Okay, so I was waiting to receive confirmation before posting the news, but now my spot has been reserved, and I can tell you that I have hired a freelance editor to do a substantive edit of my manuscript.
I am super excited! She came recommended by a successful self-published author I met at the writing conference I attended in March. I read one of the books she’d edited just to check out her work, and it was very clean and error-free.
I like that she has experience in the publishing industry as a former editor at HarperCollins. She did a sample edit of the first two pages of my manuscript, and we talked on the phone to discuss my goals. She had an opening July 24, and that worked well with my own editing schedule, so I booked her for that date with the option to push it back into August if need be.
Basically, just so you know (I didn’t until I looked into editing) a substantive edit addresses structure, voice, character, narrative arc, and flow. It will also include a line-edit, which means a correction of grammar and punctuation, drawing attention to factual or stylistic inconsistencies, rephrasing for clarity and style, and reworking or removing awkward language. In the end, I’ll get back a line-edited manuscript as well as an editorial letter with suggestions for structural changes and a phone call to discuss the changes and where to revise from there.
I think this high-level edit will be great for my novel as a first-time author and will also give me insight for my future writing. After the novel goes through this substantive edit and I do a quick revision to incorporate the suggested changes, it will be ready to submit to literary agents. Yay!
I am also having the editor write a one-paragraph hook/summary to include in the query letters that I send to agents to market my book, a one-page synopsis to send to agents, and a book description for Amazon should I decide to self-publish. I wrote a sample query letter for the conference I attended, and it was an epic failure in my opinion, so it will be nice to have an expert, outside opinion on the best way to market my book.
Anyway, I’ve taken a break from editing for a visit from my family, and now it’s time to get back to it, and try to make that July 24 deadline.