Are you close to finishing your book and getting ready to hire an editor? Here’s what you should do to prepare your book for the editing process…
1) Have as much of your book written as possible.
This will help to save you money! If the editor starts working on an unfinished book and you end up going back and forth a lot, it can take a lot of time and really eat into your budget. It’s also helpful if an editor can see the book in its entirety so that they have a better understanding of where you’re going with it.
On the other hand, if you want some advice on things like style, it can be helpful for the editor to work on a few pages with you. Then you can take the book back and continue working on it before providing them with a complete first draft.
2) Know the target demographic.
Who are you writing for? Why would someone want to read your book? Who is your ideal audience?
If you know all of this (which you should!), your editor will be better equipped to go into the editing process with an understanding of who the book is for. Hiring an editor isn’t just about handing your book over to someone and leaving it at that—the more that the editor knows about who the book is for and why you’re writing it, the better of a job they will be able to do to polish up your writing.
3) Choose a dictionary / style guide to work with.
If you don’t care about this, that’s fine—the editor can choose the dictionary or style guide instead. The important thing is that there’s consistency in the finished product! Again, you might be able to save the editor some time (and yourself some $$) if you choose the dictionary and style guide ahead of time and work with them as reference right from the beginning.
Talk to your editor & have meaningful conversations to get the most out of the editing process #writertip
4) Identify what you want from an editor (including an idea of the type of editing, budget, and timeline).
If you’re not really sure what you want from an editor, but you know that you’re *supposed* to have an editor, tell that to your editor. They will be able to ask you the right questions to pinpoint what you’re looking for.
There are many different types of editing, and if you hire an editor without discussing exactly what you’re looking for, you might wind up with a completely different finished product than you were expecting.
I also recommend leaving it a little open-ended if you’re still not sure about what you want from the editor. Some editors have very specific types of editing that they will do (such as only proofreading or only developmental editors), but others have some skill in a variety of these areas, and can provide you with a couple different types of edits if you need it.
Have conversations with your editor. Ask them questions. Brainstorm with them. Your book will be the better for it!