How do I hire a manuscript editor?

red pencil edit

Yes, Southern Ambition works with authors whether I’m developing the manuscript alongside you to keep you motivated with accountability and creative exercises or to edit your completed manuscript. But here’s how you find the perfect editor for your book.

What is a manuscript editor? What do they do? And why is it worth your money?

Editors come in different varieties. There’s basic copyediting, heavy copyediting, developmental editing, and substantive or line editing.

Basic copyediting focuses on grammar and correct context, to simply make sure what you say is correct, but they don’t necessarily get in depth into the substance, ensuring your concept comes through clearly or cohesively. More than simply a proofreader – who only check to ensure errors from prior versions were corrected – copyeditors will focus on actively correcting your grammar, sentence structure, and cross-check your references.

Developmental editors act as project managers and writing coaches to take your concept, then partner with you to create a compelling draft which will stand out on the market once you publish. A professional developmental editor makes substantive changes, to clarify your narrative, reduce unnecessary tangents, and take the project from inception all the way to final product. It includes rewriting and reorganizing for the author and can also include hiring other team members to do the proofreading and line editing.

Most of the time, when an author comes to me, I fall into the developmental editing for full and comprehensive manuscript editing. This means you receive complete, thorough plot, arc, and character development along with manuscript edits from a professional manuscript editor, no matter where you are in the process.

Whether you have the beginnings of an idea, a few chapters already drafted, or a semi-complete manuscript, I’ll discuss your goals and your story concept with you, then edit your manuscript to get it ready to submit to publishers with a query letter. Make sure to check out my post on how to write a kick-ass query letter publishers will want to read.

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