Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need an editor? Can’t I just have my friends read my draft and give me their advice?
Sure you can have your friends read the manuscript. It’s always good to get some honest feedback on your work, also known as a beta read. However, because your friends (and family members) don’t want to hurt your feelings, their unlikely to give you honest feedback, so its not a good idea to use them as beta readers. And unless your friends are professional editors, you’ll still want to hire one. Perhaps you feel you can’t afford to have your manuscript edited by a professional or you think it doesn’t need it. But whether you’re planning to submit your manuscript to a traditional publisher or self-publish, you can’t afford NOT to have your manuscript professionally edited. In fact, if you’re planning to go the traditional rout, many agents will only accept manuscripts that have already been professionally edited. If you’re going to self-publish, do your future readers a favor and have your manuscript professionally edited. They’ll thank you with positive reviews.
Your manuscript is your baby, and you want it to stand out and make an impact with you’re readers. Just as you want your book’s cover to be dynamic and engaging, you want the same for the words inside your book, and a good editor can make that happen. In this competitive world where reader reviews can make or break a book, having your manuscript professionally edited is essential. By the way, did you spot the grammatical and spelling errors I purposely planted in these two paragraphs? No? That’s why you need a good editor!
What genres and types of books do you edit?
Throughout my career, I’ve found that it works best to edit what I know.
And what I know comes from experience as well as what I read and
where my interests lie. That said, I edit both fiction and nonfiction
books for adults and children. In terms of fiction, I most enjoy
historical fiction, crime fiction, and realistic fiction. The nonfiction
genres I prefer are biographies, memoirs, history, creative or narrative
nonfiction (i.e., nonfiction that reads like fiction), and true crime.
What genres do you NOT edit?
I do not edit the following nonfiction genres: business, academic, science, medical, and technical. In the fiction realm, I don’t edit sci-fi, fantasy, techno-thrillers, horror, gore, gothic, westerns, avant-garde, graphic novels, philosophy, religion, romance, or erotica. However, send me a message if you’re looking for an editor or proofreader for one of these genres. Chances are, I can recommend a colleague who has experience in that area.
I also will not edit anything that presents a discriminatory agenda based on ethnicity, religion, or gender identity, unless it is to rebuke such an agenda and teach the reader why such behavior is wrong.
Do you edit electronically or on paper?
I do all of my editing work electronically. In Microsoft Word, I employ the Track Changes and Comments features so you will have complete control over every change that actually gets made. You are the author and your name is on the book’s cover, so I believe that ultimately, it is up to you to decide which of my changes you accept via Track Changes. However, if a change was made to correct style, grammar, spelling, punctuation, or is simply a typo, it’s in the author’s best interest to make the change. Otherwise, if it ends up in the published work, we both look bad. For errors that I notice occurring consistently (i.e., a spelling or punctuation error), rather than marking each one, I will make a note for you to make a universal change.
I do 100 percent of the work myself. My only assistant is Benny, and don’t tell him, but that title is in name only. And until he masters the Chicago Manual of Style and learns to type, it will stay that way. But he sure is cute and fills each day with joy.
Do you edit more than one book at a time?
No. I devote 100 percent of my attention to the project at hand. But in return, it’s important that the author has the manuscript ready on the scheduled start date. Otherwise, my schedule backs up and that’s no fun for anyone.
Will you be editing my book or do you hand it off to an assistant?
Once you start working on my book, can I keep making changes?
No, please do NOT do that. That’s how versioning errors occur. And if you make a change to something that I’ve already edited, I’ll have to go back in and change the text and possibly reedit it, which is time-consuming. So, please, just don’t. Once you hand over the manuscript, spend your time researching how you’ll market and promote your book.