Editing the Novel to Foster Success and Profit

Editing the Novel [Click to download PDF]

We may be our own worst critics, but we are most definitely our own worst editors.  We’re usually pretty lousy editors for our friends and family too.

Editing a novel is a challenge in being both authoritative and subservient, insightful and indifferent.  The best editors have no emotional involvement in the work.  They forgive nothing, they assume nothing, and, while they are tactful, they tell the author what is right and what is wrong without apology.

If you have written a book and want to be your own editor, can you really get that detached from your own writing?  Can you truly bring an objective eye to a story written by your child or your good friend?

Probably, but it takes practice and discipline.  It takes bringing different tools to different tasks.  It takes being able to guide the author without becoming a co-author.  And it takes knowing your grammar really, really well.

As the market for self-publishing on the Internet grows, the role of the personally contracted editor is growing as well.  Many authors are bypassing the lengthy submission-editing-revision-proofing journey of traditional print publication and offering their work for sale on Amazon and other e-publishing sites.  The contracted editor is becoming the “beta reader,” the work’s first real test subject, an objective audience that can help the author to success and profit.