Any nonfiction author who’s ever published their work will tell you there’s one thing that’s absolutely indispensable when it comes to creating a great book.
What is it? The latest and greatest writing app? A list of inspirational writing quotes from the greats?
No. That one thing is an editor.
But the greatest nonfiction authors don’t need editors, right? Surely, with enough experience under their belt, an author can make the whole concept of editing redundant. Right?
Wrong. Every nonfiction writer needs an editor.
Repeat after me: Every writer.
Truthfully, though, there’s much more to the story than that. Finding the right nonfiction editor for your book isn’t as simple as going to a website with a list of names and picking one out of a hat.
How do you go about it, then? Glad you asked.
First, you need to determine what kinds of nonfiction editing your book needs.
And what kinds of nonfiction editing are out there? Here’s a primer:
The 4 Types of Nonfiction Editor
If you’re a first time-time author, your book could almost certainly benefit from assistance from a developmental editor. This level of editing involves looking at the big picture, with an eye to structure, voice, tone, and even marketability. A developmental editor’s job is to help you make sure you’re telling your story in the right way, making sure all the right pieces are there, and that they fit together in the best way.
Line editor. The “flow” editor, who helps you get things right at the paragraph level. He or she ensures the content flows nicely from section to section and makes your language as precise as possible.
Copy editor (or copyeditor). The “nitty gritty” editor. The copy editor is more of a technical editor, correcting issues of spelling, grammar, and syntax, as well as checking for internal consistency.
Proofreader. The “make it perfect” editor. A proofreader is your last chance to catch errors. This editor will typically review your manuscript once it’s been laid out, to mark up any edits that need to be made so they can be fixed before the book goes to press. It’s the most “basic” form of editing, but it’s also essential for every book.
How to Determine What Kind of Nonfiction Editing Your Book Needs
Phew. That list is probably a little longer and more complicated than you expected, isn’t it?
So where do you start?
For one, you will need a copyeditor and a proofreader, so you can check those off the list right now.
And there’s a good chance you’ll want the help of a line editor and a developmental editor.
But how do you figure out precisely what your book needs when it comes to nonfiction editing? And can one nonfiction editor provide all of these services, or will you need to hire multiple professionals?
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you don’t know what you don’t know.
That’s why we created Every Writer Needs an Editor, a completely free guide to finding and working with a nonfiction editor for your book.
In just fourteen info-packed pages, Every Writer Needs an Editor will help you determine what kind of editing help your nonfiction book needs, how to find a great nonfiction editor (or editors) who can give you that help, and how to work with them to ensure your nonfiction book comes out fantastic.
At Winning Edits, we’re extremely well-equipped to guide you into this next, crucial phase of your book’s development. Our team is composed of both writers and nonfiction editors (and several of us who are both!). We’ve been on both sides of the fence and have an intimate understanding of what it takes to find a great nonfiction editor and how to foster a fruitful writer–editor relationship—one that will result in a spectacular final product.
Every Writer Needs an Editor is our concise guide with everything you need to know to get started on the next step of your nonfiction book’s journey. And you can grab it here, right now, totally free.