“The first critical step in self-publishing your book is finding a great editor. Sarah’s book will pay for itself 100 times over.”

—Mark Levine, CEO of Hillcrest Media Group and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing


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Even in self-publishing—perhaps especially in self-publishing—editing remains a critical step toward publishing a high-quality, professional book. But how do new authors go from finishing their first manuscripts to actually working with an editor? 

For authors new to independent publishing, the idea of hiring a professional editor can be daunting. Concerns may include: 

  • What does an editor do?

  • Do I really need an editor for my book?

  • How do I know what kind of editing my book needs?

  • Where can I find beta readers?

  • How can I find a great editor when I’m not an editor myself?

The Indie Author’s Guide to Book Editing shows authors new to the publishing process how to make sure their manuscripts receive the editorial attention they deserve, even with a self-publisher’s unique production schedule, budget constraints, and publishing goals.

If you know you need editing but you’re just not sure where to start, The Indie Author’s Guide to Book Editing will demystify the process. You’ll discover effective ways to self-edit, work with beta readers, avoid scams and unqualified editors, and find the perfect editor for your book.

Praise for The Indie Author’s Guide to Book Editing

Early reviews call The Indie Author’s Guide to Book Editing “indispensable,” “a future classic,” “clear, concise, and full of great material,” and “[a] quick and easy (yet incredibly smart) read.”

The Indie Author’s Guide to Book Editing: Contents

What Editing Means for Independent Authors

  • Why readers expect quality, consistency, and industry-standard style
  • How professional editing can enhance the quality of your book, your sales, and your reputation as an author

The Many Layers of Editing

  • An exploration of common types of editing: developmental editing, substantive editing, copyediting, proofreading, and others
  • How to ensure you and your freelance editor are on the same page, even if terms are used differently

Self-Edit like an Editor

  • Tips and tricks editors use when reviewing manuscripts
  • How to mirror an editor’s approach: start broad, then hone in

Beta Feedback and Ongoing Development

  • How to find and work with beta readers
  • How to set realistic expectations and solicit useful feedback
  • Resources to help you develop your craft

Letting Go and Looking for an Editor

  • Suggestions for reaching out to a publishing professional for the first time
  • Strategies for finding and screening an editor

Hiring an Editor

  • How to find editors with the right training and experience for your book
  • How to avoid being scammed
  • What to expect (and possible red flags) in a freelance editing contract

Reviewing an Electronically Edited Manuscript

  • Suggested setting options for reviewing tracked changes
  • Screenshots of Word’s tracked changes feature (PC and Mac)

Wrapping Up

  • Ways to thank your editor
  • Options for dealing with disagreements