Am I the right editor for you?

My specialty is content editing, line editing, copy edits, and proofreading.
Below are descriptions of the main type of editors used in major publishing houses.

Types of editing
Traditional publishing houses use a variety of editors. Each editor performs a different function. Most editors can do more than one function, but you will rarely find one editor that can do all. You need to determine where your weakness is as far as self-editing and find experienced people to help you with the rest.

Editing, like writing, is a subjective job. An editor you think is great might be considered an idiot by another writer.

There is an industry-standard for editing accuracy. Here is an excellent article that talks about what to realistically expect from an editor and how to reduce "missed" edits.

Content editor: "Reads for story, plot, character, theme, structure, but not words. The content editor helps you make your manuscript the best manuscript it can be—in theory."

Line editor: "the line editor looks for consistency in the actual words and structure of the book. Sometimes this job gets folded into content editing. Line editing requires the editor to look at the tiniest thing and to make queries like: She put on her hat on page 24. She put on her hat again on page 31. I didn’t see her take the hat off. Do you want to add that?"

Copy Editor: "The copy editor edits the finished copy. She will go over the copy for misspellings, missing words, grammar, and other nit-picky but oh so important details. Every writer needs a copy editor. Writers never ever ever see what they leave out."

Proofreader: "The proofreader is not an editor, but I’m putting them here because so many writers think the proofreader is an editor. The proofreader’s job is to compare your final manuscript to the finished product and to make sure that the manuscript and book match. It’s difficult, anal work, and not many people are good at it. But it has little to do with actual editing."

(source: “The Business Rusch: Editorial Revisions” copyright 2013 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch)

What is the difference between a beta read and an edit?
All serious authors should use a beta. If you aren't then you are missing out on a valuable resource. Most self-pub writers use family and close friends. While in some cases this works, they are going to be nothing more than cheerleaders; telling you how great it is and to follow your dream. That is fine and dandy, but the rest of the world isn't going to be looking at your book with rose-colored glasses. They will be most likely using a magnifying glass to pick your book apart word by word. It is my personal opinion that you find a variety of betas. I will also add that it might be best if your beta isn't a writer. Otherwise they might try and tell you how they would have written it instead of what they thought of the story.

Who should beta for you?
~One who knows your writing (especially for sequels); like a fan.
~One who has no emotional ties to you, and therefore objective, but familiar with the genre.
~One who doesn't read the genre and also isn't emotionally tied to you

An inexperienced beta will be able to give you some helpful feedback. But you will have to tell them what you want to know. Write a few questions down for them to answer at the end. Otherwise, you might get "it was good"... good for what? Lining a birdcage or to publish? Tell them you want a short written or oral book report. Did they like/dislike the characters? Did they understand the plot? Was there anything confusing? Was it too long, too short? Boring or exciting?

If someone says "I loved it" but can't tell you why, then they are probably trying to protect your feelings. You don't need that if you want to become a published writer. Writing is a craft you must practice at, and no one can create a masterpiece in one draft... or even two. You need to hear what is wrong as well as what is right before you show the world your baby because if you don't, the readers and reviewers out there will do it for you and they only care whether or not they got their money's worth. If they didn't... they will let you know along with everyone else that will listen.

A good beta will breakdown their comments/questions chapter by chapter and a great one will do it line by line. Betas run on a spectrum from poor to great, based on how much useful feedback they can give you. A great beta might be able to take their skills to the next level as a paid editor. There are some paid betas, but they often called themselves Alphas and are closer to editors of one type or another.

Some of the differences between an editor and a great beta are understanding of the industry, experience, and knowledge of the tools of the trade.

Here is a post I wrote about how to be a good beta: 
It’s a Beta Life for Me! 

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