Monday 24 February 2020

The Trials Of An Indie Author: My Editing Team


This was a topic requested by a number of my followers, who wanted to know more about my editing team and what it's been liked working with the same people over and over, with various different releases. I do have a video planned on my authortube channel and by the time this piece goes live, it will also be live! (Video here) But I didn't want to just do it on the channel, and thought that I would give you a different take specifically on my editing team and what it's been like working with them over the years.

I've been friends with Kim for almost ten years now, and she's been my editor for a number of books, but for a time we didn't work together and I used someone else for both Developmental and Line edits. However, since she's done the majority of my books, and is the person I use now, and plan to continue using, it made more sense to focus on what it's been like working with her.

So for those who don't know, a developmental editor goes into the manuscript looking at the book as a whole, and pointing out plot issues, as well as spelling, grammar and the like. They can, sometimes, be similar to beta readers, and some people will say that if you use betas and go through several rounds then you can skip this stage. Personally I don't agree, not just because Kim has found issues that betas have missed, but because it's the biggest edit you will do.

Kim's been working as an editor for a number of years, and we work exclusively in Google Docs. That way we can go chapter by chapter, and can also make comments rather than have to have two documents open while editing. She'll go through and make the grammar changes that are needed, as well as commenting on any issues with the plot. I'll then go through afterwards and make the changes needed, and usually we then discuss them over Skype so that we're both on the same page as to what edits work and which ones don't.

This process usually takes just over three months. This is for a number of reasons, mostly down to me because I can't always go through the edits the same day they're done. As well as that, it gives me time to work through plot holes without having to worry too much about a deadline. Same goes for Kim, she doesn't have to work on my book every single night of those three months and it works well for us both.

I adore working with her, she's made sure that I've got books that stand up and are telling the exact story that I want to tell. She offers amazing insights and she works on helping me make the book better. In the years I've worked with her, I've seen the quality of my final book increase, along with the quality of my drafts because I'm learning from what she's saying. Editing, as you know, is not something I find easy, but at the same time, having someone who can go through it with you whose opinion you trust and who you know is not going to steer you wrong is a big relief.

So once the developmental edits are done, off it goes to the next step.

I've known B since we were at school together. She also designs my book covers, but when I had to switch from Toni who did both, to other people, I knew B was the right person for the job. She's actually been one of my final readers before the book goes to ARC readers for a lot longer than she's been my line editor. And so I know she can do the work.

A line editor is someone who goes through the document line by line. They'll correct any grammar but also tell you about sentences that don't work, or need to be changed. Again, B and I use Google Docs, and she'll make the grammar changes directly, and make comments on any of the lines that need changing. She'll also make comments if she catches a plot hole that needs to be filled.

This process usually only takes about a month, and I make the corrections as we go through it chapter by chapter. Again, we'll discuss the changes to make sure that it's all working better.

Once the line edits are done, it goes off to the final step!


I've been working with Natalie for a number of years. She's a friend, a fellow writer, and someone with the training for proof reading, same as all my other editors. Natalie's job is pretty simple. She's reading through the final draft and pointing out any issues with it. Either things missing, or things in the document that shouldn't be there.

I love working with Natalie as well because she's always been someone to leave comments along with reading, when she likes a certain aspect of the book or things like that. We also use Google Docs and again, I make the changes in the document while she's going through it.

And once the proof reading is done, that's it, the book is ready for ARC readers!

So those are the people that make up my editing team. I love working with them, and they make the process of editing, a hell of a lot easier and less stressful for me. Have you worked with a team? Or are you wondering about who to choose for your editor? Lemme know in the comments below!

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