It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an author in possession of a manuscript must be in want of an editor. But how do you choose an editor? How much should you spend? Do you even need editing at all?
The answer is, it depends. If your manuscript is absolutely riddled with errors, then publishers and literary agents who skim your sample chapters might find it so distracting that they write you off without much consideration.
“I just got the manuscript back from my editor, and it’s covered in red. What do I do now?”
Not all repetition is bad. It can be used to emphasize or connect important ideas, like “I have a dream” in MLK’s best-known speech. But most of the time, it’s simply clutter. You want the reader so immersed in your story that they forget they’re reading words on a page. Anything that reminds them of your fingers on the keyboard MUST go.
Most editors (or maybe it’s just me) like to delude themselves that they are so eagle-eyed, so perfectionist that no error would dare elude them. According to one study, however, human proofreaders—even professional ones—are at best 95% accurate. Test me, test me! Surely I can beat that. I think.
You’ve written something. You’ve poured all your skill, creativity, and time into it. You’ve made sacrifices to reach the finish line, and you can now congratulate yourself on a job well done. But what’s next? There are so many types of editing: