March 27, 2023

Book Series: Choosing Your Best Editor

This week on TBOA, Rochelle and I talk about the editorial process for a self-published book: who to hire, where to find them, and what to expect.


Talking Points

Why you want a developmental editor—what they do and how to work with one.

The role of a copyeditor and how to determine who has the skill sets for your particular book.

How to decide which editorial comments to accept and which to ignore.

Determining schedules and timing with your editor (hint: more time does not guarantee a better book).

Where to go to find potential editors for your project.

Quotable Quotes

“What we’re talking about today is when you’re self-publishing, and you need someone to make sure that your book holds together…that it’s not rife with typos and your thoughts are carried coherently throughout the book.”—RM

“I suppose the worst case scenario (after editorial review) was to start from scratch. The best-case scenario is it’s perfect. Certainly, the reality is somewhere in between.”—JS

“I can’t imagine anybody ever gets a developmental edit that says it’s perfect. Editors by their nature can always find something to change.”—RM

“I can imagine getting that feedback and pushing back slightly and asking, ‘Why do you think that’s going to make the book better?’”—JS

“I want something that’s more than ‘I did this once and let me show you how to do it too’…that is not an authority book.”—RM

“The advice to the listener is to get a developmental editor and listen with an open mind.”—JS

“There aren’t nearly as many people hanging a shingle for developmental editing as there are for copy editing. So it does create some complexity in the search, but the outcome is worth it.”—RM

“There was a torturous experience that was very common when I wrote books for O’Reilly. You’d still be working on chapter 10, and you’d be getting edits back on chapter one.”—JS

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