Having your manuscript edited by an expert is one of the most valuable things you can do to ensure your book publication is professional and is worthy to compete! These tips will get you headed in the right direction. Please also have a look at articles linked below, which provide more important details regarding editing.
1) Edit your book yourself. Before sending to your editor – Take a step back after writing. Check spelling and grammar. Then, print it off and read it out loud. Look at the big picture – inconsistencies, added fluff, gaps in story, tangents that don’t go anywhere. Does it sound good, natural for your characters? If it doesn’t flow or a word or phrase doesn’t sound right, change it. Watch for spelling and grammar that the computer program didn’t catch – reading out loud while looking at the text on the page usually helps somewhat with this as well but a read word by word, phrase by phrase is also a good check (computer programs do not catch everything). It might be surprising what you will catch. But, this is not a replacement for professional editing. This will simply help ensure that you put your editor’s time and your dollars to good work looking for the things a professional will note that maybe you hadn’t even thought about and/or helping you in areas in which you are struggling.
2) Look for an editor experienced in your book’s genre. Editing a business book, illustrated children’s book, young adult story book, romance, etc. may require finesse in certain areas and/or special knowledge of such as reading levels, accepted subject matter. When you are checking credentials note the type of books the editor is most often involved with. Perhaps ask for a sampling of work they’ve edited.
3) Find a feedback style that works for you. Besides experience, availability and cost, you’ll want to make sure the editor’s style suits your needs and way of working. Do you want someone blunt or tactful? Are you a person that likes to hear information verbally or see it written down? Should your editor offer suggestions or examples or rewritten passages? Check editor’s profiles and then arrange a conversation.
4) Be clear in your communication. Talk about your goals for your manuscript, how you think it shapes up currently, and what type of editing you are expecting (check link below for article on various types of editing). Point out any trouble spots where you’d like them to pay particular attention. Make sure you understand the differences and what editing service you are engaging. Discuss timing and price, and how information will move back and forth. (Editing effort depends on the above, genre, as well as how well manuscript is written. So editors might also need a sample of your work to help them quote based on work effort.)
5) Trust your editor’s recommendations. A professional editor is well-read, understands the genre, and has the professional credentials to do what editors are educated to do – help craft the best story with the best words in a precise fashion that enables you readers to enjoy and easily read your story.