Editing FAQs

dreamstime_14649214Whether you’re set on a traditionally published route or have chosen to go indie, hiring an editor can be one of the most important decisions you make as an author. It can also be a bit confusing, and you might not even know what to ask. I hope these answers to some commonly asked questions help.

Q: Why should I hire an editor?

A: This is a hot topic in the writing community. I can understand the reluctance, especially if your budget is tight or if you’ve never worked with an editor before. But if you intend on publishing as a potential career, why not step forward with the most professional product you can create?

Q: Why isn’t there a price list on your website?

A: Every manuscript is different; every author is different. That’s why I price each editing project individually. If you’ve been through multiple drafts, beta-reader input, and perhaps developmental editing, copyediting often becomes a simpler process and probably will cost you less. If a manuscript is long, complex, and has not undergone revisions, the editing will take longer and probably will cost more. Contact me and I’ll be happy to give you a ballpark range.

Q: What should I look for when choosing an editor?

A: There’s more to editing than price. You want to make sure you’re a good fit with your potential editor and that you’re on the same page, so to speak, with what you need. Ask questions. We love questions.

Q: I don’t know what kind of editing I need. What’s the difference?

A: Generally, there are three flavors of editing: developmental (or structural) editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Developmental editing looks at the “big” issues in your manuscript, such as plot problems, unresolved story threads, undeveloped characters, scenes or even chapters that might better serve your story if they were cut, reordered, or revised. Copyediting gets down into the trenches. It deals with things like sentence structure and flow, grammar, usage, spelling, and those little inconsistencies like calling a character “Suzie” in Chapter Three and “Norma” in Chapter Ten. Proofreading is that last check before you send your manuscript out the door or upload it to a website. The proofreading process is designed to catch errors missed or introduced during revision.

Q: Do you edit all genres?

A: Most of them, yes, except zombies, horror, and poetry. Nothing against these forms, but I don’t read enough of them to feel confident that I’m giving you my best work. I can recommend some of my colleagues for these genres, though.

Q: How much experience do you have?

A: I’ve been informally editing manuscripts for over twenty years: my own novels and those of writing colleagues. In 2006, I began editing professionally as part of my freelance writing business—blog posts and web articles at first, and then I  moved into full-length manuscripts.

Q: Can I see a sample of your work?

A: Of course. I’d be happy to point you toward my references (and you can see some endorsements here). I’ll also give you a free sample edit of the first five or so pages of your manuscript.

Q: How do I know you’re not going to change my story or mess around with my voice?

A: I won’t. I do nothing to your manuscript without your consent. Ultimately, it’s your story—your voice. I make suggestions based on my experience and what I find when I read your work. I mark those suggestions on your manuscript, and it’s up to you to accept or reject those suggestions. I’m a writer, too, so I understand how important your voice and story are to you.

Q: How can I contact you to ask more questions or get a quote?

A: Stop by my “contact” page at https://laurieboris.com/contact_laurie/.

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