January 15, 2010, Newsletter Issue #218: How To Choose A Book Editor

Tip of the Week

When choosing a book editor, it is important to choose someone who is familiar with the subject you will be self publishing in. Within trade publishing houses, editors have areas of specialization, such as children's or romantic fiction. These editors have a good knowledge of other publications in the field and of how to edit a book to make it right for the publication genre. This is also important when self publishing.

It's worth checking to see what else the editor has done in your genre. You should also get a sample edit to be sure you will be happy with the service you get. It is important not to be swayed by marketing but to get examples of work and customer recommendations.

Make sure that the editor is familiar with the style manual that is right for your genre, such as the Chicago Manual of Style or the Associated Press style. Finally, you should ensure that any quotation for editorial services is based on an assessment of your actual manuscript. Someone who meets all the other criteria and who is prepared to take the trouble to look at it will probably do a decent job of editing it.

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Byron White