Editing comes in three major forms. The type of editing your manuscript needs will help you determine how much editing will cost, how long it will take an editor to complete your project, and how much work you will have to do post-editing.
The first type we will discuss, by far the most all-encompassing, is the developmental edit. This happens when the editor completes a thorough and in-depth edit of your entire manuscript. It can also be called substantive editing.
In a developmental edit, the editor will work with every element of your manuscript, from words to phrases to sentences, to overall structure and style. The editor will point problems with the plot, setting, characters—basically everything in the manuscript. and all other existing material.
This type of edit can result in some major changes to your manuscript. While this can be very difficult for some authors to accept, it’s important to remember, the point of hiring an editor is to make your book marketable. You want readers to like it and buy it and tell their friends to buy it. The right editor will help you get your book to that point. Your editor will challenge you and make your work better.
Here are some tips for working with a developmental editor:
1. Be open to feedback. The editor understands that you may have put years of work into your book. The person you choose wants your book to succeed as much as you do. If they don’t, then you’ve chosen the wrong editor. So when your editor gives you feedback, it’s important to take it into consideration. You have final say over your final product, but you should listen to your editor’s suggestions.
2. Make sure you and your editor are on the same page about your book. If you are finding your editor’s feedback really isn’t working for you, perhaps it’s because the two of you have different visions of your final product. Communicate with your editor exactly what it is you have in mind for your project.
3. Think big picture. This is not the time to worry about misspelled words or punctuation issues. It all goes back to the direction in which you’re looking to go with your manuscript