Writing a book, an article or a story is wonderful as inner feelings and thoughts can be expressed into concrete form. A person’s thoughts and ideas can reach out to the world through various mediums including written communication. But if people who read your work cannot understand the ideas you want to convey then all your effort and hard work is in vain. Therefore it may be well worth the effort to hire a content editor/proof-reader as per your requirement.
There are primarily three types of editing:
- Content/ Developmental Editing,
- Copy Editing, and
- Line Editing.
- Content/Developmental Editing involves the larger picture in the book. It addresses structural issues like plot holes, wandering timelines, character inconsistencies, excessive exposition etc.
- Copy Editing does the necessary fact checking and assists with readability of a book. It ascertains that the prose is smooth and style constant.
- Line Editors focus on punctuation, grammar, verb, tense, spelling etc.
When one decides to engage a professional editor, it may mean that you would want the editor to work on some of your documents which you perceive to be important in your life. The challenge then is which professional to sign up who is able to take these documents to a higher level.
Look for a person with sound educational background. It is logical that a person with public school, convent school, missionary and Christian school experience would be a better editor than a person who hails from a vernacular school background merely because one editor is educated in the very language he is editing and the other editor is educated in a different language but is editing in English. There definitely would be a qualitative difference in both their work.
It has been very rightly said that “experience has no substitute”. A writer/editor who has already proof-read and edited a book is in a far more better position than a professional who has no book editing experience even though his/her English is good. An editor should be able to place himself in other people’s shoes (author, publisher etc.) and edit the book as per the required expectations of his clients.
If your manuscript is a scientific paper then an editor with humanities background is likely to be less excited about formulations and calculations simply because that particular editor relates less to such issues than the humanities field. Use your people skills to filter out such professionals.
Improving the Quality
Whether you want to submit your document to the traditional publisher or self-publish your manuscript , you will save yourself a lot of embarrassment and criticism if you have had an editor look through your work first and root out the mistakes. This will generally improve the quality of your documents and increase the level of acceptance with publishers.
Many content editors may be competent to take on your work but do they have adequate time to allocate for your work. Some may accept the work but may not be in a position to deliver in time and in the end you may have to face the embarrassment.
There may be other factors one could consider like if you are from the Asian region and these services are required then one may seriously take into account a native who can understand your ideas and execute them as per your expectation.