More than One Way to Skin A Book

By CBramkamp creative writing, Newbie Guide, Newbie Writers Podcast, Writing Tips Comments Off on More than One Way to Skin A Book


City LIght books, SF  CAThere are three kinds of editors, all important, and all jumbled together when we attend a conference or workshop.

To deconstruct this a bit, there are now three editorial specialities.

The foremost is Editor

The Editor is the  gate keeper, the person who vets projects.  The visual is that big blustery white man who won’t hire Peter Parker until he gets just the right shot of Spider Man.  Since you probably don’t want to become your own best subject, there are other ways to get attention.

How to make friends with the blog/periodical editor.

Study the periodical, and /or develop  a relationship with the blog editor, if you want to write for Newbie Writers, be nice to Damien and listen to the pod casts so you have an idea of what we’re about.  The more you know, the better you can tailor your work to what the editor wants and needs, and the better your chances of appearing in their magazine or blog.

Always query an editor with your idea and don’t attach anything, attachments make editors break out into hives and that is not a good first impression.Queries should give the editor a complete picture of what your article is about and also include a  brief professional biography.

Want to pursue traditional publishing?  You’ll find three different editors;

The ACQUIRING EDITOR buys the book from an agent or author.

The DEVELOPMENT or DEVELOPMENTAL EDITOR. helps the author, if needed, with plot, structure, pacing, and writing style. The author works with this editor as he or she  makes revisions.

LINE EDITOR, which is very close to what COPY EDITORS do (or sometimes it is one and the same.) Line editing checks the manuscript for consistent STYLE (the “rules” for language use–at least in the context of a single book–including spelling, punctuation, and use of italics or other typographical devices). They also check general punctuation, proper spelling and grammar. They make sure the story logic holds up, the sequence is correct and the content is clear and consistent. Even if the editor does a line edit, s/he will be followed by a copy editor checking for about the same things as well as formatting. The author also revises or makes decisions on questions that may arise after this process.

The third kind of Editor is one who will help you polish you book manuscript either before you submit to be self published or after a traditional publisher has purchased your book.

Freelance editors are increasingly specialized and fall into the above categories. So for story ideas, look for a Development Editor – which is often what book coaches do.  For line editing; finding the typos, hire a copy editor (which is what I do for my books).  Good freelance editors bring years of experience to the table and that’s exactly what you pay for.  However, consider what you need,  how you want your book to be published.

Good luck, because no matter what, you will be hiring at least one kind of editor for your book.


Thank you Paula Guran  for her view on editors working for large houses.

And for more on Editors, check out Newbie Writers Podcast Episode 4

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