Congratulations! You’ve finished your book. You’ve spent hours planning, writing, re-writing, and exhausting your brain getting your thoughts out on paper. Though your best friends have said your writing is excellent, perhaps you don’t fully trust their judgment. You want to know, to really know, whether what you have is good, and if so, how to make it great. What you need is an editing service.

book editing service

Alright, so after typing “editing service” into Google, you see that there are pages and pages of results. Right off the bat, some seem like scams. You immediately dismiss those. But once you’ve narrowed the list down to the ones that might actually provide you with the editing you need, you’re left flailing about how to choose the one that best suits you. How do you choose? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

Having sat exactly in your shoes, concerned I was making the wrong choice for my novel, I have a few pieces of advice that might help ease the tension of this decision:

  1. First, you need to understand your needs. Do you want the book edited for publication? What level of editing do you need? How important are the editor’s comments? If you’re considering getting an agent, what might that agent need from you? Not all editing services will provide you the same resources. You need to assess if the group with which you’re considering working can provide you everything you need.
  2. Next, figure out if the company you’ve selected can meet the needs you require. There are many different styles of editing. If you need the book to be edited and formatted for publication, can the company deliver? Does the company have a track record of success?
  3. Third, it’s important to consider your budget. The best editing services come at a premium, especially if you need anything additional, such as a query letter or book jacket cover. If you feel confident in writing those yourself, perhaps you might save a few dollars. But recognize that trusting professionals to write these important documents for you might better set you up for success on the market.
  4. Fourth, building off of number three, you might consider asking for a sample of the service’s editing work. Many will offer a free sample as part of the process anyway, but if not, you want to understand if the company’s editing methodology gels with your goals. Not every editor/author partnership will be fruitful. Don’t feel hemmed in by the first person with whom you come in contact. Each editor has a slightly different style, much as each author writes differently. Make sure it’s a good fit.
  5. This is crucial: don’t sell yourself short. Your project is important and deserves to be treated as such by your editor. You deserve to know that one specific, dedicated person is working on your book. Any reputable editing service will be up front about which editor you are working with, that person’s background, and if they have handled writing of your type previously.
  6. Lastly, never feel that you can’t ask questions. The best combinations of editor and author involve back-and-forth, with one party asking questions of the other to ensure that the final product reflects the best efforts of each person involved. This brings back an issue from point #5: if your editor lacks experience in working with your kind of writing, the end product will not be as good as it could be. Any editing service you choose will have a deep bench of editors, each of whom has one or more focuses. Ensure that your assigned editor knows your style of writing inside and out.

Once you have gotten to the point of choosing an editor, you have done the hard part already. Staring at a blank page, hoping to generate words from the ether, is much harder than the editing process. If you choose an editor correctly, he or she will be able to take the collection of words over which you have pored for hours, weeks, and days into something remarkable. The job of an editor, in writing as in television or film, is to take the raw material and mold it into a polished, finished product.

I know that the plethora of editing options available to anyone with an internet connection might seem daunting, but fear not. If you are diligent about your research and follow the steps I outlined above, there is no reason why your experience would not be fruitful and beneficial. You will leave the editing process with the satisfaction that you, a writer, have something of which you can be proud. And, really, isn’t that the goal?

editing services



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