Editors are key!  I cannot say this enough. You need editors. And you need different kinds. This is the first part of our three part series about finding the right editor.

The first kind of editor you’ll need is a Content Editor. A content editor’s main focus will be the content of the book. So the story of the book, making sure you have no plot holes, your story is easy to follow, there aren’t any parts that just aren’t plausible or something needs to be added or cut. This editor may do some proofreading as well, but their main goal is to give feedback on the overall story.

The main things they’ll check for are things like

  • Character Development
  • Plot Development (plot holes, foreshadowing, ect.)
  • Adding or deleting sections or chapters
  • Shortening or lengthening sections or chapters
  • Anything that might ruin your story
  • suggestions on things to improve the story

You need feedback on all of this. This first editor is likely the one you’ll work with most. So you need to make sure you like working with them and even more important they understand your goals. 

Your content editor needs to:

  • Have faith in your story
  • know your genre
  • Be enjoyable to work with
  • Understanding
  • Knows how to give constructive feedback
  • Is willing to discuss points (this one is HUGE if you disagree you need to be able to talk about why, even if in the end you still disagree. You need to feel comfortable talking to them about it!)
  • Able to see the big picture
  • Understands your voice

There are likely more things to add to this list, but to me, these are the main features needed for a good content editor.

Extra: Something I’ve found helpful is to have two content editors. One who knows the story you are telling very well back to front. (You likely have discussed the story before you even had them read it.) and a second who goes in blind about your story. This is helpful because you get feedback from someone who knows the story as well as you do but sees it differently than you, and then you get it from someone who is more like a reader. Someone who won’t know background details to maybe confused if you left one out. This has been one of the most helpful things for me to do in working with my books.

I hope you find this helpful. Please leave comments about your experiences with your content editors or more questions you may have. What would you have added to this list that I didn’t. Do you disagree with one of the points. Why so? Please, share with us your thought so we can all be made better. Thank you for your time. I hope this was helpful.

Parts 2 and 3 to come.