Choosing The Right Kind Of Editor For Your Book

By on May 18, 2021

We all know that when the time is right, hiring a professional editor can be the best way to ensure that our book is in top condition before we publish it, or send it off in the hope that an agent or traditional publishing house might take it on.

However, not all editors are created equal, and understanding the different types of editors out there is crucial if you want to feel assured that you are making the best choice for your book. 

Let’s first examine some of the differences between Copyediting and Proofreading. 

The end goal of both these types of proofreading is to improve the content of the book. However, copy editing is usually what a person would do first. Proofreading is the very detailed and final look to ensure that nothing has been missed and that the book is completely flawless. 

While copy editing ensures that spelling mistakes and grammar errors are fixed, in professional publishing this is more nuanced and the copy editor will likely be following a particular style, for example, Chicago Manual style - to ensure that the book is consistent throughout.

The majority of copy editors will also offer additional services than just making sure the text is correct. They can also look at other important elements such as readability, ensuring that the words flow and the prose is accurate. Essentially, they will make suggestions to help make your sentences read better. 

A proofreader is like a book inspector. They will go through your text and be eagle-eyed to any errors. The proofreader will be the last port of call before your book is published or goes to print. A proofreader isn’t just hunting for typos, they will also make sure that the page numbering is correct, the indexing is accurate, the text is aligned, the word spacing and paragraphing is correct. Their job is to ensure that no reader, however meticulous and eagle-eyed, will have anything to complain about when they part with their hard-earned cash to buy a copy of your novel.

It’s possible that a proofreader may also offer a fact-checking service for certain types of novels, though this is less common.

So, which service is the one for you?

If you’re an indie author and you want to self-publish your book, you should try to do the majority of editing yourself before passing it over to a professional. After you have finalized your structure and you are happy with how your story reads, only then should you hire a copy editor. If you are likely to move things around or eliminate passages, hold fire.

All authors should hire a copyeditor to go through their work. However, if your budget allows it, hiring a proofreader to give your book that final polish could also elevate it ahead of the competition. It’s always best to hire two separate people (even though your copy editor may also offer a proofreading service) as this way you’ll get a fresh set of eyes on your book. 

Once you’ve finished the proofreading stage of your book, you’ll finally be ready to publish and you can rest assured that you’ve done everything you can to ensure that your book will reach its full potential.

About Beth Cadman

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