The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Importance of Quality Editing

Now, here I go writing a post about editing, so I'm sure there will be mistakes. Why? Because we ALL need an editor (even editors). We ALL see what we want to see in our writing rather than what's actually there.

If you're going to self-publish your book, can you edit it yourself? You *can*, but you shouldn't. Because we all see what we want to see in our own writing, you won't be able to catch mistakes like plot holes, misspellings, or misplaced commas. You'll need an editor for that.

This day and age, almost anyone can hang an internet "shingle" up and claim to be an editor, so make sure you use your money wisely. Just because an editor is cheap doesn't mean they're good at what they do (in fact, it's usually the opposite). Find someone with solid credentials, who's plugged into the industry, and who understands what it takes to make a great book.

An editor should never, never, never hand you back a manuscript with just a few notes. If you get that, you've hired someone who doesn't know what they're doing and/or someone who rushed through your work without giving it the proper time and attention. Time and attention you paid for.

Editing *should* be a difficult process for you. You should feel pushed out of your comfort zone. You should feel stretched to the limit. You're growing and learning. If you just get a pat on the head from an editor, you've wasted your money.

*Please hire a quality editor in order to maintain the integrity of self-publishing.*

What should your editors look for in your manuscript? Well, there are a few different types of editors. 

You want a developmental or content editor to focus on plot, characterization, voice, setting, etc. They'll make sure you don't have the dreaded "plot holes." 

For example, I just did content edits on a book where the sister "tossed" her dead sister's ashes onto a bed. That's a very insensitive thing to do, and this character is not insensitive. In fact, she and her sister were very close. So, it's not consistent with the characterization of this person throughout the book.

PS. You can ask an editor to do a sample edit for you. Quality editors are happy to work on a small section of your book to prove they know their stuff.

You want a line and copy editor to check your grammar, punctuation, word choice, etc. This person will go over your manuscript with a fine-toothed comb and make sure you're clearly communicating the information in your story.

For example: I'm sure you've all seen this one (I have two shirts with this on it 'cause...word nerd).

Let's eat kids.
Let's eat, kids.

VERY different meanings! So, you'll want to employ a line/copy editor to make sure you're being most clear.

Note: I do not recommend hiring the same person to do content and line editing. You want fresh eyes for each stage. And I also recommend hiring a proofreader because no matter how many eyes are on your book, another pair will make your work as sharp as possible.

So, you're interested in an editor with experience and knowledge of the industry. Where do you turn? Well, obviously, I have to plug myself's my blog. LOL! I am available to do content or line/copy, though I'm more classically trained in line/copy. Other editors I'd recommend are:

I have personal experience with both of these ladies and can vouch for them. They're truly TOP NOTCH!! 

Before you hire an editor, do attempt a self edit because you never want to turn your rough draft into anyone. Always, always, always look over your own work. But then release your baby into capable hands.

If you have questions about how to do a self-edit before you hire an editor, I've written a list of common writing mistakes. Remember, this list is to guide you in a round of self-edits BEFORE you turn your story over to a professional editors. It's not to replace professional editor. Because it's time to realize you *can't* do this one your own and still produce quality work (not even if you're already an editor). Because, we all see what we want to see...

Until next time, write on!


  1. Yes, this! I do content edits...very selectively, and I've worked with several wonderful editors out there. Typically you do pay for what you get, but you also want to work with someone who connects with your work and understands the vision.

  2. So true, Crystal. You want someone who is invested in your piece. Good point! Thanks for reading and commenting!!