For those of you worried about working with an editor, here’s the good news: you don’t always need one. Sometimes you can get by with help from critique partners and beta readers, and a really good reference library.
But there are times when having an editor is the right choice. First, when you want to improve your overall writing for your current and future manuscripts. Think Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid. He’s not doing the karate for you, but teaching you through all kinds of exercises how to be the best on your own.
Second, when you are self-publishing and want there to be no question about your commitment to producing a professional quality book. Think about every heist movie ever where the mastermind needs professionals (hackers, forgers, locksmiths, etc.) to help pull off the crime of the century. The right support matters.
What kind of editing can I do for you?
Big Picture Editing
Before you upload your manuscript to KDP or IngramSpark, be sure it’s the best version of your story it can be. Have someone who isn’t you, your best friend, or your mom read it and give an honest assessment. Developmental editing gives you detailed feedback on areas of strength and weakness. A manuscript critique gives a more general overview of how well the story works with less detail on how to fix specific problem areas.
The Little Things
Proofreading is the last line of defense between writing something that is professional and something that wants to be professional. Before you send anything out—query letters, submission materials, or your entire manuscript—get it proofread. Don’t put your fate in the hands of autocorrect.