I wrote yesterday about what I’ve learned from editors. It’s a long list. I should mention the need for them at various levels.
Most people understand the need for copy editing, sometimes called line editing. You need someone to tell you when you’ve left a word out, typed one twice, or forgotten that important comma.
You need a proofreader to compare earlier versions of a manuscript with corrected versions, to assure all the errors were actually corrected. They will catch typographical errors. Except when they don’t, which is why you need more than one set of eyes looking over your work.
You many want to work with an editor who understands plotting and story flow. Those are different skill sets, and not all editors have them.
Continuity is essential in a book. Do you use the same name for a character consistently? Is it always spelled the same? Is the timeline of the story linear (if it is supposed to be)? Is something missing?
This just skims the surface of what an editor can do. What I wanted to emphasize particularly today is the need for that one last edit.
You may think you’re through with editiors once your draft is perfect. Think again. There is the potential for introducing numerous errors at every step along the way to publication. If you are using a traditional publishing house most of the final editing will be taken care of for you. You’ll probably receive galleys to go over one last time.
If you are printing a book yourself you need to have an editor look it over once you have loaded the copy into a desktop publishing program and have it looking the way you want it to look. Then, you’ll need to have someone check it over once it has been uploaded to a service such as Create Space.
If you’re using the same files to create a digital version of your book, you’ll need an editor to make sure the transfer from print format to digital worked the way you wanted it to. Many errors--particularly formatting errors--take place in that transfer. Finally, you’ll want someone to look at it once your files meet the specifications of your digital publisher. The process they use to turn your file into, say, a Kindle book, can introduce errors as well.
Meanwhile, don't forget that I'm giving away free Kindle copies of three of my books tomorrow on Amazon. Follow the link below to my author page on Saturday, then click on Blood Anjels, Idaho Snapshots or Wizard Chase.