Book Series: Choosing Your Best Editor

We get a fair number of questions from aspiring authors of expertise books, so we decided to do a special occasional series of episodes to help you get your book written, published and ultimately purchased by your ideal audience.

We start with how to choose your best editor:

Why you want a developmental editor—what they do and how to work with one.

The role of a copyeditor and how to determine who has the skill sets for your particular book.

How to decide which editorial comments to accept and which to ignore.

Determining schedules and timing with your editor (hint: more time does not guarantee a better book).

Where to go to find potential editors for your project.


“What we’re talking about today is when you’re self-publishing and you need someone to make sure that your book holds together…that it’s not rife with typos and your thoughts are carried coherently throughout the book.”—RM

“I suppose worst case scenario (after editorial review) was to start from scratch. Best case scenario is it’s perfect. Certainly the reality is somewhere in between.”—JS

“I can’t imagine anybody ever gets a developmental edit that says it’s perfect. Editors by their nature can always find something to change.”—RM

“I can imagine getting that feedback…and pushing back slightly and saying why, do you think that’s going to make the book better?”—JS

“I want something that’s more than ‘I did this once and let me show you how to do it too’…that is not an authority book.”—RM

“The advice to the listener is get a developmental editor and listen with an open mind.”—JS

“There aren’t nearly as many people hanging a shingle for developmental editing as there are for copy editing. So it does create some complexity in the search, but the outcome is worth it.”—RM

“There was a torturous experience that was very common when I wrote books for O’Reilly…you’d still be working on chapter 10 and you’d be getting edits back on chapter one.”—JS


Recent Episodes: