What Do I Do When I’m Done Writing My Book?
As an author, writing a book is just the beginning of the adventure. You’ve poured your heart and soul into writing a book, crafting a world of characters, emotions, and adventures. The final sentence is penned, the last period placed with care, and you sit back with a sense of accomplishment before the next stop of your journey dawns on you—how to find an editor for your book.
Once you’ve written your book, the spotlight shifts from the author to the editor, the masterful hand that can turn your manuscript into a polished gem. The journey is not only about refining your writing; it’s a partnership that breathes life into your words, a collaboration that transforms your manuscript into a work of art. In this article, the publishing pros at Atmosphere Press are sharing our insights and tips on how to find the ideal editor for you to ensure your literary masterpiece gets the meticulous attention it deserves.
Looking for a partner to transform your drafted manuscript into a polished, published work? At Atmosphere Press, our comprehensive hybrid publishing model includes everything you need to make your book a success—from editing to marketing and more. Submit your manuscript today!
1. Determine Your Editing Needs
Before you start your quest for the perfect editor, it’s essential to determine what kind of editing your book requires. There are various types of editing, such as developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Each serves a unique purpose, from refining your story’s structure to fixing grammar and punctuation, but no matter what kind of editing you need it’s a good idea to work with a professional.
So, ask yourself: Does your manuscript need a structural overhaul, or are you just looking for someone to catch those pesky typos? Knowing this will help you narrow down your search and find the right editor who specializes in the type of editing your book needs.
2. Define Your Budget
Editing services can vary significantly in cost, so it’s crucial to establish a budget for this stage of your writing journey. Keep in mind that experienced, professional editors may charge more, but the quality of their work often justifies the expense. Additionally, some editors offer various pricing structures, such as hourly rates, per-word rates, or flat fees.
Take a look at some of the general costs associated with editing services:
Developmental Editing: This is the most comprehensive form of editing, addressing plot, character development, pacing, and overall structure. Prices can range from $0.04 to $0.10 per word or more, depending on the editor’s experience.
Line Editing: Line editing focuses on improving the flow, clarity, and style of your writing. Editors may charge between $0.03 and $0.07 per word.
Copyediting: Copyeditors correct grammar, punctuation, and consistency issues. Rates typically range from $0.01 to $0.05 per word.
Proofreading: This is the final stage of editing, focusing on eliminating typos and minor errors. Proofreading rates can vary from $0.01 to $0.03 per word.
Hourly Rates: Some editors charge by the hour, with fees ranging from $40 to $100 per hour or more. The total cost will depend on the scope of the project and the editor’s efficiency.
Flat Fees: Some editors offer fixed prices for specific services, such as proofreading an entire manuscript, which can range from $500 to $2,000 or more.
Consider what you can comfortably afford, but remember that investing in professional editing is an investment in your book’s success. A well-edited book can make all the difference in attracting readers and earning glowing reviews.
3. Ask for Recommendations
One of the most reliable methods for how to find the perfect editor for your book is by asking for recommendations from fellow writers or authors. Your writing community can be an invaluable resource, as they can direct you to editors with proven track records. Reach out to writing groups, attend conferences, or join online forums to connect with other authors who can offer advice on finding the right editor.
4. Research Potential Editors
Once you’ve collected some recommendations, it’s time to start researching potential editors. Visit their websites or profiles to learn about their experience, credentials, and the genres they specialize in. Look for sample edits or testimonials from previous clients to gauge their expertise and the quality of their work.
Don’t be afraid to dig deep into your research. Your book deserves the best, and finding an editor who aligns with your vision is essential.
5. Request Sample Edits
Many editors offer free sample edits, which can be incredibly helpful in assessing their suitability for your project. Reach out to a few editors and ask them to provide a sample edit of a small portion of your manuscript. This will give you a firsthand look at how they work and help you determine if their editing style matches your writing voice.
6. Communicate Your Expectations
Open and clear communication with your potential editor is key. Share your expectations, goals, and any specific concerns you have about your manuscript. A great editor should be willing to listen to your needs and discuss how they can help you achieve your vision for your book.
Discuss the timeline for the editing process as well. Ensure that both you and the editor have a mutual understanding of when you can expect to receive edits and revisions.
7. Evaluate Their Feedback
When you receive the sample edits from potential editors, carefully evaluate their feedback. Consider how well they understand your writing and whether their suggestions improve your manuscript. Pay attention to their tone and approach—are they respectful and constructive in their comments?
8. Check for Compatibility
Finding the right editor isn’t just about their professional skills but also about personal connection. Your editor should be someone you feel comfortable working with. Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel a connection with an editor, it might be best to keep looking. After all, you’ll be collaborating closely to refine your book, and a positive working relationship can make the process smoother and more enjoyable.
9. Review Their Portfolio
Request to see their portfolio or examples of books they’ve edited in the past. This will give you a sense of their style and the kind of books they’ve worked on. It can also help you judge the quality of their work, ensuring they’ve successfully edited books that are similar to yours.
10. Ask About Their Process
Understanding an editor’s process is essential. Inquire about how they plan to edit your book, including the number of rounds, the feedback they provide, and their approach to addressing your concerns. Make sure their process aligns with your expectations and project needs.
11. Get a Written Agreement
Before you officially hire an editor, make sure to have a written agreement that outlines the scope of work, deadlines, and payment terms. A clear contract helps protect both you and the editor, ensuring that there are no misunderstandings down the road.
12. Trust Your Gut
Finally, trust your intuition. If an editor meets all your criteria and you have a good feeling about working with them, that’s a strong indicator that you’ve found the right fit for your book.
Finding the perfect editor is a journey filled with excitement and anticipation. Knowing how to find the right editor for your book is a vastly different skillset from writing a manuscript, but it’s important all the same.
Take the time to determine your needs, research potential editors, and assess their compatibility with your project. By following these steps, you can ensure that your manuscript receives the professional touch it deserves, bringing your book one step closer to becoming the masterpiece it’s destined to be.
Not sure where to start? At Atmosphere Press we offer a publication consultation to help budding authors no matter where they are on their publishing journey.