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Knowing When It’s Time to Hire a Professional Editor for Your Manuscript


Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear. ~Patricia Fuller

Knowing When It’s Time to Hire a Professional Editor for Your Manuscript

Deciding when to hire an editor for your book depends on several factors. First, before hiring an editor, it’s essential that you have completed your manuscript. Editing at earlier stages is premature since you may make significant changes during later revisions.

After you’ve revised and edited your manuscript until you have nothing else to give it, your next step is to get feedback from beta readers.  A beta reader reviews manuscripts prior to publication, usually without pay. This can be a friend or colleague or professional who can give you honest, constructive feedback. Once you’ve made revisions based on their suggestions, hiring an editor lends expertise to further enhance your work.

Here are a few exceptions to ‘waiting until you have a completed manuscript:’

  • Struggling with significant aspects of your manuscript, such as plot structure, character development, pacing, or overall coherence? A developmental or content editor can be invaluable to assist you midway in helping to get you back on track. Then, you can complete your manuscript as suggested above.
  • Working with an editor early on can potentially save you time in the long run. By addressing major issues and receiving feedback early, you can avoid spending excessive time writing in a direction that may require significant revisions later. This can help streamline your writing process and make the subsequent rounds of revisions more efficient. 
  • Some authors prefer to have a complete draft before seeking external input, while others find value in involving an editor early on. Assess your needs, goals, and budget to determine the best approach for your specific writing.

Professional editing is an opportunity to elevate your writing and create the best possible version of your work. It significantly increases your chances of success with traditional or self-publishing. It enhances your book’s marketability.

Consider editing services to be an investment. Before choosing an editor, make sure the two of you can communicate well. Your working relationship, like all relationships, will depend on it. Discuss their services, timeline, and pricing to make an informed decision.

As any published writer will tell you, there’s an excellent editor behind every well-written book. So, choose well and … ENJOY!


Jasmyne Consulting - 30 year’s experience - Creative Book Writing Coach/Editor for Memoirs and Novels, helping clients overcome writer’s block to successfully complete and publish their work. She helps writers at all levels including ESL clients. Freelance writing for resumes, proposals business and query letters, blogs, brochures, websites.

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