Why so many authors think that their friend who teaches literature at the local college, or their sister who loves everything they write and do is the perfect editor for their work is beyond me. Your editor can make or break your work—she can shape and shore it up … or, put in some commas and check your spelling. There are now more self and independent published books than those produced by the traditional NY houses—and too, too many have minimal, if any, editing. Think “ruthless editing.” Cut and shape, hire a pro—and, when in doubt, cut it out.
Look for an editor who “gets” your topic … it will save you hours in their education. Let them know if there are quirky or unusual phrases or words in the beginning. If all the editor is doing is copy–the grammar and punctuation–he won’t be thinking about what sub-heads and layout should be. Somewhere along the line, authors began to think that editors worked at minimum wage … wrong.
If you need simple vanilla copyediting, you will pay from $25 an hour and up–most are going to come in the $50 an hour range for this type of editing.
If you need content or developmental editing, you will pay more. These individuals are writers themselves–at times they may have to do a major gutting of a paragraph, a page, a chapter, your entire book. They have the skill to create a book that makes content sense. Content and developmental editing/writing can run from a few thousands to many thousands of dollars.
The final editing recommended is the “cold eye” edit … the final read POST layout of your book. A read that is done by someone else who has not done anything to do with the book. It’s done with a print out of the book post the layout so that it can be read as a book. Those cold eyes could be your book’s, and yours, best friend. Cost will range from $300 to $500, depending upon the size and complexity of the book.
The cleaner the copy you give them, the less you are going to spend in the editing process.
Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80's. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences.
Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at http://togi.us/authoru. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.