There are three edits that your book will need in order to succeed in the self-publishing world. They are the same edits a traditionally published book goes through.
The developmental or content edit may begin well before you write your first paragraph with help in organizing every aspect of your story. However, your editor should not write it for you. If you want someone else to write your story, you should look for an author who has experience in ghostwriting.
In a developmental edit your manuscript will be edited for content and closely examined for realistic characters, rising plot, theme, suspense and tension, writing, and dialogue. A developmental editor will analyze the structure of your story to make sure that the necessary elements are delivered in just the right places to cause your story to flow smoothly and not jerk or come to a sudden stop. I’ve read some first-time author’s books whose beginnings were captivating, but the rest of the story did not carry the same impact set in the first pages. A good developmental editor would have picked up on that and suggested they rewrite their story until their unique voice resonated throughout, not just in the first few pages more-than-likely meticulously crafted to hook the reader. In a developmental edit, the bigger picture is examined and fine-tuned by the author per the editor’s suggestions.
The copy edit comes next. This is the nuts and bolts of your story, the conventions that can stop a reader from continuing through your pages if not properly adhered to. You could have a great story, but spelling, grammar, punctuation and style errors can throw your reader so far off the path from your story that they will simply close your book rather than continue to be assaulted by its sloppy errors.
The third edit is called the proofread edit which is the final go-through of the entire book before it goes to press. This edit has to be thorough, or otherwise you’ll have a fan contact you about incorrect punctuation or a ghastly misspelled word or two.
In hiring an editor(s), make sure that all three of the above edits are covered. Below are some links for editors and a few articles I read in researching this topic.
Author Cindy C. Bennett offers editorial services too.
Nicole Zoltack has been an editor for several epublishers and is still with MuseItUp. She freelances at Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight: My Editing Services.
Danyelle Ferguson runs an editing and review service with a few different levels available. She does custom packages, depending on her clients’ needs. For
example, she has a few who preferred a mentorship, which they booked time
slots throughout the year to have sections of their book completed &
Letitia Rizzuto does manuscript evaluations, content and line editing. Her website is undergoing a major revision at the moment, but you can send her an email. She currently works with Covenant and Astraea.
Check out Tristi Pinkston‘s awesome editing service!
Elizabeth Petty Bentley offers editing packages too.
Here are a few of the articles and websites I perused: