First, congratulations! That's very exciting. Writing a book is not an easy feat so the fact that you have this goal and you're doing it is amazing.
Second, if you want to get the most out of your editor there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Hiring an editor is always a great idea. You are the writer, you are close to the words you've written. An outsider's eye is an incredibly valuable tool and will ensure that spelling, grammar and nuances aren't missed but also that everything is worded most effectively. The clearer you can be in your writing the better it will be for your readers.
If you're writing a non-fiction book, chances are your readers are looking for quick, digestible and actionable material. As the writer, you want to get your brain out onto the page which doesn't always lend itself to short, concise and actionable. An editor coming in with a fresh perspective can keep your ideas there and ensure it is readable.
If your editor knows a little about you before they get going they can more effectively edit your book. Tell them about your business, your mission and values, what you stand for in life, your interests, your mindset. All of these things are important for your editor to know. They'll learn your style and the way you say things but also how to potentially re-word things while still matching who you are.
You should also give them an overview of your book so they know what to expect and they can understand what you're building up to. If they know the ins and outs and the way the book ends before they edit they'll be able to ensure the book is cohesive and stays on track.
You want to ensure that your book is written with the end in mind. You want to know the goals of the book so your writing takes your reader through a journey with a clear ending. Your editor can ensure the flow is smooth and is building to that end.
This is all about the specifics of the project; the tangible aspects of the book. So your editor can provide you with an accurate quote and there are no surprises at the end of the project you'll need to let them know all the details.
How many pages is your book (both in the editable version and the final version), what's all included in your book (the types of sections included or additional components) and will your book require any design features (e.g. some books need journaling pages)?
This allows your editor to visualize the final product while they're editing. It's not just about checking for spelling and grammar, there are so many other aspects to editing. As an editor, I am very visual. I like to actually include the design elements in the editable version and I edit with the layout of the book in mind.
Different platforms have different requirements. If you're selling it from your website there will be different requirements than selling it on Amazon. Also, whether your book will be just an electronic book or if there will be a hard copy created.
Since different platforms have different criteria it's good to let your editor know this so they can review any criteria needed. They'll be able to ensure everything follows the guidelines and they can instruct you if changes are recommended
It's also good for your editor to know the goal of your book. If you're using it for lead generation for your business, building credibility in your industry, just have big dreams to write a book, etc. Your editor can review effective strategies to support your goals to direct their editing style.
This is a personal preference of mine. I like to see the layout in PDF as that's closer to a book layout but I prefer to actually edit in Google Drive.
Google Drive allows more than one person to work on the same document together so you can see their edits in real-time. But it also allows your editor to work in "suggest edits" mode. This means that any changes that they make will need to be approved. You can see what the original was and also what they're suggesting you change it to.
This is a lengthy process. Publishing your book should not be a quick in and out. But this allows you to have some control over what's being edited. However, your editor probably has a good reason for suggesting the edits that they do. If they suggest changing something or even taking something out, you should accept the changes. It can be hard as you are probably quite attached to your work but do your best to surrender to the process!
Sometimes editors offer additional services than just editing. They might also do covers or marketing. I have a package that offers marketing specific to Amazon self-publishing. This can include writing things such as the Amazon Product Description, ads, emails, extra resources, etc. As well as, launch support.
It's effective as the only other person who knows your book on a deep level will be me, your editor. This package is great for consistency purposes. Hiring a variety of people can often leave your marketing feeling disjointed. If your editor can provide other services related to launching your book that can save you a lot of time, money and hassle.
Writing, editing, publishing and launching your book can be a big undertaking. Hiring an editor you like and trust is incredibly important. Your book may be the first introduction your readers have to you so the final product can really make or break that relationship.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to [email protected]