We explore when and why you might hire an editor to help with your manuscript.
Handing over your manuscript to an editor can be a very daunting thing. You have toiled over your book for months – maybe years – and now you have made the decision to hire an editor to work on your manuscript.
However, hiring an editor doesn't need to be a terrifying ordeal. Editors are there for you and your book, to make your book the very best version it can be. A good editor will listen to you and your story, ensuring the narratorial voice, plot, characterisation and language are true and strong.
What editorial services can Inky Frog offer?
Our coaching service offers you the chance to work alongside a critical friend, discussing your manuscript as it unfolds. Book coaching can provide support wherever you are in your writing journey. Whether you are just beginning or part way through your manuscript, coaching sessions will keep you on track and help you achieve your writing goals.
Developmental editing (sometimes called structural editing) focuses on the big-picture aspects of your story including plot, pace and characterisation, rather than the sentence level issues covered in a line or copy edit. A developmental editor will identify areas that need bolstering with plot and action, where characters are two dimensional and lacking an arc, where the theme isn't consistent or the story is lacking tension or direction.
Line and copy editing
Line editing focuses sentence by sentence, line by line, on the stylistic elements of your writing, while copy editing concentrates on the mechanics and technical aspects of your sentences.
Once the draft of your manuscript is complete, and you are happy that you have addressed the big-picture issues, you will want to think about the process of line and copy editing, both of which we offer within one service.
We also offer manuscript critiques, either of the whole manuscript, or just a sample. This service might be suitable if you would like feedback about the viability of your project before you take your next steps. A critique will provide an editorial overview of the key elements of your story, how effectively they work and which areas would benefit from revisions. Typically, a manuscript critique would take place before the editing process.
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, ensuring no spelling, grammar or formatting errors appear in the final version of your work. We would only recommend this service if you have chosen to self-publish. If you are submitting your manuscript to agents, they will not expect your work to be proofread as this would be carried out by your publisher at the very end of the project.
But do I need to hire an editor?
Let's look at some circumstances where a writer might choose to hire an editor.
I've got a great idea for a book – I've even written the first three chapters. But I'm stuck.
The main reason a writer might be stuck with only an idea and a handful of chapters is down to the plot. We often know how the story starts and how we want it to end ... but what actually happens in the middle? This can be a very frustrating stage of the process and one where you might benefit from some additional support. Working with a book coach may help you find the plot and structure of your story.
I've finished my manuscript but I'm too nervous to send it to agents
This is quite a common scenario, particularly for those at the beginning of their writing career. Having the courage to send out your beloved manuscript – especially if you haven't had any feedback on it yet – can be quite a terrifying experience.
One solution is to ask friends and family to read your book and give you some honest feedback. The trouble with this is the potential for family or friends to tell you what they think you want to hear. Will they be honest? And, if they are honest, do you have total faith in their understanding of the craft and the industry? Alternatively, you could hire an editor.
I've sent my manuscript to agents but I haven't been successful
The market for children's books is particularly crowded and agents receive countless submissions. Being unsuccessful with an agent doesn't mean that your book isn't worth pursuing, but it might mean that you want to tighten up your story and prose before you resubmit. Hiring an editor for a developmental or line edit could help you achieve this.
I want to self-publish my book
Ok, yes, I would go for a big, fat thumbs up here. Even the most seasoned of self-publishing writers will benefit from an expert pair of eyes on their manuscript. From developmental editing to proofreading, there is much that a self-publishing writer could make use of.
So, why hire an editor?
Put simply, an editor or a book coach can be a critical friend, an extra pair of eyes and someone to guide you with your writing and chosen path to publication. A good editor will be an expert in their field and will know and understand the publishing industry. A great editor will care about your book almost as much as you do!
Contact us to discuss your project – we can't wait to work with you!