Editing is a crucial step for every writer aiming to publish a book. To answer a most asked question, yes, it is an important step even if you are considering traditional publishing or approaching a literary agent.
While it doesn’t matter after how many drafts one reaches out to an editor, it is important to know what is editing and why is it important for a book.
- What is editing?
- What are the different types of editing offered by Keemiya Creatives?
- Difference between self-editing and hiring a professional/independent editor
- Our approach to editing
- How to identify an editor you want to work with?
- What to look for in an editor?
- Steps involved in getting a manuscript from a draft to publishing-ready
- Tips for writers
What is editing?
Editing is the process of sharpening your writing. It is like you have finally managed to cut a piece of wood from a tree in the desired shape and size. We need to sharpen it to a great shape to make it more marketable, buyable, and likable.
What are the different types of editing offered by Keemiya Creatives?
- Developmental editing
Includes line-by-line feedback on writing with detailed analysis, feedback, and comments. Recommended for authors who are looking for detailed feedback on their book.
- Line editing
Strengthens the prose with better word choices and makes the narrative tighter for a better reading experience. Recommended for authors who want assistance in working on the language of the book.
- Copy editing
Ensures the sentences logically flow, in lucid language and the reader is able to understand the content. Recommended for authors who want help in working on their grammar and overall tone of the book.
Includes checking for any errors, spacing issues, punctuation marks, and typos to make it publishing-ready.
Difference between self-editing and hiring a professional/independent editor
Self-editing is when a writer themselves works on their manuscript. It could include various aspects of a story, character sketches, or grammar at large.
Hiring a professional/ independent editor means getting a second pair of eyes to look at your work. Chances are you might not be able to think of or find a mistake because you have been working on it for the longest.
Our approach to editing
Our approach is usually very simple: Read the whole manuscript first and then take a break for a few days. We do this even for beta-reading reports. We analyze the story long after we have finished reading it. Most of the time, some very minute but important gaps come to my mind.
We first do the developmental edit and then share it with the client. They can then either accept the suggestions or reject them or choose to work on them and come back to us. This process is the longest.
It involves meticulous combing through the manuscript and analyzing it on the basis of the following aspects of novel writing:
- Genre and subgenre
- Beginning and Ending
This process is repeated multiple times, till the manuscript reaches a desired shape where both the author and the editor are pleased with the output. There are no extra charges for the mutiple rounds needed to make it reach this stage. We do say it takes usually 3-4 rounds, however, the number of rounds required for a manuscript to reach this stage varies and hence is never committed to in advance.
After this, we work on the copy edits and finally proofread the manuscript.
How to identify an editor you want to work with?
Narrow down what you are looking for. Are you only looking for someone who can iron out your language and grammar? Or you are looking for someone who can add more value to your book?
Look for SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) – Say you are working on historical fiction, you need an editor who (1) enjoys reading historical fiction (2) is able to add value to your manuscript when it comes to terminology and research (3) can elevate your manuscript from what it was.
Look for experience – This in no way means you should not work with new editors. It purely means you should look for someone who can walk the talk.
Editing is not purely correcting grammar and language. It is also adding layers to the narrative, sharpening the story and making the characters memorable.
Look for their previous works – If you are looking for an experienced editor, their previous works can easily give you an idea about the quality of their work. As an author, you can ask for sample work. It need not be on your manuscript. They can share links to their previous works as well. Amazon has a free preview option where you can read a few pages to know the editing quality. If you still insist on editing your manuscript to show a sample of the work, they can very well share a quote even for the sample edit requested.
You can check our previous projects and client testimonials on our website.
What to look for in an editor?
- Work with an editor only if you are open to criticism and honest feedback. We have worked with clients who are passionate about writing and at the same time respect the art of writing.
- Never try to rush their work. Chances are you will end up with something you will regret later. A writer spending 4 years on their dream novel is brilliant. But they also need to respect the editor’s deadlines.
- Always have a budget in mind for your editing work.
- Communicate transparently. Do you need updates every week or every day? Do you have a certain picture of the work you want to get done in your mind? Share all of that.
Editors do not claim we can create magic with a manuscript. But editors can definitely work on it together with authors to make it the best possible version it is.
Steps involved in getting a manuscript from a draft to publishing-ready
Step 1. Once you feel your manuscript has reached a stage where you do not have anything more to add to it, you should reach out to an editor.
If you are looking for specific feedback you can also consider having beta-readers or seek developmental editing to rework your MS based on the feedback received.
Step 2. Make a list of what you want an editor to do for you and then start looking for editors.
Step 3: Share your total word count, genre, and sample chapters with the editor while asking for a quote.
Step 4: Once you hear back from them and agree upon a price, always ask for an agreement about the deliverables, the terms, and the conditions.
Step 5: Involves the editor starts working on your manuscript as per the agreed-upon process. (You can read Our Approach shared above to understand the process of editing)
And this will eventually lead to a publishing-ready manuscript.
Tips for writers
- First and foremost- Read. As William Faulkner said, “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”
- Read outside your genre. This is important to understand the craft of writing and also to get an idea about what sells and what doesn’t.
- Do not think in another language and try to write in another. Think in the same language you want to write in. This ensures the narrative is smooth.
Questions? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.