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Choose an editor to enhance your story …

Every piece of writing needs some sort of editing. And to be honest, editing your own work is almost impossible. That’s where professional book editors come in.

It is always paramount to work with an experience good editor who has extensive experience in the category of your work, because a good editor can take your book from a sheer idea, or first draft, to a polished manuscript that “works.” A good editor can also help you improve your writing skills, which will probably save you time and money on your next project. Bad editors, on the other hand, can waste your time and money, and can even be a hindrance on your path to publication or to becoming a better writer.

Based on your type of writing, you may require to assess, and choose what type of editor you will have to work with. Each type of editing has its own function and benefit to the author and their manuscript.

You need to work with the type of editor who is going to give you the right kind of feedback and help for the stage you’re at. For example, if you just finished a first draft, you’ll need a Developmental Editor, not a Copy Editor.

Some editors provide all levels of editing, while others specialise in the style or depth of editing they do. There are even editors that prefer to work in, or specialise in, certain genres over others.

You also need to think about what you’re hoping to accomplish when working with an editor. Some things to consider are: Would you like to work with an editor on an ongoing basis, or just get their feedback once? Do you need help turning your idea into a working draft? Are you hoping to brainstorm with your editor?

Let’s take a look at what each kind of editor does and when you need them in the writing and publishing process.

Developmental Editors

A Developmental Editor is someone who looks at the “big picture” of your story.They are concerned with the overall content and structure of your manuscript, and whether or not your story “works”. 

A Developmental Editor focuses on things such as story structure and plot, character development, genre, theme, and point of view. They will examine your story on a micro, scene-by-scene level, as well as the macro, global story level. At the end of their analysis, they will provide an editorial letter that acknowledges everything that is working within the manuscript, and outlines what is not, offering suggestions for revision.

A Developmental Editor looks at your story objectively and asks questions like: Does this story work? Will it deliver on readers’ expectations? If not, why?

Sometimes a Developmental Editor can act as a writing coach, guiding you through the book writing process start to finish. If you decide to work with a Developmental Editor on an ongoing basis, they can teach you how to become a better writer using your manuscript as a learning tool. The benefit of this process is the shortened feedback loop between execution and evaluation, compressing the craft learning process.

A Developmental Editor’s job is not to write or rewrite your story for you. If you’re looking for someone to do that, then you need to hire a ghostwriter.

Working through a developmental edit is the most important part of the process, and unfortunately, it’s the one that gets skipped the most.

Developmental Editor 

  1. When you have an idea for a story, a Developmental Editor can help you plan and outline your story as well as guide you through the writing process on a scene by scene basis. Usually, this happens through ongoing developmental editing or coaching calls where you and your editor discuss your story and work through each stage of the writing process together.
  1. If you’ve started writing, but get stuck somewhere in the middle, a Developmental Editor can help you get back on track and moving forward with your current work-in-progress. They can help you come up with prescriptive and actionable next steps that allow you to focus on your writing rather than worrying about what to do next.
  1. When you have a finished draft, a Developmental Editor will read through your manuscript and explain what’s working, what’s not working (and why), and recommended the next steps you can take improve your manuscript and become a stronger writer. This type of feedback is usually called an Editorial Assessment or a Manuscript Evaluation.

A developmental edit is the first stage of editing that all manuscripts should go through.

Any big-picture questions must be answered before your words are corrected and polished by a Line Editor or a Copy Editor.

Line Editors

A Line Editor (sometimes called a Stylistic Editor) focuses on the way you use language to communicate your story to the reader. They will go through your manuscript line by line to make sure the voice and style of writing are consistent and will focus on things like awkward phrasing, unnecessary repetition, telling vs. showing, passive voice, dialogue, point of view, etc. A Line Editor will also look for, and flag, any inconsistencies in your characters, settings, and the story’s timeline.

To allow for easier reading, they may suggest cutting or moving sentences or paragraphs. A good Line Editor does all of this while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text. It is not the job of a Line Editor to provide you with an overall view of the quality, structure, or pacing of the story. That’s what a Developmental Editor is for.

Before you send your manuscript to a Line Editor, any big, structural changes should be taken care of.

Copy Editors

A Copy Editor is someone who focuses on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They will address commonly confused words (example, affect vs. effect) as well as ensure consistency with capitalisation, hyphenation, and numerals. This is last edit before the manuscript is sent to production. A common misconception is that all editors are copyeditors, which isn’t true. There can be Developmental Editors or Line Editors that do not provide copy editing services and vice versa.

Copy editing should come after a line edit, not at the same time or before. Before you send your manuscript to a Copy Editor, the page-by-page, sentence-by-sentence content of your manuscript should be final.

Proofreaders

Proofreader looks at the book once it’s been formatted for print or digital publication. They make sure the Copy Editor’s notes made it into the final version (or proof), and that the layout and pages numbers are correct. Their job is to make sure your book is as error-free as possible before it gets released to the public. It is not the Proofreader’s job to comment on whether or not the story makes sense or engages the reader.

Acquisition Editors

An Acquisition Editor works for a publishing company. It’s their job to identify which manuscripts the publishing company should pursue. They acquire manuscripts that they think will sell well post-publication. If the publishing house decides to take on your manuscript, the Acquisition Editor will be your main point of contact. They will take you to book launch meetings, coordinate the cover design, write the back cover copy, etc. Your manuscript will have a better chance of impressing an Acquisition Editor if it’s gone through a developmental edit, a line edit, and a copy edit first. If you want to self-publish, then you don’t need approval from a Literary Agent or an Acquisition Editor.

How to Choose the Best Editor for Your Book

There’s a lot of confusing information out there about what each type of editor does. No matter which type of editor you’re hiring, make sure you’re both clear on exactly what the editor will be providing.

And don’t be afraid to ask questions to get to know the editor before committing to hiring them. Here are some examples of what you can ask:

  • Do you primarily edit fiction or non-fiction? 
  • Which genres do you have the most experience in? Which genres do you enjoy editing the most? Which genres do you like to read?
  • What’s your editing background like? Do you have any certifications?
  • How does your editing process work? What makes it unique?
  • What makes you a good fit for my story? Why should I choose you?
  • What is the expected turnaround time?
  • Is there somewhere that I can view people’s feedback about working with you?

List of Manuscript Editors in India for fiction, Nonfiction & Academic writing

Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma

  • Email id: sharma050309@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Cover To Cover Writing Studio
  • Website: http://www.samarpita.in
  • Location: Bhopal, India
  • Background: Ex-journalist, full-time freelance writer and manuscript editor since 2009, interview on print, digital, and the radio. Also won acclaim for editing work from UNV.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction, self-help, memoirs Everything except sci-fi and fantasy.
  • Other services offered: Cover design, Ghostwriting, Beta Reading, Book Marketing, Synopsis Writing, Blurb writing and pitch, author website, logo design
  • Experience:10-15 years

Venkataraman Anantharam

  • Email id: anavenkat1964@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): The Art of Copyediting
  • Website: https://theartofcopyediting.com
  • Location: Chennai
  • Background: I provide copyediting training (academic copyediting, to both individuals and companies). I have been in this field for 25 years, and have worked at Aptara (Delhi), Cenveo Publisher Services India (KGL, Chennai and Mumbai), SPi (Chennai), and S4Carlisle Publishing Services (Chennai), besides others. Over the years, I have been a copyeditor, manager, and director of editorial programs. I was the only Asian speaker at Editing Goes Global, the first international conference for editors, held by Editors Canada at Toronto, Canada in June 2015. I founded The Art of Copyediting in 2018, and offer about 25 courses on copyediting—something not offered by any organization or university in the world.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing
  • Preferred genres: No. I deal only with academic editing.
  • Experience: More than 15 years

Jehanara Wasi

  • Email id: jehanarawasi@gmail.com
  • Location: Ghaziabad
  • Background: Senior book editor with several years of publishing experience
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading
  • Preferred genres: Academic, literature, history, biography, visual and performing arts
  • Other services offered: Ghost writing, Research, Synopsis Writing, Blurb writing and pitch, Transcription, translation services
  • Experience: More than 15 years

Priya Talwar

  • Email id: priyatalwar.24@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Editor’s Atelier
  • Website: https://editorsatelier.com
  • Location: Delhi
  • Background: Former commissioning editor, Rupa Publications, Priya Talwar is an independent writer and editor with almost 10 years of experience. She helps authors develop their ideas into credible stories.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: All trade genres except science fiction, fantasy fiction, and poetry.Autobiography, biography, Memoir, anthology, management, leadership, self-help, parenting, spirituality
  • Other services offered: Ghost writing, Research, Synopsis Writing, Blurb writing and pitch, Anthology_006 is a 6-month program with an aim to create your best anthology in just 6 months, Four by Fifty helps submit your best work in 4 months with 101 support and more!
  • Experience: 5-10 years

Gita Mohan

  • Email id:drgitamohan@gmail.com
  • Location: Goa
  • Background: Since 2011, I’ve edited over 250 full-length Humanities book manuscripts. I’ve worked as a Tech editor for HPE for 2.5 years. I have a Ph.D. from the UK.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: No STM. Everything else is fine!
  • Other services offered: I also teach and conduct workshops. I take on French to English translations.
  • Experience: 5-10 years

Dagny Sol

  • Email id: serenely.rapt@gmail.com
  • Website: https://serenely.rapt.com
  • Background: I edit all genres of fiction except horror. In non-fiction, manuscripts which address self-help issues are most welcome. The other genres of non-fiction might be a little iffy, or not. Poetry is not my thing at all, apologies to the poets.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Developmental EditingFiction, narrative non-fiction, non-fiction
  • Preferred genres: 1. Historical Fiction 2. Mythology  3. Memoirs  4. Romance  5. Sci-fi  6. Travel
  • Other services offered: Beta Reading, Synopsis Writing, Blurb writing, and pitch, Author Coaching
  • Experience:2-5 years

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal

  • Email id: inderpreetedits@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Eloquent Articulation
  • Website: http://www.inderpreetuppal.com
  • Location: India
  • Background: I have been editing since June 2014. My focus is on your requirements, making your author-voice shine, and tightening your story.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres:Fiction / narrative non-fiction-  Romance | Fiction | Historical | Memoirs| Mythology
  • Other services offered: Manuscript Appraisal
  • Experience:5-10 years

Urbi Bhaduri

  • Email id: urbi07@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Maps for Lost Writers
  • Background: No website, but an article published recently in Scroll talks about a new project I started during the pandemic: https://scroll.in/article/970811/one-writer-has-taken-an-initiative-to-help-her-peers-fight-a-creative-block-during-the-pandemic I’ve consulted with publishing houses (like Om Books International) and non-profits (like PRADAN and the GFA group).  don’t work full-time as an editor. The article in Scroll (above) might give you an idea of the other kinds of things I also do.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental EditingPublications by nonprofits,
  • Preferred genres: fiction & non-fiction- Novels |Short stories | Self-help, spirituality, and productivity |Memoirs
  • Experience: More than 15 years

Dr. Neha Neharika

  • Email id:nehaneharika88@gmail.com
  • Location: Lucknow
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Academic
  • Experience: 2-5 years

Tara Khandelwal

  • Email id: tarakhandelwal489@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Bound
  • Website: http://www.boundindia.com, http://www.tarakhandelwal.com
  • Location: Mumbai
  • Background: Columbia Publishing Course, Penguin, Writers’ Side, Freelancer with Bloomsbury, Hachette, Rupa, Pan Macmillan, individual clients.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction, narrative non-fiction, memoir1. Literary fiction, biographies and autobiographies, business books, argument based non-fiction, historical fiction, crime and thriller, mythology
  • Other services offered: Ghostwriting, Beta Reading, Synopsis Writing, Blurb writing, and pitch
  • Experience: 5-10 years

Namrata

  • Email id: keemiyacreatives@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Keemiya Creatives
  • Website: https://keemiyacreatives.wordpress.com/
  • Location: Mumbai
  • Background: Keemiya Creatives is a Literary Consultancy firm based in Mumbai where we work with authors to shape their thoughts into books. We offer services in both pre-publishing and post-publishing categories. Our customized marketing plans have made quite a few Amazon bestsellers.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction-  Narrative Non-fiction – Non-fiction –  Romance and Romcom | Women’s Writing | Drama | Spirituality | Suspense/ Thrillers/ Murder Mystery/ Crime Thrillers
  • Other services offered: Cover design, Ghostwriting, Beta Reading, Book Marketing, Research, Synopsis Writing , Blurb writing and pitch, Alpha Reading, mentoring, Tie-ups with hybrid publishing houses for discounted publishing packages
  • Experience: 5-10 years

Sanjay Sethi

  • Email id: ssethi@rootsandshoots.co.in
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Matrix Publishing Group
  • Website:https://matrixpublishers.org/
  • Location: New Delhi
  • Background: India’s Most Trusted Consultant, Content Creator & Custom Publisher of Customised, Limited Edition & Coffee Table Books
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: All genres- Memoirs, Non-Fiction, Coffee Table
  • Other services offered: Cover design, Ghostwriting, Beta Reading, Synopsis Writing, Blurb writing and pitch, Custom Publishing
  • Experience: More than 15 years

MJ Neela

  • Email id: mjneela@gmail.com
  • Location: New Delhi
  • Editorial Services offered: Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Feature stories, Essays, SOP
  • Other services offered: Essays, Narrative non-fiction
  • Experience:10-15 years

Asha kumari

  • Email id: as_kum_roy@yahoo.co.in
  • Location: New Delhi
  • Editorial Services offered: Line Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction and nonfiction- Romance, mythology,  historical fiction
  • Other services offered: Copy editing
  • Experience:10-15 years

Divya Dubey

  • Email id: authorzc@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): AUTHORZ CORACLE
  • Website: http://www.authorzcoracle.com
  • Location: NOIDA
  • Background: Book reviewer at several well-known national and international publications
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction, narrative non-fiction, mythology, romance, memoirs, travel
  • Experience: More than 15 years

Deep Downer

  • Email id: deep.downer@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): DD Edits Inc.
  • Website: deepdowner.me
  • Location: NOIDA
  • Background: An author of 20 books so far, editor of more than 37, and ghostwriter of more than 20 books.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction-Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Historical, Romance, Drama
  • Other services offered: Ghostwriting, Beta Reading, Outlining
  • Experience: 5-10 years

Preeta Priyamvada

  • Email id: preeta.edit@gmail.com
  • Location: Noida
  • Background: A freelance editor for 7 years now, I have earlier worked with publishing companies for about 14 years. My last job was with Pearson as Managing Editor (Development) for Humanities, Academic and Trade.
  • Editorial Services offered: Line Editing, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Academic Memoirs, Historical fiction, Romance, Mythology, Detective, Travel
  • Other services offered: Ghost writing, Beta Reading
  • Experience: More than 15 years

Mriga Maithel

  • Email id:italscanbefun@gmail.com
  • LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrigamaithel
  • Background: OnlineFreelance copyeditor with Penguin Random House India, HarperCollins India and Hachette India. MA in Communications, Doon University, Dehradun. BA (Hons) English, Hindu College, Delhi University.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction, narrative non-fiction – My only preference is that the book should not have graphic descriptions of violence and crime.
  • Experience: 5-10 years

Nirja Sharma

  • Email id: emailnirja@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Aarahan Publishers
  • Website: http://www.aarahanpublishers.com
  • Location: Pune
  • Background: CEO of Aarahan Publishers; Chief Editor of an Academic Publishing House for 10 years
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction/ Blog – Romance | Mythology| Travel | Fantasy
  • Other services offered: Cover design, Beta Reading, FORMATTING, PRINTING
  • Experience: 10-15 years

Dola Basu Singh

  • Email id: dolabsingh@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Shiuli Editing Services
  • Website: http://www.shiuli.com
  • Location: Punjab, India.
  • Background: I am professionally trained in editing fiction and I’m a member of Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, UK. Two of my clients have won the Amazon KDP Pen to Publish contest 2019 in both short- and long-form. Another client won an honorable mention in 2017 of the same contest. I have edited more than 70 books since 2015.
  • Editorial Services offered: Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: Fiction, Narrative non-fiction.- Crime/Mystery/Thriller | Women’s Fiction | Romance | Own Voices | Fantasy | Horror |Short Stories/Anthologies
  • Other services offered: Coaching and mentoring new authors, Story consultation.
  • Experience: 5-10 years

Veena Regidi

  • Email id:regidi.veena@gmail.com
  • Location: Visakhapatnam
  • Background: I am a Senior English Editor with a passion for the language and a keen eye for detail, good at creative writing, content writing, editing, and proofreading.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Proof-reading, Developmental Editing, and everything
  • Preferred genres: Nonfiction, narrative, fiction
  • Other services offered: Ghostwriting
  • Experience: 5-10 years

Dr.Karthik TC

  • Email id:drtvkarthik@gmail.com
  • Location: Hyderabad
  • Background: Several books of Jaico on management- Chanakya series, finance, Penguin’s books, etc.
  • Editorial Services offered: Line Editing, proofreading, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: fiction, biographies, humour, etc. memoirs, travel, personalities, etc.
  • Other services offered: Research, Synopsis Writing, Blurb writing, and pitch
  • Experience: 10-15 years

Poonam Ganglani

  • Email id: poonamganglani@gmail.com
  • Website: http://www.poonamganglani.com
  • Location: Chennai, India
  • Background: I am an independent publishing consultant, books editor, and writer with over a decade of experience. I was the managing editor at a top publishing house in Dubai for seven years, and have worked with authors of fiction and non-fiction, both in India and the Gulf, to develop and hone their manuscripts. I have also worked with organizations to successfully execute and publish their book projects. Over the past decade, I have worked on over 100 book projects across genres, several of which have won awards at international book fairs.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Developmental Editing
  • Preferred genres: All types of fiction and non-fiction1. Memoirs and travelogues 2. Narrative non-fiction 3. Business books and self-help guides 4. Literary fiction 5. Cookbooks
  • Other services offered: Beta Reading, Synopsis Writing, Blurb writing, and pitch, a Publishing consultancy
  • Experience: 10-15 years

Cora Bhatia

  • Email id: corabhatia@gmail.com
  • Name of the Firm (if any): Write Editors Hub
  • Website: https://writeeditinghub.wordpress.com/Goa
  • Background: I have edited about 200 books in various genres for established publishing houses and direct authors.
  • Editorial Services offered: Structural Editing, Line Editing, Developmental EditingFiction and poetry
  • Preferred genres: Romance, historical fiction, mythology, travel, memoirs.
  • Other services offered: Synopsis Writing, Blurb writing, and pitch
  • Experience: 10-15 years

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