What Every Author Needs to Know About Book Editing

Editing your book before publication prepares you for the next stage of promotion and publicity. You’ve finished your book. You’ve read through it 12 times. It’s clean. It’s good to go. It’s Ready. No, it’s not. You’d be surprised at how many authors we’ve seen make the mistake of having their books published without having them professionally edited — and we mean a paid outside editor, not a family member or friend.

Expertly edited work is essential to good reviews, success with readers, and of course, to the book marketing and publicity processes. With the rise of self-published books, many paradigms are changing — but the need for professional editors for every book, every time remains unchanged.

 These Book Editing Requirements are Essential for Authors:

–You always need an editor. Always.

–There are different types of editing, such as:

* Developmental editing: This is the first book editing stage in which a developmental editor looks at your book holistically. A manuscript is dissected, and the editor makes recommendations on concept, presentation, content, and organization.

*Copy or Line Editing: A copy editor goes through a book line by line, looking for spelling mistakes, capitalization errors, spelling glitches, grammatical issues, and word-usage problems.

* Proofreading: A proofreader mostly does a last-look at the book, making sure the final product is good to go.

–Price ranges vary with editors, some charging by the word, pages, or a flat fee. Regardless, money spent on a good editor is an excellent investment.

–Errors in a book can kill your author’s author marketing efforts. Reviewers will almost certainly brutalize a book with errors. We have even see typos in titles of books.

–Even books by significant publishers sometimes have errors, although it doesn’t happen often. Click here for some surprising examples.

–Check your ego at the door. There’s a reason all authors with household names have their books edited – everyone makes mistakes, and every manuscript can be improved in some way. Don’t take corrections and suggestions personally, welcome them!

So, do your homework, research good editors, and then hire one! Don’t ruin your book and author promotion potential.

Some Editing Words of Wisdom from Other Authors:

“Making love to me is amazing. Wait, I meant: making love, to me, is amazing. The absence of two little commas nearly transformed me into a sex god.
Dark Jar Tin Zoo,

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
Shannon Hale

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions, and the abusive warden my neuroticism.”
Tiffany Madison

“If I can only write my memoir once, how do I edit it?”
― S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.

“Write drunk, edit sober.”
Ernest Hemingway

In addition to our work as book marketers and publicists at Smith Publicity, we’re advisors and advocates for our authors, especially those who self-publish. Crucial steps like professional editing cannot be overlooked as a book is finalized. When they are, they preclude many other potentially good things from happening later on. We do everything we can to get out the word about best practices for authors so that they and their books succeed.