Hire a Copy Editor


Savvy professional speakers get feedback on their presentations. Savvy authors hire copy editors to make their writing read better.

The copy edit is cleanup work. Once the manuscript is complete, your concern moves to punctuation, grammar and style. Now is the time to make your information more readable.

There is no such thing as a publishable first draft. — William Targ, bookseller, collector, editor and publisher.

There is nothing wrong with unpolished writing, but there is no excuse for not having it cleaned up by an editor. Hire a wordsmith, a grammarian or a picky English pro.

Interview several editors. Ask about their schedule, when they can get your project. How long will this take? What do they charge? And the most important question to ask is: Has he or she worked on this category of book before? The best editor for your book is one who knows and loves your subject.

The editor returned the manuscript and the pages were filled with red marks. Attached was an apologetic note saying, “I am sorry for the mess but I thought you would want to know about the errors.” The author called the editor and thanked her. “I would much rather that you find the mistakes now than have my readers find them later.”

When you publish a book, it’s the world’s book. The world edits it.— Philip Roth, New York Times Book Review.

I trust my editors. To save time, I send the file attached to email rather than the manuscript on paper. That way, the editor edits and proofs at the same time. I do not have to enter the corrections to the manuscript and re-proof it. All I have to do is reread my manuscript to discover how much better I sound now.

Each manuscript presents a different challenge. Some require punctuation corrections while others demand a rewrite. According to Brenner Information Group, editors average sixty-one hours of work per book (depending on length and complexity). Yes, editing is a rewording activity.

On stage, you try to put your best foot forward and get feedback on your presentation. In your book, you put your best page forward and have an editor make you look like a great writer.

Your book is a member of your family. You want the very best for it. Give it a checkup and dress it well so you can be a proud parent.

Dan Poynter

Dan Poynter

CEO & President at Para Publishing
Dan Poynter, Author (132 Books), Publisher (Since 1969), Speaker (CSP). He is past-chair of NSA's Writer-Publisher PEG and the founder of the PEG newsletter.
Dan Poynter
Dan Poynter
Dan Poynter

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