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Tuesday
Jan052010

What to Look For When Looking For an Editor

If you  are publishing a book or submitting articles on the web you should seriously consider having your work edited after you have edited it yourself. Even experienced authors have their work edited. If you ask people with successful blogs they will admit that they often have their work edited. It is much easier to identify errors in someone else’s work than in your own.

There are several types of editing and it is important that you understand what kind of editing you need before getting a quote from an editor. There are three types: Developmental editing, Copy or line editing, and Proofreading.

  • Developmental Editing.

A developmental editor looks at the manuscript as a whole. They will make sure that it flows easily, has good structure and organization. They will make sure the tenses and tone is consistent throughout the manuscript. If you are stuck on your manuscript a good developmental editor can develop your ideas in the manuscript to the next level.

  • Copyediting or Line Editing

Line Editing or Copyediting is what most of us think of when we think of editing. It is what we do to our own pieces. These editors correct errors in usage, spelling, style and punctuation. The editor will give feedback and suggestions for improvement, such as recommendations for adjusting the format, reorder of material, identify material that should be cited, inconsistencies in the text that may need clarification, and suggestions on restructuring sentences to smooth the flow.    

  • Proofreading or Basic Editing

Proofing is the lowest level of editing and the last thing that is done just before it goes to print.  The editor will review your manuscript for technical elements such as grammar (possessives, tenses, subject/verb agreement), spelling ( including words with similar spellings such as there and their, affect and effect, principal and principle), and punctuation (such as hyphenations, commas, run-on sentences, sentence fragments, quotations, etc).

The level of editing depends on what stage your manuscript is in. It is important that the editor you choose knows something about the subject. Depending on what type of editor you choose, if you are writing a manuscript on microbiology you wouldn’t want an editor that specialized in business terminology!

To find a good editor you can search the directories at  Book Editing Association and Editorial Freelancers Association. Another way to find a good editor is if you know a published author. They can recommend an editor that will be good for your genre. You may want to try a test edit to make sure you can work together with your editor as all editors are not the same quality.

Check out the editorial services at Our Little Books. We have many types of editors on staff to help with what ever kind of editing you need.

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