The editing and publishing process can be confusing to anyone, even a seasoned author. There are multiple routes to publication, several levels and types of editing, and unending options for design and layout. And, of course, hundreds of freelance professionals to choose from to help you turn your manuscript into the best book it can be.
One tool that can bring order to some of this chaos is a sample edit. A sample edit is a free edit of a portion of your manuscript provided by a freelance editor.
Here’s what a sample edit can do for you:
Demystify the editing process—You’ll learn about the mechanics of editing, and how edits can improve your work.
Establish the level of edit you need—It’s often challenging for a writer to assess their own manuscript. A professional editor will be able to determine whether your manuscript is ready for a copy edit or a line edit, or if some developmental work is needed. (See my Services page for descriptions of the types of editing.)
Help you choose an editor—The proof will be in the pudding. A sample edit should demonstrate an editor’s skills as well as personality. The former ensures the job gets done right, and the latter that it’s a comfortable and enjoyable process for you. You’ll want to pay attention to not only the kinds of changes the editor makes, but the tone and substance of their comments and queries.
You might wonder why an editor would want to do sample edits, which means working without getting paid. These are some benefits to editors:
We learn a great deal about your manuscript.
We can determine how much time and effort the editing will involve, which enables us to set a fair fee for the project.
We can demonstrate our skills to you.
Sample edits are a win-win for authors and editors, and can help set the stage for a mutually beneficial relationship that helps you produce a manuscript you can be proud of.