Why You Need an Editor
There was a time when writers could depend on publishers to provide manuscript editing.
Those days are gone forever.
Today, publishers (and even agents) expect the editorial work to be substantially done before the book lands on their desks.
Financial pressures on the book publishing industry have never been greater. Cost cutting has become necessary to survival. Movie stars, politicians caught up in great public scandals, and serial killers—when sufficiently flamboyant in their work—may get prime editorial treatment, but those of us who simply write for a living will be expected to submit manuscripts that are finely tuned and edited.
So here's the way it stands: Every writer needs an editor. There are no exceptions.
EDITPRO does this work for you.
What Kind of Editing Do You Need?
Developmental editing is complete, deep, and rigorous. It is most useful to writers who have information that they believe will be important and useful to their targeted readers but who have little or no experience in actually writing a book.
A developmental editor looks at a book project as a whole, suggesting the most useful ways in which your book can be organized. This editor will show you ways in which your should be organized. He will point out parts of your book that should be fleshed out with additional information, and he will point out other parts that would work better when presented in a more condensed form. He will suggest examples and case histories that will make an author's ideas clearer. He will point out ways in which an inexperienced writer's style can be improved, such as the handling of quotes (see blog on this topic), the clarity of diction, and the use of subordination.
A publisher of many year's experience, Marion Gropen of Gropen Associates, Inc., has this to say about developmental editing: “These editors put themselves into the mind of the intended readers, to analyze your work's impact on that person as they read. They look for what could work better, and for ways to improve the reader's experience but still keep the essence that makes your work distinctive."
Copy editing (also called line editing) focuses on individual paragraphs and sentences rather than the overall structure of the manuscript. A copy editor will suggest how the flow of a paragraph can be improved through simple rewording or the subordination of secondary ideas to main ideas. The copy editor will also root out errors of grammar and usage and suggest elucidations in places where the author's ideas do not come through clearly. Careful copy editing is essential even to the most experienced among us.
Proofreading comes after the work of developmental and copy editing is done. The proofreader scours every scrap, every corner, every nook and cranny of the text looking for typographical errors, errors in usage, misspellings, and errors in punctuation.
Proofreading is a matter of personality as much as erudition. A proofreader has a mission in life and that mission is to rid the English language of every error that might creep into it through chance, negligence, or lack of skill.
Many a good writer is totally lacking in proofreading skills — and this includes developmental editors and copy editors. A good proofreader, once found, is to be prized. No book should be published until at least one such person has worked on it. Even with the best proofreading a book is seldom published without an error or two in it.
Getting rid of these errors is what second printings are for.