is perhaps where an experienced friend with a grammar or English literature teaching background, with a fine eye for detail may indeed come in handy.
Now that you know why you need an editor and what they will do for your manuscript, the next question for new authors becomes – Who is the right editor for me?
This is where some research will come in handy. Searching for an editor who is experienced in the kind of book you are writing (such as a memoir or self-help) is a great start. But if the whole thing feels too overwhelming, our editing team can help. And if you’re looking for guidance on other aspects of writing, publishing or marketing your book, get in touch. Let’s talk about:
- help to get your genius out of your head and structured into an inspiring message
- internal formatting and designing your paperback book and cover
- converting your book to kindle and ePub formats
- help to publish in all formats on Amazon (and other platforms,)
- building a readership and planning the business and marketing around your book.
Contact Maggie Wilde firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember it’s your job to share your message, let us help with the rest.
To your potential
Maggie Wilde – The Potentialist