All You Need to Know About Book Editors: The Good and the Bad
Everybody, including writers, can make mistakes no matter how careful you are. That said, editing is a crucial step in the entire writing process.
Unfortunately, it is hard to catch your errors since you are the one who put all the work together. You may feel that you know your article inside out, so there shouldn’t be any mistakes.
That is where an editor comes in. They quality check your work and ensure there are no typo errors. An editor helps you in the aspects that you lack. As a writer, you may overlook typo errors, mismatched words, misplaced commas, and other punctuation.
An editor has a keen eye and a nature that puts attention to detail so that even a missing period would not escape their red markers.
Another essential role of an editor or a proofreader is ensuring the article or document is readable. Many writers would rely on free writing that they neglect to polish their works, ending up with fluff and sentences that make no sense.
A good editor does not let those grammar mistakes go published without proper edits. A good editor understands the reader’s tone and can simplify and rewrite the phrases that are easier for the readers to read.
Editors balance the writer’s voice and vision with the publishers’ preferences.
The pact between authors and editors
The point is that authors need editors, and a good relationship between the two is the key to a successful publication. No matter what genre you write in, you’d want to find the best editor, whether a comic book editor or history book editors.
A professional editor can also enhance your writing so that it becomes more accessible to its readers. To some degree, it comes down to improving the flow of the text, but it can also mean modifying certain words where necessary to improve comprehension.
Qualities of a good editor
A good editor will also ensure you write for your intended audience. They can either make or break the entire text you spent sleepless nights for months or years to complete.
Here are tips to spot a reliable proofreader and book editor.
Respectful of your voice as a writer
A sign that you are working with a top-notch editor is that it hears and sees your voice.
Not all writers are lucky enough to work with an editor who keeps their tone of voice when proofreading a work.
If you’re an experienced writer, you probably experienced those times when your work got revised, resulting in an entirely different article. It doesn’t feel nice.
At the same time, not all writers can write in a tone and style that fits every publisher or client. Finding a considerate proofreader who checks your work and hears your voice as a writer is bliss.
While some writing styles would not please a client or publisher, the book editor’s role is to relay the changes to the author.
Regardless of what voice or persona a writer has in mind, an editor keeps a clear goal: to publish a final book, story, or article.
Respectful of deadlines
A good editor should respect your deadlines and produce your edited document on or before the deadline. When you pay for editing services, your editor must respect the deadlines that you set and that they agreed to. Nothing is more unpleasant than paying for editing services and not getting your document sent back on time. You need your proofreaders to deliver it or when they promised to receive it.
Someone open to communication
This is important when working with all kinds of editors. It can be frustrating when you ask an editor to focus on something specific and find out when your document is returned that they ignored your request.
A good editor is responsive to your requests and answers questions or concerns you may have.
Someone who can upgrade your document
A good editor will ensure that your written document is easily understandable and free of errors.
That said, it is critical on your end that you find a suitable proofreader.
If you find an online service where you can hire one, assess the proofreader based on specialisation.
You would not expect a thesis writer to have their work checked by a comic book editor or by a fiction ghostwriter. Considering the style and format, your work might downgrade instead of getting an upgrade.
Spotting bad editors in the mix
All good points considered. Here is a bonus tip: how to spot a bad editor and avoid hiring them.
You will get a bad feeling when you read your edited text; you’ll feel like you’ve lost your voice. Remember, a good editor won’t change words based on their preferences alone.
They will miss inconsistencies and grammatical errors in your text. Producing consistent, error-free text is a fundamental task of an editor.
Avoid an editor with hidden charges. A good editor will inform you of the time needed to finish a job and estimate them before he starts a job. If you’re receiving fee after fee, that is a massive sign that your editor wants your money and has no interest in helping you. It might even be a scam.
If an editor realises that he has to do more work than he estimated and will be honest about it.
Unable to explain errors
There is a huge difference when your editor can spot a flaw and is able to help you identify it too. When writers and editors work hand in hand, writers should be able to ask questions about the feedback.
A reader can tell you that a scene doesn’t make sense. On the other hand, editors can explain why. If your editor can’t explain why you should make the recommended changes, then he’s not skilled or doesn’t care.
The editor provides little to no critical feedback. Honestly, many writers enter the editing process thinking their book is already perfect and the editor will only find minor mistakes, and mostly it’s the other way around. We’re not saying that you’re inherently wrong at writing but keep in mind that good editors dig deep and will be honest to point out every problem they find.
You’ll receive a lot of critical feedback, and the editing process with an editor can be overwhelming. If your editor is giving you all praise without criticism or providing little feedback, that’s a sign that the editor is not skilled in catching all the problems in your manuscript. Again, it’s not simply based on the assumption that your writing is not good.
Conclusion: Check your Checkers
Bad editors can damage a writer’s career. A good tip: test their services by requesting free sample edits. Check and assess the people you hire to check your work. They must give you a balance of your good points and bad points for you to achieve a spotless write-up. You must find an editor who knows what you want and can make that happen.