10 Things To Remember When Your Manuscript Is Being Edited

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Your manuscript is complete. You have been through it with a fine comb, made a dozen changes and only when you are happy with what you have produced, have you decided to hunt for a good editor. Rightly, so. In my years of experience as an editor, I have noticed that the role of an editor is not very clear to people who are not editors. Fair enough, we don’t need to know everything. Here is a checklist of things you need to remember before and during the editing process –

  1. Check your editor’s experience and portfolio. Don’t hire just about anyone who can write grammatically correct sentences. Check experiences, work done and preferably, some samples if the editor is a stranger to you. Hire someone who knows how a manuscript should be edited, in particular – this is important.

  2. Your editor is not your ghostwriter. Unless the terms of the editing procedure includes re-writing, don’t expect the same from your editor. You are the author. If changes need to be made in the manuscript, your editor will only suggest them and edit after you have incorporated them.

  3. Your editor will edit your manuscript. If other services like preparing the concept note, summary, etc are not in the package, it is rude to try to get them done right before you pay the last instalment.

  4. If you want your editor to follow a certain pace, make sure you do that when you are reviewing or have an email from your editor to answer. Keep each other in loop and respect each others’ times.

  5. You are hiring your editor’s services for your manuscript. Their time is still theirs. Please respect that.

  6. Revision takes time. Be patient.

  7. Do the first edit yourself. This will point out developmental flaws if any, and you can mend them. Hand over the manuscript when you are satisfied with the plot.

  8. Listen to what your editor is saying. If you have a counter-reasoning, point it out. But do understand that the editor’s keen eye notices what yours might skip.

  9. The editor will make what you have written, look the best that it can. The story will still remain yours; as will be the onus of making it a best seller. Editing is a tool used in the process of creating a book, it is not a lever.

  10. You would require your manuscript ready in time, right? Yes. And your editor would expect the installments to come in time, without having to remind repeatedly.

That’s all for now. All the best with your book!

Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma

Samarpita eats, sleeps and breathes content and her life revolves around words. She curates contents for many brands, of which The India Diaries happens to be the closest to the heart. An economist by education and a wordsmith by passion, she chose the life of a digital nomad after quitting full time journalism few years ago. A multi-tasker, this ex-journalist freelances as a content creator-cum-curator, manuscript editor, travel writer and social media manager.