Whether you self published or whether you are published by a trade publisher, getting a book ready for publication is a long, detailed process. One of the key parts in any book’s development is editing. The editor works with the author to take a manuscript and make it into a finished story ready for market. And, importantly, though every author needs to proofread and edit their own work, they also need an editor other than themselves to make the manuscript polished and full of zing.
A good editor:
1. Sees the promise in your manuscript, like an unpolished gem, then figures out how to polish it so that it really sparkles.
2. Knows the genre you are writing for – and, especially if you are writing for young people – understands what suits a particular age group or readership.
3. Is way more than a proofreader (though these are important, too) and the difference between a structural edit and a copy edit.
4. Spots bits of your story that don’t work, and gives you suggestions so that you can make changes you are comfortable with.
5. Is an ally, wanting your book to work almost as much as you go.
Sage Cookson’s Sweet Escape went through several rounds of edits. Changes suggested and acted on ranged from needing to make the work longer, to making the ‘baddies’ badder, to spotting errors in syntax and grammar. Editors rock!