When You Are Ready for Professional Help for Your Manuscript to Make it Best Seller Perfect

Whether you’ve created a book, eBook, or other informational product, and no matter how good a writer you are, you need an editor. It simply isn’t possible to read your own work and see the problems. We all read what we think we wrote, not what is actually on the page.

Some authors find it difficult to let their “perfect” manuscripts go through the editing process—it can be ego-bruising if you let it. Try looking at it through a new lens: The editing staff can take you from a good writer to a great writer by uncovering inconsistencies, grammatical errors, and poorly constructed sentences that don’t communicate your meaning well. Learn to love your editors—they deserve your appreciation for a job that is noticed only when it isn’t done well.

An editor will help you take out needless words, avoid redundancies (saying the same thing more than once with different words), avoid unclear communication, help you use active instead of passive voice, and be sure you have all the power you can. Language serves to communicate your message with all the power you would in person.

An editor should be able to work electronically with your manuscript and suggest changes using the Track Changes feature for documents or, if you work with PDFs, the Adobe® Acrobat® 7.0 Standard program so that you always have the final decision about accepting their edits or not.

Different levels of editing are needed to take a manuscript from ragged to polished, and you may need one or both of these.

A substantive edit is a thorough read of the manuscript that looks for problems with the overall structure, consistency of the tone and style, ambiguity in the meaning of sentences, and the sentence structures. An editor also looks for grammatical errors, sentences that are just too long and inconsistencies (such as saying you are going to discuss three items and then just discussing two). The editor walks a fine line, and the intent is to improve the manuscript without changing the style of the author. An editor generally reads the entire manuscript first and then reads it again, beginning to write in changes in red pen (or type in changes using one of the software programs mentioned above). One of the editor’s main jobs is to “query” or ask questions of the author to clarify terminology, meaning, or other parts of the manuscript.

A technical edit is done by another subject matter expert for a nonfiction book. In this type of read, the editor looks for factual errors in the manuscript. The technical editor will read it as an expert and may also do some research to double-check the facts in the manuscript.

The editing process is a very important to an author. Twenty years ago, the author could count on the publishers to make sure there was a thorough edit. Today, the author may have to provide that. Don’t forget to schedule a thorough edit before you send any sample chapters to an agent or publisher with a book proposal.

Editors work either by the hour or on a project basis. How many pages they can edit an hour varies by the level of edit, the expertise of the editor, and the condition of the manuscript. You might expect to pay from $50 to $100 an hour or more for a qualified editor, especially if he or she has expertise in your subject matter. A fully edited book can cost from $1,000 to $3,000. Since this is a fairly large expense, it is important to be clear on what is being provided by the editor and what is being charged. The editor should give you his or her agreement with you in writing.

Although you want to be sure you get good value for your money, don’t scrimp on editing. It is one of the essentials of creating a great book.

Writers, facing tight budgets want to cut part or all of the editing process. If you do, you will pay for it later. Readers who see inconsistencies and typos and poorly written text lose trust in the expertise of the author.

Every best selling author had a great editor. Check the acknowledgments section of any best-selling book and see if the author didn’t heap lavish praise on his or her editor (now his or her best friend).

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  • Onwuka Bruno  On May 6, 2011 at 2:01 am

    I want to be assure of the confidentiality of my manuscript if I eventually send it to you.


  • Onwuka Bruno  On May 6, 2011 at 2:04 am

    How can you assit me by way of becoming my editor. I need to him/her to edit my book as soon as possible to enanle me know if I need end it there or there will be need for addition to what I have written so far.

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