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Is Your Manuscript Ready for Editing?

You have toiled day and night working on your story and have finally arrived at a point where you feel ready to contact an editor. But is your manuscript really ready for editing? Are you certain of the type of editing your book needs? The type of editing you need depends on how far you have developed your story’s plot, characters, and setting. If you just finished your first draft, chances are you’re not quite ready to seek a proofreader. It will help if you know which kind of editor to reach out to when you feel ready to reach out to one.

A Story Consultant: This type of editor acts most like a writing coach and can help you outline possible story ideas or develop your pitch for an idea you love. This is your brainstorming editor, the one you hire when you’re just starting and are either stuck or have no idea how to move forward. This kind of editor might lead a writing workshop or retreat you attend.

A Developmental editor: Most writers confuse story consultants with developmental editors, and rightly so, as their roles in the editing process oftentimes overlap. The difference between a story consultant and a developmental editor is that while story consultants work with ideas, developmental editors require that you already have a working draft, a starting point.

A Line editor: This editor is your style and consistency expert. A line editor is hired to tidy up the details of your content and structure by making stylistic suggestions and pointing out inconsistencies in the content of your manuscript.

A Copy editor: A copy editor is the grammar police for your manuscript. It is the copy editor’s job to check for grammatical errors and plot consistency. They will ensure that you have everything spelled correctly, punctuation in the right places and that the names of your characters and places are consistent.

A Proofreader: You would think that after going over your manuscript dozens of times and after passing it from person to person, that the final copy will be free of all errors. However, there is always that tiny error hidden within the pages of your manuscript that only a skilled proofreader can fish out. Once your manuscript has been proofread, it is typically ready to be published.

Knowing which of these editors to send your manuscript to can sometimes be confusing for a first-time author. A good editor will lead you in the right direction if they do not possess the skills needed to work on your manuscript. Amma Edits is a good place to start. I offer developmental, copy editing, and proofreading services. Contact me to see how I can help you bring your story alive!

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