Hi friends! If you're new to the publishing world (indie pub or traditional), You're likely overwhelmed with the "afterward". You've thrown up a jumbled mess onto some pages and then labored over every single word until it was absolutely correct (and then second guessed yourself a few times), and now you can't do anymore to your piece without going insane or throwing up. (*Deep breath*) Enter Editors.
Oh don't roll your eyes at me, I know. The LAST thing you want right now is someone else pouring over your work with more critiques. But, do you want a successful book or not? Because I contend that every book needs an editor. Even small e-books could use a good copyedit.
So what's the first kind of edit you should look for?.
The Content Edit
So a content edit is the very first edit you should definitely look for. Content Edits address the book as a whole, covering topics such as plot, character development, tone, and world-building. This is NOT as detailed as a line or copy edit because it looks at the main issues and not each individual line. However, it is super detailed about the overall effect of your book. After choosing an editor, this is the first edit you will receive. The main points of the story have to be fixed before the small details can be ironed out or else things become very unproductive.
The Most Valuable Review
A content edit is going to be the most valuable review of your book you can get. Reader reviews are awesome and you should get those too, but getting a content edit will give you a review by someone qualified to talk about the nitty-gritty details of your book. A reader review will give you something like this:
"I loved most of the book, but I didn't like the MC's best friend, She was mean. And the ending was disappointing"
This gives you enough to go on as far as the kind of changes you want to make, but where do you start? What about the MC's best friend is off? Dialogue? Mannerisms? Appearance? All of the above? You see, many reviewers lack the ability to zoom further in to find the micro issues behind the macro issues.
A Quality Editor
A qualified editor will give you detailed and specific things to look for and fix. They may say something like this:
"Your book was truly beautiful. I am impressed with your ability to craft worlds. There are a few things to be addressed, though. The MC's best friend feels a little too cold. Readers may not sympathize with her if they don't feel some warmth from her at some point. (I have marked a few good places to add in some warmth in the text.) Also, you may consider revising the last scene. Adding in some more visual aspects to help drive the emotion behind her actions will do wonders."
It is much more detailed and helpful. Its something that calls for specific actions you can confidently go and do.
Professional edits take your book from amateur to pro. If you're serious about publishing your book, edits are a must. If you choose to indie publish, hiring a freelance editor is your best bet. More to come on how to hire editors, what they cost, and how to interview them later :) If you want to submit to publishers or agents, your best bet is to still get an edit. Its almost like a second opinion. except it will get you ready for the opinion that matters: that of your agent or publisher.
Questions? Leave a comment below!
P.S. Dream Edit Repeat offers a content edit which you can find on our products page.
Content Edits are my favorite :) so if you have any questions about your book (even the most outlandish oddball ones) feel free to shoot over an email. I'm always around.