Everyone needs an editor!

If you decide to publish on your own, it’s critical to have multiple sets of eyes review your work before pulling the trigger. I strongly recommend hiring a professional creative editor and a professional copy editor. If you don’t have the budget for either, solicit input from friends, coworkers, or anyone else willing to help for nothing more than your gratitude and a signed copy of your book. (Be sure to include them in the acknowledgements!)

Creative editors (also called developmental editors) help identify and fix problems with the major elements of your book, such as plot, character development, pacing, and style. However, not everyone is comfortable providing constructive criticism – especially to loved ones – so it’s important to choose people who aren’t afraid to tell it to you straight.

Copy editors have eagle eyes for typos, missing words, punctuation, grammar, repetition, etc. After so many hours of writing, rewriting, and tweaking, our brains begin to play tricks on our eyes, and we often see words that aren’t there, or we don’t see words that are. My mom proofread my most recent novel for me before I turned it over to my publisher, and she found more than 100 errors! Copyediting can be a great job for friends who want to help but aren’t cut out for the “tough love” approach required to be an effective creative editor.

When it comes time to edit your book (or promotional sign, see above– yikes), you need to check your ego at the door and welcome any feedback you can get – good, bad, or ugly. It’s much better to hear the criticism from trusted friends now than from disappointed readers later, right?

-Maria 🙂

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2011 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

Comments 5

[…] how affordable some services are, both on the copy editing and creative/developmental editing side. In a previous post, I discussed the difference between these two functions, but here’s a quick […]

I hope this piques your interest « Maria Murnane Posted May 21, 2013 at10:18 am   Reply

[…] a copyeditor if you go the indie route. (I also recommend hiring a creative/developmental editor. See my post about the difference between the two if you’re […]

Ron Jameson Posted September 11, 2013 at1:54 pm   Reply

Hello Maria. Join the club! I have finished my book that is now on Kindle and in paperback from Lulu.
Editing? Well – I paid a profesional editor for this 91.5K word book. I gave it to a pro poet to read. She found lots of errors missed by the editor – mainly commas etc. she edited it further and on readthrough it is now as perfect as can be. She gave me a tip top review. By the way the book’s called THE WHISTLING THORN, a safari adventure in Kenya. The first anonymous reader on Kindle gave it five stars. Do you know what a whistling thorn is? It’s explained by a legend befor the first chapter.
I wish you success with your latest book.

Yes how very important it is to have a godd editor both for copy and for creative work.

Ron Jameson Posted September 11, 2013 at1:57 pm   Reply

I hope you didn’t mind my blurbing my book. That’s what we Limeys sometimes do.

[…] a previous post, I explained the difference between a developmental edit and a copy edit. Today I’d like to […]

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