book author services
Whether you’re writing a novel, a collection of short stories or poems, a memoir, or a how-to book, Edits Made Easy has editors, coaches, instructors, and ghostwriters with just the expertise needed to help you. Choose one-on-one coaching to work privately with an expert who can jump-start your project and point you in the right direction. If you just need feedback on your manuscript or formatting to prepare it for submission, check out EME’s pre-publication services. And for careful attention to your written text, choose from the array of proofreading and editing services available from Edits Made Easy.
At this lightest level of editing, your editor will correct typos, spelling errors, grammatical errors, and punctuation problems. The focus of this service is on correcting errors, not polishing the text or altering its creative elements. This service does not include any editing for compliance with agents' or publishers' formatting requirements, but focuses exclusively on the text, which will be returned to you error free.
In a developmental edit, the focus is on the broader structural and creative issues in the manuscript or script. To this end, the editor does not make direct line-by-line changes to the manuscript or script, but rather combs through it pointing out issues that will need to be addressed by the author in revision. For most projects, this means attention to elements such as plot development, characters, dialogue, narrative, pacing, point of view, imagery, voice and tone, and fitting story to market.
A MORE ECONOMICAL SERVICE than line editing, developmental editing is usually done on manuscripts that are not yet in final draft. The goal of a developmental edit is to provide detailed, substantive feedback to the author as s/he prepares to undertake a revision; it is not the goal of a developmental edit to accomplish that revision on its own. Once a developmental edit is completed and the author has had the opportunity to undertake a revision, the author will usually seek a line edit or comprehensive edit of the manuscript.
Unlike proofreading, which combs through your manuscript looking for errors, in a line edit, your editor will address the creative content and language of your book or short story. But unlike a developmental edit, in a line edit your editor will actually make direct line-by-line changes to your manuscript. At this level of editing, your editor will work to make the dialogue more believable, ensure the best POV choice, make the imagery more vivid, improve the pacing, polish the language--in short, do whatever is necessary to make your manuscript a more compelling read. Because of the degree of editorial involvement at this level of editing, line editing is reserved for manuscripts that are in final draft.
COMPREHENSIVE MANUSCRIPT EDITING
This level of editing is reserved for manuscripts and scripts that are in final draft. At this level, any remaining substantive or creative issues should be minimal, and they are addressed with direct changes to the text while a complete line edit is being done. The goal of comprehensive manuscript editing is to reach the final version of the manuscript.
Perhaps you don’t need a full edit of your work ... or maybe you’re just not that far along. Consider one of EME’s more economical services designed just to meet your needs:
Whether you’ve just finished your book or you’re only partway through, you’ll benefit from a professional evaluation of your manuscript. For just a fraction of the cost of a full edit, you’ll receive a detailed report of the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript, along with a set of recommendations for how it can be improved.
Publishers and agents typically have strict requirements for how manuscripts must be formatted for submission. If your book is going to get the attention it deserves, it will have to meet those standards precisely. Whether you’re working with a traditional publishing house or a print-on-demand publisher, your professional EME editor will be able to get your manuscript formatted for submission, without the cost of a full edit.
Even experienced authors find the publication process daunting. With the EME pre-publication package, you can submit your manuscript with confidence. Your EME editor will begin by conducting a thorough critical review of your book. You’ll receive a report detailing your manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses, and providing concrete recommendations for improvement. Then your editor will prepare the synopsis that your publisher will require, highlighting the aspects of your work that should not get missed. Lastly, your editor will write the query letter that you will use in submitting your work to your publisher. Submit your work in confidence, knowing that you’ve got experts behind you!
Not sure how to begin your novel? Halfway through your memoir and beginning to doubt that anyone will find it interesting? Suffering from a case of writers’ block? There’s no more effective way to jump-start your project and ensure that you’re on the right track than by working one-on-one with an expert. Your EME coach has been where you are now and has come out successfully on the other side; now you can benefit from that success with a program of private instruction. At the beginning of your collaboration, your coach will review whatever you have written, along with whatever background materials you can provide. Then you will have whatever amount of instruction you choose, via phone or web conferencing. During the agreed-upon period of your coaching package, you’ll also have unlimited e-mail contact with your coach. With that kind of individualized expert attention, you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make!
You’re writing your first novel and you’re close enough to completion that you’re starting to think about submission and distribution. You’ve spent months—or years—turning your time and labor into a literary work that you hope will be of value to your readers. You know your book is good, but you also know that for every book on The New York Times Best Sellers List, there are several thousand that never get the attention of anyone outside the authors’ close circles of family and friends.
What will make your masterpiece stand out from the countless manuscripts sitting on publishing house slush piles? If your goal is to self-publish, what will keep your book from being panned in online reviews by self-appointed Goodreads and Amazon critics? No one can guarantee the success of your book, but bringing a professional editor on to help you polish your work can substantially improve your likelihood of success.
Six Reasons Your Book Needs a Professional Editor
Did you become a writer because you were an excellent storyteller? Did you start writing because you’re a technical genius with commas, semicolons, and em-dashes, and you can quote rule differences between the Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook without cracking the spine of either?
As a writer, you have strengths and weaknesses, and as you’ve mastered your craft, you’ve built on the former and improved on the latter. It would stand to reason that you should be able to write, edit, and proofread your own work, and then turn out a perfect or nearly perfect manuscript, wouldn’t it?
In reality, though, that’s almost never the case. As good as you may be, there are tremendous benefits to professional novel editing. Here are six of them:
1. Enhances the Quality of Your Content: The primary reason to hire a professional editor is to make your story better, and here is where editors really earn their keep. You have a good story—solid characters, an interesting plot, compelling dialogues—but you want it to be even better. Professional novel editors have the critical eye that comes from extensive experience.
An editor can help you make your dialogues more believable, improve how your readers relate to your characters, assist you in maintaining the continuity of your point of view, adjust the tone of your story, etc. Trying to edit your own book or relying on a well-intentioned friend to make nuanced enhancements to the fruits of your labor is a risky proposition, at best.
2. Promotes Clarity of Message: You know what you want your sentence, paragraph, or chapter to say, but is that how your audience understands it? Is your message clear, and if it is, could it be made clearer?
A professional editor offers a fresh, unbiased set of eyes—someone who is reading your words, but without the filter of your thoughts.
3. Enhances Efficiency of Text: Writing doesn’t fatigue most writers. Because of this, we sometimes stretch a point or simply use too many words to establish a premise. A professional book editor can help you determine when you’ve written unnecessary prose or belabored a point.
In the end, you make the final determination about what stays and what goes, but a professional book editor may expose those bad writing habits you weren’t aware of.
4. Provides Alternative Perspectives: It’s difficult to know what a reading audience will think of your book prior to publication. Professional editors read and review hundreds of books with a critical eye. Their experience teaches them what is likely to sell and what won’t. Your already good book could be made better by changing the ending, moving the setting, or deleting unnecessary scenes.
5. Ensures Proper Grammar, Spelling, and Style Compliance: Anyone who’s ever typed a document into Microsoft Word knows how often the spelling and grammar check fails to expose obvious errors. It’s a good place to start, but it often won’t pick up on switched homonyms or run-on sentences. It’s also useless when it comes to making certain you are in compliance with the style manual you’re supposed to be following or whether your manuscript is in the format preferred by a particular publishing house.
A proofreader can ensure the next person to read your novel isn’t distracted by punctuation errors, typos, and misspellings. They can also make certain your manuscript doesn’t get passed over because it doesn’t meet submission guidelines.
6. Offers Useful Feedback: The only way to be absolutely sure how your audience will receive your book is by giving it to them to read, but that’s a big risk, and it might not lead to the results you’re looking for. If your editor has questions about your storyline or suggestions about an aspect of your manuscript, there’s a good chance others will, too. Editorial feedback can be invaluable in ensuring the book you’ve written is the book you intended to write.
There is a seventh reason you should consider retaining the services of a professional editor: because professionals do it. At some point in their process, most successful authors have their work reviewed by editors. Whether they develop a relationship with an independent editor or they are assigned an editor via the publishing house that distributes their work, professional novelists and writers aren’t above having their work reviewed. After all, the publisher’s name is also going on the spine of the book.
Services Provided by a Professional Editor
There’s a misconception that editors want to wrest away the creative control of authors and morph their raw, brilliant manuscripts into homogenized mainstream carbon copies of every other book that lines the shelves of chain discount stores. This is not the way editing is supposed to work, and if you have an adversarial relationship with your editor, or even if your editor is trying to change the nature of your book in a way you don’t like, you should consider seeking another editing service.
There are several different types of editing, and you should familiarize yourself with them so you can determine the level of the service you need.
- Proofreading: This is the most basic type of editing. A proofreader will peruse your manuscript and edit typos, misspellings, punctuation errors, and grammar mistakes. The proofreader should also look for inconsistencies in your style.
For instance, if your manuscript uses the serial or Oxford comma in all but a couple of sentences, your proofreader should correct this by making them uniform. Even if your grammar is excellent, it’s generally a good idea to have a person who hasn’t read over the text dozens of times proof your book.
- Developmental Editing: Unlike proofreading or more intensive line-by-line types of editing, developmental editing focuses on the fundamental parts of the novel, such as characters, plot, setting, etc.
For example, the editor might notice that a plot point requires more exposition and may suggest adding text or dialogue to clarify the thought. They might notice too much time has elapsed since you discussed a key element of the plot. The intention is to point you in directions that will help improve the quality of the book.
- Line Editing: This type of editing entails the editor reading through your manuscript and rewriting parts of it. This is not the same as proofreading, which focuses on grammar and punctuation. Your editor will make changes to the wording of your sentences, add and delete text, and sometimes change the order of your narrative. The objective is to create a more enjoyable, readable novel by improving the believability of your dialogue, making your characters more relatable, and ensuring consistency in your point of view, timing, and pace.
Because this is such a hands-on approach, we recognize that it’s essential for writers to have an open line of communication with their editors. We maintain an unusually high level of transparency and communication, so you don’t feel like you’re getting a haircut without a mirror. You’ll be hearing from your editor regularly, and you’ll be able to access our staff when you have questions about the process.
- Comprehensive Manuscript Editing: The focus of this type of editing is to turn a nearly finished novel into a completed work that’s ready to be published and distributed. Major changes to elements of the manuscript should have been completed during earlier edits, and the editor makes final changes directly to the text.
A number of factors determine which type of editing is right for you, including your experience level, your individual strengths and weaknesses, the genre, and your novel’s stage of completion.
Selecting an Editor for Your Book
Any experienced editor is aware of the depth of the relationship authors have with their written works. Still, you need to make certain you choose an editor with whom you’re comfortable, and more importantly, who will help you develop the best manuscript possible.
How do you know an editor—one you’ll be paying—is right for your project? Here are a few things to consider when selecting an editor:
- Experience Level: While this might seem obvious, it’s a little more nuanced than picking the person with the earliest graduation year on their resume. If you’re submitting a manuscript to book publishers, you need an editor who has experience editing novels.
- Credentials: Degrees and certifications do not necessarily make for a great editor, but it’s important for you to know about your editor’s background. We are able to provide client references, and we’re proud of the feedback that we’ve received from past and continuing clients.
- Convenience: There was a time you had to live in a major city to be able to select from a list of qualified editors, but since the advent of electronic communications, it’s now possible to email your manuscript and have a face-to-face conversation with your editor without even being on the same continent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two-thirds of all authors describe themselves as self-employed. Many of those work an unrelated job to pay the bills.
If you work another job until your writing career takes off, you may have to discuss your novel after hours or on weekends. It’s important to hire an editor who can work with you during the time you have allotted.
- Cost: Until you have a book deal, your budget may not allow for much, and if you’re self-publishing, you’re paying for all your expenditures. Your personal finances largely dictate how much you can invest in an editor
There are, however, a number of professional novel-editing services that are both reputable and affordable. Hiring an editor gives you your best chance at publication and successful book sales, so consider this an investment.
Myths and Misconceptions About Editing
Even authors who know they should hire an editor still sometimes forgo the option. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Fear of Losing Creative Control: Your editor should be able to make recommendations about plot, storyline, character development, timing, wording, word length, chapter length, and whatever else they think you should change to make your book better. Having an editor means conveying trust and power over your work to another person, but you will make the final decisions about what stays and what doesn’t.
No one wants to have to duplicate work, but if you don’t find your editor is improving your novel, then you should consider other candidates.
- Confusing Editing with Proofreading: Some authors are under the impression that an editor can be replaced with spellchecking and having a few friends read over the text. That assumption severely minimizes the roll of the editor, and many failed novels began with an approach similar to this.
Comprehensive editing may include spellchecking, but its ultimate goal is to produce a polished, marketable novel. That’s something that requires more than proper grammar. That requires the focus and experience that comes from editorial training.
- Having Someone Else Edit Your Book Somehow Diminishes the Accomplishment: This, once again, stems from the misconception that the job of the editor is to fundamentally change the nature of your book. Whether you’re telling a story in a work of fiction or a collection of short stories or you’re providing advice in a how-to book, your story and the meaning of your text shouldn’t be affected unless it’s in a way you find better.
The job of the editor is to make sure your message is clear and rewarding for your intended audience.
What Is Professional Author Coaching?
Unlike editing, which focuses on improving work that’s close to being finished, professional author coaching assists you through the process of writing your book, sometimes before you’ve even written a word. Perhaps you have an idea for a story, but you’re not sure how you want it to start or finish. You may love the concept you’ve developed and have even started naming characters, but you aren’t able to work out the trajectory of the plot. Maybe you are excellent at narrating a story, but have difficulty writing dialogue.
A professional author coach may be what you need to start moving in the right direction and to further develop your writing skills. Among the services a professional author coach can provide are:
- Suggesting a schedule for your work
- Acting as a sounding board for different ideas
- Saving time by helping you avoid dead ends
- Reviewing rough drafts and making suggestions for improvement
- Helping you make qualitative decisions about your book (voice, tense, length, etc.)
- Delivering honest, critical feedback
- Providing independent exercises that can assist you in overcoming writer’s block and help you improve your writing skills
- Saving money through a thorough edit up front, leaving only light edits for the end
As a writer, you know how easy it is for your project to be derailed by indecision or writer’s block. It can be invaluable to have someone to discuss your project with, help you move past your sticking points, and see your vision to its completion. Even if your book is at too early of a stage to require editing, an author’s coach can still be a valuable asset in your process.
Writing Is Art, Publishing Is Competition
Most new writers are put off by the business aspects of publishing their novels. Whether you intend to submit your manuscript to publishing houses or self-publish, the process can be intimidating. Among the most significant benefits of professional novel editing is it can give you the confidence that comes with knowing you have a refined, professional, finished work that’s ready for publication.
If you’re ready to take your book to a whole new level, contact Edits Made Easy. You’ll be able to speak with our editors before you commit to using our service.
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