Do you need to edit your book before sending it to an editor?




It’s an attractive idea that paying a freelance editor to edit your manuscript is the fix-all solution to repairing your first draft, but there’s much more work you as the author need to put into your book before it’s ready for publication—or even ready to arrive in an editor’s inbox.



Do you need to edit your book before sending it to an editor?


Every once in a while, I’ll receive a manuscript that makes me want to hang my head in despair. Not because the story is despairing. Usually, it’s because within the first few pages, I’ve noticed so many simple typos that could’ve (and should’ve) been picked up with a read-through before the author sent the book to me—and now I realize I’m going to waste a whole lot of time correcting those mistakes before I can get to the real editing.


But isn’t it my job as an editor to correct typos and add in all the missing punctuation? Technically, yes. However, the savviest of self-publishing authors understand that there’s so much more benefit to working with a freelance editor if you present your manuscript in tip-top shape before the professional editing begins.


Read more about how to prepare your fiction manuscript for a freelance editor in my recent blog post here.


So…what exactly are you paying a freelance editor for then?







Making the most out of your freelance editor


Well, you can pay me to sit here and comb through your manuscript for typos and grammatical errors for a few weeks until your book is virtually error-free. That’s a given. That’s the simple stuff.


But if you make sure all of those simple (and, sure, time-consuming) typos are dealt with beforehand, I can concentrate on the more specialist stuff instead. That means focusing on your sentence structure, characterization, world-building, and whether your writing is telling your story in the most engaging, effective way possible.


Believe me, no professional editor is going to let typos or misplaced punctuation slip through the net. I know firsthand that those things are like our arch nemeses. It would be a real-life horror story for us to leave glaring typos in a manuscript. After all, our reputation as the editor is at stake as much as yours as the author of the book.







Read more about how long to wait before you start self-editing your manuscript in my recent blog post here.



How do freelance editors actually help authors?


As an editor, I want to help you make the most out of your story, not sit here correcting spelling mistakes and punctuation like a schoolteacher. Yes, absolutely, I’m going to correct any typos I see, because those things raise my hackles as a reader, and I don’t want your audience to feel as if they’ve paid for a book that is anything short of professional quality.


However, pay me instead to do what I’m trained and experienced at doing: Working closely with your words, themes, and overarching message to help you look at your own writing from a different perspective and produce a book you’re genuinely proud of.




If you’d like to work with me, please get in touch by emailing bryony@bryonyleah.com or use the contact form on my website. I’m always accepting new clients and would love to hear about your novel and plans for publication.


For more information about my freelance fiction editing services, please click here.

BRYONY LEAH

I am a freelance editor and published writer offering friendly, affordable book editing services. From my base at home in the UK, or while over in the USA, I work with authors and publishers internationally. I'm a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.

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Bryony Leah, freelance editor, freelance writer, affordable book editor, affordable book editing services, ebook editor, romance editor, fiction editor
Bryony Leah, freelance editor, freelance writer, affordable book editor, affordable book editing services, ebook editor, romance editor, fiction editor
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