Many writers agree that the first draft of any book can be the hardest. You still need to write this draft whether or not you want it. After writing the first draft, you can choose to self-edit it or hire book editors in the UK to do it on your behalf. Remember that a book can go through multiple rounds of editing. But the first part of editing is known as developmental editing. This page will discuss what you should know about a developmental book editor.
A developmental book editor
A developmental book editor is simply a professional editor who can work with you on the content and structure of your book. Other types of editing usually focus on smaller things, such as grammar, structure, typos, and verbiage, developmental book editors can help with larger picture issues, such as target audience, focus, plot, and other elements involving the content.
A developmental book editor may not tell you what is wrong or right. They can only discuss with you and work together to achieve your goals and attract the right audience.
But a copy editor can handle the grammar of your book while a developmental book editor can ask questions, allow you to defend your choices and points, uncover holes in your arguments, and even highlight plot inconsistencies.
In most cases, explaining yourself to a person criticizing your work helps you understand your problems even without them saying anything. The role of a developmental book editor is like that of a writing partner, and not an editor. They can work with you to deal with the problems in your book. The conversation is about problem-solving.
If you want to begin the writing process for your book, you need to know the writing and self-publishing steps. Some writers choose to use writing software that can be useful to both the writer and developmental book editor.
Most writers usually get too close to their work to discover the issues with it. This can happen because you invest your emotions and get connected personally with the writing to make it hard to see the problems.
The story can be in your head, so you know the characters, understand your goals, and many more. However, this doesn’t mean that your story will be understood by your readers.
A developmental book editor can ask for several revisions so that you can rearrange scenes, delete scenes, and more. As a result, this can produce a story that makes sense to you. This is because you may have read every part but it may not make sense to new readers. This closeness to your story requires an outside view to identify the problems you can’t see. A developmental book editor can read your manuscript and offer you feedback.
Feedback allows you to discuss with the developmental book editor your intent, and you can discuss the best way to achieve your goals before revising your draft. You may do several rounds of developmental editing. Different editors and writers tend to have their preferences for process and format, so ensure that you discuss these things with your editor.
Finding a good developmental book editor
There are various ways you can find a good developmental book editor. It’s a good idea to begin looking out for developmental book editors before your writing is ready for one as it can be a long process.
The good thing is that when you identify a good developmental book editor, you usually don’t look for another one over time. And, even if you eventually require to get another developmental book editor, you will know the process.
One of the ways you can find a good developmental editor is to check the interior flap of books. You should make sure that the book is well-edited and see who did the edit and find out if they can welcome new clients. Keep in mind that you need to check their schedule and your budget. If you are a new author, you should avoid looking for the bestseller’s editor. However, if you find another writer in your genre and liked the book, then it makes sense to contact their editor.
You should also seek referrals from other writers. This should be a good reason why you need to network with other writers because many of them are willing to recommend editors they had perfect work experiences with. If you have writers you can contact and whose books you like, you can ask them if they can recommend any editors. But if you don’t have any writer in mind, most authors recommend developmental book editors to their platforms.
You can also research a developmental book editor who specializes in your genre and has the right qualification. The key thing to check in a good developmental book editor is to see if they are suitable for your project. Therefore, you need to ensure that they worked with writers in your genre before and have proper experience with great testimonials.
Once you come up with a short-list of developmental book editors options, you can contact them and ensure that they are interested in working with you. In this way, you can remove some potential editors from the list simply by checking their genre experience.
When you create a list of options, you can narrow down your developmental editor options. The right developmental book editor should have the proper references. As explained earlier, one of the ways you can find a good editor is through referrals from the writers you trust. This is especially true because some editors can curate their websites with wrong information. Therefore, hearing it from a person you know has nothing to benefit can be the best way to find a developmental book editor.
That said, you should also remember to read any testimonials and reviews you can find on the market. You can read them from independent websites that a developmental editor has no control over.
You can also reach out to a potential developmental book editor with questions to find out their schedule and process. This can also help you see if they are a good fit for your project.