Sometimes it’s hard to finish your project, isn’t it? Even to know when to put down that pen or click that last period on the keyboard. At some point you have to let go of that first draft. Whether you’re planning to self-publish, pay a company, or seek representation or a publisher of your own, you should have your article or book edited.
Here’s a checklist to determine if you’re ready for a professional edit:
- My manuscript is complete. (unless you want a mentoring package or an evaluation on some portion)
- My manuscript is in Standard Manuscript Format, in one document.
- Someone else besides me and a close relative has read it.
- I have read the entire work out loud.
- I have proofread the manuscript to the best of my abilities.
- I know what genre and sub-genre it is.
- I can tell someone what my book is about in three sentences.
- I know my word count.
- My title isn’t overly used by another author.
- I am waiting for the final edit and page count before completing a cover.
- If self-publishing, I have researched publishing platforms (see the tips link below).
- If submitting to a publisher or agent, I have researched my target submissions goals and know their guidelines.
Some things you should expect from an editor:
- Prompt response – if I don’t get back to you, the message may have been lost in cyberspace or I’ve had a terrible accident. Follow up.
- A free test sample.
- Reasonable and well-defined rates and clear deadlines.
- A true assessment of your work, whether or not you want to accept or follow through with any suggestions.
What an editor shouldn’t do:
- Rewrite your work
- Belittle you or Gush with false praise
- Keep adding charges
What not to do with your editing process:
- Not finish your contractual obligation—that is, please don’t make a down payment, have me work on your project, then run away and not finish the project with no further word. If you’re not particularly happy, and would prefer not to finish the process, at least tell me.
- Decide to upload your book without a final proofread or before we have finished the process. Please don’t rush. You give self-publishing a bad name.
- Be rude
- Expect immediate service
- Expect services not covered in the original agreement
As an editor, I’m on your side; I’m your champion. I’m not trying to hurt you, and I want the best for you. Ultimately, it’s your book and you have to be comfortable with your final product and proud to promote it. Find out more about how you can hire me.