Allaying a writer’s fears of the editorial process

As a professional freelance editor of fiction, my job is to prepare a client’s manuscript for publication. By publication, I mean that the work is intended to be sold commercially, whether the author wishes to self-publish their novel or submit their edited manuscript to a literary agent for traditional publishing.

I treat a manuscript in much the same way as a traditional publisher would; however, as I do not invest financially in an author or their product, I do not have the final say. At any time, I can only advise from a professional point of view. It is up to the client to decide whether or not to follow that advice.

Ultimately, my aim is to ensure that I help to produce a novel that strikes a happy balance between the author’s wishes (whose words are being represented), and the intended readership (those who interpret the author’s words).

If you are a writer who is planning to publish, but is afraid of losing control of your story through the editorial process, please be assured that I do not rewrite text or alter the author’s voice: I advise on how the words can be better presented. Neither do I tell a writer what they can and cannot do with their words: I advise on the best course of action, with the audience in mind (whilst trying to keep future negative reviews to a minimum!).

I hope this allays some of the fears that a writer considering my professional editing services may have.