How an Editor Will Make You a Better Writer

Everyone knows what editors do…or do they? Most authors understand that editors find mistakes in a manuscript, but a good editor does a lot more than that! No matter how much a manuscript has been edited by the author or how flawless the author thinks the manuscript is, working with an editor is always worthwhile. Many of the best books would be unrecognizable without the help of their editors.

A good editor improves a manuscript through objectivity and experience and is an invaluable asset for any writer. A quality editorial process can make a big difference in the ultimate success of the book.

An editor will draw on her years of experience to examine the structure of a manuscript, its tone and contents, the way the information flows, what is included—and even what isn’t included—and assess how all those elements work together to inform, educate, and entertain a reader. A good editor will not only tell an author what is and isn’t working in the manuscript, but will also provide concrete suggestions about how to fix those issues.

How do you know what kind of editor you need? There are several different levels of editing, each of which will produce a different result.

Developmental and content. Developmental and content editing is what shapes the book into a cohesive unit. This stage focuses on structure, overall style, and the big picture content. Does the voice shift from a disciplined teacher to a joking peer? Does the structure follow the natural train of thought? Is there an aspect of the subject missing that leaves questions unanswered? If the manuscript is fiction, does the main character’s personality remain consistent? These are just some of the questions that might be addressed in developmental editing. An editor’s feedback is helpful in this stage, because the author may be too close to the work to see the big-picture problems.

Line editing. Line editing is slightly more specific than developmental editing. In this stage, the editor will make sure that every word on the page matches its intent, is the appropriate reading level for the audience, is consistent in style and voice, transitions effectively, and reads smoothly. The line editor is more focused on style while the developmental editor is more focused on story or content.

Copyediting. Copyediting adds another level of specificity, and is usually the final step before the manuscript is set into type. The copy editor is responsible for correcting all grammar, spelling, and usage errors, as well as making sure the style is consistent. In this case, style refers to a style methodology, like The Chicago Manual of Style, which dictates how words, phrases, and typographical elements are used. A good copyeditor is also on the lookout for any phrasing or consistency issues that the line editor may have missed.

Proofreading. The proofreader steps in once the manuscript has been typeset. Since it becomes costly to make changes once already in the typeset form, the proofreader is purely responsible for correcting any lingering grammar and spelling errors as well as typographical errors. Usually the proofreader is also responsible for noting the correct page numbers in the table of contents, and double checking that all footnotes and endnotes are in the right place.

The best way to find a capable editor is by asking other authors or agents or taking a look at some similar books to see if an editor is listed in the acknowledgments. Freelance editors abound, it’s just a matter of finding the right one. Authors can also learn about and stay connected to the publishing industry through the many industry websites and blogs, such as Mediabistro,, PW Daily, Publishers Marketplace, and others. Finally, there are a few companies, such as Gotham Ghostwriters, that exist to help authors find ghostwriters and editors.

When you find an editor, make sure to talk to him or her about what types of books he or she has worked on in the past, and get samples if possible. Also, definitely don’t be afraid to call an editor’s references. That holds true for any freelancer you are considering hiring. It’s important to make sure that the person chosen does quality work on the schedule he or she puts forth and within the estimate he or she presents for the work. Speaking to people who have worked with the editor under consideration is a good way to ensure that the right person is found for this important job.

If you aren’t sure what kind of edit your manuscript requires, you can ask an editor for his or her opinion. A good editor should be honest and realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of a manuscript, and provide a realistic assessment of how much work the project needs and what that will cost. Just be sure that you are open to hearing your editor’s advice if you request it!

By Margot Atwell, President of Em Dash & Co. Literary Services
Margot Atwell is an editor and publishing consultant with over a decade of publishing experience, including editing and publishing multiple New York Times bestsellers. She is the President of Em Dash & Co. Literary Services ( This article is adapted from her first book, The Insider’s Guide to Book Publishing Success.

113 Responses

  1. Do you like to smell the breath of someone who just ate garlic?
  2. This was a feast for the eyes!
  3. Can whales get fleas?
  4. I never knew pants came in so many different colors!
  5. Way to go Edward. This blog is amazing!
  6. I am constantly thought about this, thank you for posting.
  7. Would you like some popcorn?
  8. These two are some real messy eaters!
  9. "That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!"
  10. "With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of completely unique content I've either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any techniques to help reduce content from being stolen? I'd truly appreciate it."
  11. "I think this is a real great blog.Thanks Again. Want more."
  12. Im obliged for the post.Thanks Again. Want more.
  13. "It's hard to find well-informed people for this subject, but you seem like you know what you're talking about! Thanks"
  14. I am so grateful for your blog.Thanks Again. Cool.
  15. Enjoyed every bit of your article.Thanks Again.
  16. Thanks again for the blog article. Fantastic.
  17. Say, you got a nice blog article. Really Great.
  18. Thank you for your blog.Thanks Again. Fantastic.
  19. I loved your blog post. Awesome.
  20. I really liked your blog post. Will read on...
  21. Major thanks for the article post.Much thanks again. Great.
  22. Thanks a lot for the article post.Really thank you! Really Great.
  23. Awesome blog article. Keep writing.
  24. Thanks a lot for the post. Really Great.
  25. Great article post.Really thank you! Much obliged.
  26. Enjoyed every bit of your blog. Will read on...
  27. Very informative blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.
  28. I loved your blog post. Fantastic.
  29. Muchos Gracias for your article.Thanks Again.
  30. Looking forward to reading more. Great post.Thanks Again. Cool.
  31. Very informative blog article.Really thank you!
  32. Thank you ever so for you blog.Thanks Again. Keep writing.
  33. Thank you for your article.Thanks Again. Keep writing.
  34. Thanks again for the blog article.Really thank you!
  35. Great article post. Fantastic.
  36. Thanks so much for the article.Really thank you! Great.
  37. I cannot thank you enough for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.
  38. Muchos Gracias for your blog.Much thanks again. Will read on...
  39. "I've been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?"
  40. I appreciate you sharing this article post. Awesome.
  41. A round of applause for your blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.
  42. I truly appreciate this post. Will read on...
  43. A big thank you for your article post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.
  44. Looking forward to reading more. Great article.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on...
  45. Really appreciate you sharing this post. Fantastic.
  46. Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.
  47. Thanks-a-mundo for the blog article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.
  48. Thank you for your blog. Great.
  49. "Thank you for your whole labor on this web site. Betty really loves working on investigation and it's really simple to grasp why. We all learn all relating to the powerful way you render both interesting and useful guides on the blog and in addition invigorate contribution from website visitors about this matter and our favorite daughter is without question discovering a lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You are always carrying out a good job."
  50. I added a new list. As you'll see it's bigger than most of them. I hope you all have had a great week!
  51. Really informative blog.Much thanks again. Want more.
  52. I really like and appreciate your article post.Thanks Again. Really Great.
  53. Thank you for your blog article.Thanks Again. Awesome.
  54. I appreciate you sharing this article post. Want more.
  55. Thanks again for the article post. Great.
  56. I truly appreciate this article.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.
  57. Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic post.Much thanks again. Really Great.
  58. wow, awesome blog article.Thanks Again. Want more.
  59. It’s been a busy week for you. What’s the best way to get rid of the stress of a busy week? The best and only way is by spending some time with the beauties over at These are the girls who know how to treat a man right.
  60. A good time is what you’ll have with the girls at This is by far the most exciting site on the entire internet. Don’t think twice about visiting this site. Not if you’re in the mood to have a little kinky fun.
  61. Are you searching for a little fun? If you are, then is the best site for just that. You’ll find plenty of hot babes there who love to get down and dirty. That’s exactly what you’re looking for right this very second.
  62. Take a good look at This is the one site where you can have a lot of fun. The fun you can have here is exactly what you’re looking for. Enjoy yourself and meet some sexy ladies in the process.
  63. Really informative blog post.Thanks Again. Great.
  64. Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? There’s just one site where you can meet all kinds of local singles. There’s never a shortage of girls at this site. By far the best part is, you can go on a date tonight. Hook up here and start the day off right. Before you know it, you’ll be in love and hearing the birds sing once again.
  65. Are you searching for a date? If so, there’s just one place where you should go. has more horny singles than any other place online. You can go there and hook up immediately. These are the type of singles who like to have some fun in the sack. Get laid today and put a big smile on your face tonight.
  66. The weekend is fast approaching. Why not spend it with a sexy cam girl? There’s plenty of them over at All of these girls are wanting to have a good time. That’s exactly what you’re looking for too. The most fun you’ll ever have online is right here. Have yourself a good time and meet someone new. That’s what this site is all about.
  67. I don't know if this is not related, but do you run a playlist?
  68. "Appreciate you sharing, great article post.Really thank you!"
  69. Did you know that people make their entire income promoting ClickBank? You too could be one of the many who have quit their job. Affiliate marketing is as old as the internet. It’s not going to go away any time soon. You too can get your piece of the pie. Why shouldn’t you? Do you really like working the job you have? Are you going to be able to do it until you retire? If you’re job requires physical labor, then you know the answer to that question. There’s no way you’re going to be able to do that when you get older. That’s just the truth and no one needs to tell it to you. Right now you could be making money online. Does it require work? You better believe it does. No honest person is ever going to tell you that it’s possible to become a millionaire online without doing any work whatsoever. It’s not possible. That doesn’t mean there isn’t money to be made. There’s plenty of money out there to be made by people just like yourself. Now you know there’s going to be a pitch for a product. You’re right about that. Click on the link and check it out. There’s a video you can watch that will explain everything. It will tell you how to make money using ClickBank. Watch the video and see what you think. You too can be one of the many who earn a living promoting ClickBank. Some people earn a good living and there’s no reason why you can’t.
  70. Just imagine for a second if you could get into the mind of a millionaire. Think of all the things that you could learn. Well, you actually can do just that. A millionaire is giving away all of his secret right on the internet. You don’t even need to leave the house to learn what made him rich. All it takes is visiting He will literally teach you all of the secrets to making money. Don’t you think it’s time that you earned the living that you deserve? Change your life today by simply following the link above. Do it for yourself and everyone that you care about.
  71. Very informative article. Great.
  72. Are you the type who likes to hangout on social media? Have you ever thought about making it a career? You can help promote their business using social media. This means you can do what you already love doing and make money at it. Does this sound like something you’d like to do? If so, then check out You can help people and make some money in the process. You already hang out at social media sites. Why not make a few bucks doing it?
  73. Muchos Gracias for your blog.Much thanks again. Much obliged.
  74. Are you the kind of guy who loves to watch sexy girls get fucked in the ass? If so, then you need to check out this site This is the one place where anal sex lovers can get their fix. You’ve never seen asses this tight fucked by cocks this big. Each asshole is super tight and it gets fucked by a huge cock. It’s impossible not to beat off while watching these beauties getting ass fucked.
  75. Any other information on this?
  76. You’re looking to get laid. All you want to do is fuck right this very second. You can do just that at this dating site. You won’t be looking through hundreds of profiles of prudes. These are the kind of girls that you can get your dick wet into. Don’t jerk off to porn. Instead, visit and get laid. Fuck that pretty princess you’ve always been dreaming about. You’ll bust your nut in no time flat after joining this site.
  77. Are you searching for a little live cam fun? If so, then you definitely need to check out This is by far the hottest cam site ever. You’ll find plenty of horny girls who love to get down right dirty. This is the kind of dirty that will leave you smiling from ear to ear. Meet girls online who are even more horny than you are. That’s what this is all about. Check it out now and prepare to have an amazing time.
  78. You’ve worked hard this week. Now it’s time to let your hair down and have a little fun. You can do just that at There’s a whole lot of sexy cam girls there. You’ll be amazed by how many there are. Not only that, but these girls are super dirty. This is by far the hottest cam site on the internet. You’ll fully understand that the very second your eyeballs are laid upon these beauties.
  79. I’ve been having issues with my Windows hosting. It has set me back quite a bit while making the next list. This is the current list that I have. I should add another list in less than a week. I’ll let you all know when the next list is ready. Thank you for your patience.
  80. yanlızlıgıma yardmcı olacak beyler sizde benim gibi ateşli seks seviyorsanız
  81. Bernadine Avec des В«siВ» on mettrait Paris en bouteille. Yssandon
  82. I want to gain more followers by submitting my pictures to blogs. Like when people click through, they will link to my blog.
  83. Good one! Interesting informations over this web. It's pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before. I could not refrain from commenting. I've spent some time searching for such infos. I will also share it with some friends interested in it. I have just bookmarked this website. Finished with the task done, I'll find some live sexy men cams. Thank you very much!! Greetings from Californa!
  84. Darrin Patience et longueur de temps font plus que force ni que rage.
  85. There’s nothing hotter in this entire world than seeing two girls make sweet love. Seeing a girl face deep in pussy is a dream come true. Dreams have a way of turning into reality at This site is dedicated to stepsisters who love to lick and finger each other. You always knew stepsisters did this sort of thing with each other. You just never seen it with your own eyes until now!
  86. So glad to have found your work! This is exactly the story I was hoping for.
  87. I loved your blog article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.
  88. Are you the type who loves porn? If so, then you need to take this free survey,2787,2788,2789,2790 Answer each and every question and get a freebie afterwards. This is something that every porn lover needs to check out. You even get to see the world famous pornstar Dillion Harper. She’s showing plenty of cleavage and has a special message for you!
  89. thank you admin. nice article
  90. Woah this blog is wonderful i really like studying your articles. Keep up the good work! You understand, a lot of individuals are searching around for this info, you could aid them greatly.
  91. Are you looking to get laid today? As in right this fucking minute? If so, then you need to check out This is the one site where you can get some action the same day you join. Don’t even fool around with Facebook and those other so called dating sites. You’re never going to get laid at any of those places. There’s all kinds of pussy just waiting for you to pound it silly here. Don’t forget to buy a box of condoms while you’re out today. You’re going to need them!
  92. sa
    You have incredible knowlwdge listed here.
  93. Are you sick and tired of being lonely? Why should you not have someone special in your life? Everyone deserves to find love. You can find that and a whole lot more at,2754,2755,2756 This is one of those sites where it’s super easy to hook up. You’ll meet all kinds of girls. Don’t sit on the couch and hang out online all night. Hook up with a chick and have yourself a little fun. Every guy deserves to have a gal in his life. What are you waiting on?! Connect with a cutie today and put a smile all over your face.
  94. There’s absolutely nothing more fun than adult cams. You can spend all day long talking to sexy babes. That’s why the internet was invented. This site is full of nothing but the hottest girls who love to take it off. Check out and see for yourself. You’ll be amazed after just one visit. These girls are easy on the eyes and they know how to have a good time.
  95. You’re not here to sip tea and eat cookies. What you want is a super good time in the wonderful world of adult. We’re talking about stuff that will make your dick hard. That’s what you should expect when visiting You aren’t going to be able to keep your hands off of yourself. Don’t even think twice about it. Head on over there and make your penis smile.
  96. Some truly interesting information, well written and loosely user friendly.
  97. sen harikasın.
  98. Tired of not having a special someone? Maybe you just want to get laid and nothing else. It doesn’t matter what type of relationship you’re looking for. You can find it at,2754,2755,2756 There are plenty of single ladies here. The weekend is almost here. Find someone to spend it with. Who knows, you might even get lucky.
  99. The world of video games will never be the same again. There’s nothing quite like,3512,3521,3522&nopop=1 on the entire internet. This is the most exciting hardcore adult video game out there. This is one of those games you can play for hours and hours without ever getting bored of it. Give it a try and let the games begin!
  100. sen harikasın.
  101. thank you admin.
  102. Good point! Interesting tips over this website. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before. I couldn't refrain from commenting. I 've spent 1 hour looking for such infos. I will also share it with some friends interested in it. I have just bookmarked this web. Done with the task done, I going to watch some live trans cams. Thank you!! Greetings from Washington!
  103. Are you the type of guy who likes to look at fat girls naked? If so, then,2754,2755,2756 is the site you’ve been searching for. It’s full of nothing but sexy fat women. These big beautiful women are exactly what your eyeballs have been begging to see. Don’t be surprised if you pop a boner while looking at these hefty honeys. They’re full of curves and are exactly what your penis likes.
  104. You’re totally correct and I trust you. If you want, we might also talk around firestarter android, one thing that intrigues me. Your site is definitely impressive, cheers!
  105. I like your blog/website very much.
  106. It was amazing reading this article and I believe you are totally right. Tell me in case you’re thinking about shareit for windows, this is my primary competency. I’m hoping to hear from you in the near future, take good care!
  107. Con un ágil sistema para solicitar presupuesto on line gratuito, contamos con una red de empresas de reparaciones de electrodomésticos, que darán respuesta a tus necesidades en reparaciones y mantenimiento para los electrodomésticos y nuevas tecnologías de tu hogar. Toda reparación tiene meses de garantía y cuenta con una cobertura de Responsabilidad Civil que garantiza la protección del aparato electrodoméstico ante cualquier desperfecto inconveniente que pudieran necesitar la intervención de profesionales en reparación de electrodomésticos.
  108. Contamos con el servicio técnico de lavadoras, servicio técnico de lavavajillas, servicio técnico de cocinas y hornos, servicio técnico de termos servicio tecnico de aire acondicionado y estamos listos para la reparación de sus electrodomésticos en Madrid y alrededores el mismo día de la solicitud. Los logos y marcas de cada servicio tecnico expuestos en este website son de propiedad de sus titulares y estan protegidos por las leyes de copyright.
  109. Esto nos ha permitido atender las solicitudes de empresas de distintos sectores, entre ellos los de la automoción, obras públicas, alimentación y servicio técnico. Dirigido por un equipo de ingeniería y en colaboración de TEKNALIA, ELURSA trabaja en la mejora continua de los procesos de fabricación para mejor día a día los ratios de calidad y fiabilidad.
  110. Nuestro objetivo prioritario es proporcionar a nuestros clientes un servicio completo y personalizado para la obtencion de un producto de calidad con unos costes competitivos, este hecho es posible gracias a la continua actualización de nuestros procesos productivos, renovación de maquinaria y un excelente equipo de profesionales.
  111. El Just in Time, obliga y condiciona a la industria auxiliar y a las empresas de transporte, de disponer de almacenes propios alquilados de logística, almacenaje y distribución para dar un servicio rápido y evitar el paro de los procesos productivos en la industria en general.

Leave a comment