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What You Need To Know Before Approaching An Editor

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Giving a rough draft to an editor could end up costing you more

​Giving your manuscript to an editor without thought could cost you more money than you need to pay. Being prepared beforehand can not only save you money, but save time on how long it takes to prepare your manuscript for publication.

Not preparing your manuscript before contacting an editor can be the difference between being ready in one month or six months.
It’s easy as an editor to take a manuscript that needs a lot of work and make good money from doing so, but this has positive and negative effects.

When we receive a manuscript from a writer who hasn’t investigated publishing at all, it makes it harder for us and harder for the writer in the long run.
As a writer, I like to stick to a budget. I wouldn’t want to lose money because I didn’t take care of basic issues before approaching an editor. It also means that my publication date is shortened the more care I take in the beginning.
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​I know how this goes from both ends of the process so here are my tips for readying your manuscript for a professional editor.
  1. If you are writing non-fiction make sure that any images are JPEG files at 300 dpi resolution with a file size of at least 800KB compressed to about 350KB. If they are not they will be rejected by self-publishing sites like CreateSpace.
  2. Don’t use copyrighted images. If the editor spots this, a good editor will point this out to you leading to the need to find new images in the middle of a project thus extending the time and potentially the final cost.
  3. Make sure that you have chapter headings and a Table of Contents, because these are  additional services, which will cost more..
  4. The longer your paragraphs, the deeper the edit required. If you have long blocks of text with few full stops, it makes it harder for the editor, lengthening the process and increase your overall costs.
  5. Make sure you know whether you want it in American spelling or English spelling, there are differences, e.g. recognize versus recognise.
  6. There are different types of editors. Are you approaching the right one for your style? Fiction and non-fiction are very different. We focus on non-fiction for most of our editing, whereas developmental editing is very different and for fiction writers.
  7. Look for an editor who will quote the total cost of editing your project. Editing by the hour could end up costing you a lot more money.
  8. Don’t scrimp on the editing process. You may think your writing is brilliant, but as writers we often cannot see the wood for the trees and miss many mistakes that a trained eye will pick out.
  9. Understand that the editing process is not perfect. Being  human, all editors will miss things; it’s impossible not to during the editing process. However, make sure that your editor will correct missed errors free of charge.
  10.  If you find an editor you like the sound of, ask if they will edit 1000 words free of charge. It can’t hurt to ask and may help show you what a difference editing can make to your final manuscript.
​There are many other things to consider before approaching an editor for the first time, but these are some of the often forgotten things that make a huge difference during the editing process.
How do you feel about approaching
​an editor for the first time?

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