Today's guest poster is author Alissa Baxter, who writes both chick lit and traditional Regency romances.
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Not all editors are the same. Some editors may wear a couple of editing hats, while others may specialise in only one form of editing. It is important to bear this in mind when you are submitting a manuscript to an editor. You need to be clear what you can realistically expect from them. Do they offer developmental edits as well as copy edits? Or do they specialise in proofreading? It is important to be specific about the type of editing you need when you hire an editor.
Here are the different types of editors. A publishing house will have all these types of editors working in-house, while a freelance editor may specialise in one or more of these fields. So if you are looking for a proofreader for your manuscript, don’t send it to someone who specialises only in developmental editing.
There are four types of editors:
An acquisitions editor works as part of a publishing team, and acquires manuscripts for publication. They are concerned more with the business side of publishing.
A developmental editor looks at the content and structure of your book. If your manuscript lacks a clear direction, your developmental editor will help you find it. This type of editor looks at the big picture, and their job is to challenge you and to point out any holes in your plot.
A copy editor checks your manuscript for grammar and spelling mistakes, and looks at style and punctuation. This type of editor will check for inconsistencies, repetition and omissions. A copy editor also makes your manuscript ready for publication, and will try to pick up any possible legal issues in your work.
A proofreader reads late stage proofs to check for any typographical errors. When the material has been edited, laid out, and designed, it is then sent to the proofreader, who will carefully check it.
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For the aspiring authors who are entering ROSA's Strelitzia contest for unpublished authors, it's worth noting that just as not all editors have the same skills, not all authors have the same skills. While the published author who is allocated as your mentor will try to the best of their ability to help you in every way, and to give you the type of help you most need, please bear in mind that they're human too, with different strengths and weaknesses. Our entry requirements this year are more stringent than in previous years exactly so we can match you to the best possible mentor for your needs.