When to hire me!

You’re in the process of writing your book, so when should you engage the services of a professional editor and what should you be asking them to do when? This blog post will consider when you might like to hire me for the different editorial services I provide.

By reading this blog, you already know that a professional editor is going to add great value to your manuscript. But knowing what to ask for and when to ask for it can be a challenge. There are so many editorial services and we all do things slightly differently, so here’s how I work and when I suggest you hire me!

Beta reading

Once you’ve written your first draft, maybe done a little self-editing and turned that into a second, third or forth draft, you’re probably ready for beta reading. With this, I’m going to give you feedback on your story as it is, without making changes to the text, so that you can edit and improve your novel.

Beta reading feedback can cover all sorts of things, depending on your manuscript and you can ask me to focus on particular areas too. Perhaps you’ve received feedback on your characterisation, for example, I can look at more detail at that.

You should allow around one to two weeks for a beta reading feedback.

Developmental editing

If you are new to writing, or you want more detailed feedback on your manuscript, then perhaps a developmental edit may be for you. Like a beta read, you’ll receive feedback but this time in far more depth.

Unlike with beta reading, I may also make suggestions in the manuscript. Perhaps, if I can see ways that may be helpful, I’ll suggest rewrites or changes and I’ll be making comments in the text. Don’t worry, it’s not all negative! I love to let you know the bits I’m really enjoying too!

A developmental edit or a beta read allow you to go back and make changes to your manuscript to improve it for your readers. They are both concerned with making big, story-level changes to your manuscript.

Because of the level of detail involved, you should allow around a month, obviously depending on the length of your manuscript, for a developmental edit.

Finer details

You’ve received your feedback and made your own changes to your draft. What’s next? Now we will begin to look at the finer details of your book, getting it ready for publishing.


After the big, global changes, we’re going to dive into the book in much more detail. My copyediting service dives into detail of your words, examining every paragraph and sentence, every plot hole and cliche!

Essentially, I approach copyediting with 5 C’s in mind:

  • Correct
    Is everything correct? Are facts right? Is the grammar right?
  • Clear
    Is the narrative clear to the reader? Are we certain who is talking?
  • Concise
    Is the sentence overly wordy that will stop the reader enjoying the piece?
  • Consistent
    Has the style guide been applied consistently and does everything match up? Are the story’s details consistent?
  • Conscious language
    Is there anything harmful in the writing? Is there anything which could be misunderstood?

When copyediting your manuscript, I’ll produce a style sheet showing your unique style and I’ll also produce some queries and other things to make sure your manuscript is the best it could be.

You should allow around three to four weeks for me to copyedit your writing.

Getting ready

Your manuscript has been edited, tidied up and is now getting ready for publication. So, what’s next?

Typesetting and formatting

Turning your Word document into a book is the next stage! Whether you are going to be producing an ebook or a printed book or both, typesetting and formatting is going to get your book ready for your readers to actually read!

I work with specialist software to turn your words into a beautiful book. Don’t be afraid to let me know how you want it to look! Typefaces, sizes, designs all make up the reading experience and so you should be happy with the look of your book as well as the content of it.

Please allow me a week or two to get your book looking good and for you to say what you want changed.


Finally, once everything is ready, we can proofread it to make sure no errors have crept in whilst everything has been getting ready. Proofreading looks at the spelling and punctuation of the book, as well as tiny details like the page numbers and spacing of the words.

Working with your style sheet, I’ll make sure there are no last typos or gremlins left and that the reading experience is just right for the reader.

Proofreading takes time to get right so allow at least two weeks for a proof to be returned. Of course, that depends on the size of your manuscript!

That’s it!

And that’s it! Once we’ve been through all the stages, your book is ready for the world to read!

I hope this blog post has given you some idea of the process behind self-publishing your book and the ways in which I can support you.

To find out more, get in touch or read more about my work, use the links below.

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Published by Nick Taylor | Editor & Proofreader

Editor and proofreader specialising in LGBTQ+ writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

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