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Why We Love Editing

Posted by @Publishing_talk on March 18, 2014 at 8:20 AM

No matter how good a writer you are, you'll still need a good editor. We require that would-be authors submit clean, well edited manuscripts. The reason for this is we don't really like scruffy, unloved work because it doesn't show off its envisaged potential. To help you out, here are a few basic do's and don'ts to consider when it comes to the editing process.



Never rely on a spell checker to do your editing for you. The fact is, if you want a tight, professional and appealing book, it will need to be professionally edited. You’ve spent many long, lonely hours producing a manuscript and there's a strong possibility that you can no longer see the words (perfectly normal). You can see the ideas and their meanings, but not every word that is (or isn't) on the page. Things such as plot errors and inconsistencies in style now seem invisible. An editor will spot those, it’s what they’re paid to do.


Unless qualified, family and friends cannot and should not replace the job of an editor. Undoubtedly, the more eyes reading through your manuscript the better -- so long as you're rewarded with unvarnished feedback. The last thing you need is a loved one telling you that your manuscript is wonderful, when in fact it still needs plenty of graft to bring it up to snuff. What an editor will do is approach your work with an unbiased and professional eye for detail, and help make it shine.



There are different editing tasks needing consideration as a book goes through the publishing process, each requiring a very particular skill-set. Do make sure that you seek the most appropriate type of editor for your manuscript.

Developmental editors work with authors to craft the manuscript, paying attention to structure and argument in non-fiction. In fiction, it's the plot and characters they'll look out for.

Line or substantive editors focus on the manuscript overall, but usually don’t work quite as closely with the author and aren’t expected to edit as deeply. These and developmental editors are sometimes lumped together as substantive editing.

Copy editors concentrate on copy and language. They'll make the style of your manuscript clean and consistent.

Proof readers are usually the last people who look at a book before it goes off to be published. They’re keeping an eye out for misspellings or errors in style, punctuation, grammar and formatting. 


When you're going through the editing process, keep in mind that those marks editors make on your manuscript aren't criticism. Their priority is to create the best book possible from your manuscript so you'll need to trust their professional judgment. No two editors work in exactly the same way and did you know that they also need fresh eyes? There comes a point where they too can become blind to the details.

Most editors love books and care about their job. You're writing a book because you have something important you want to say and an editor is your partner in this, helping you to say exactly what you intended in the most affecting and effective way possible. That's why it's important to love what editing does for your work and you'll be rewarded for taking the time and effort to do this.


Further reading here:

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Thanks for reading and as always, put your best foot forward.



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Categories: Writing Tips

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