What makes a great editor?

The work of a good editor, like the work of a good teacher, does not reveal itself directly; it is reflected in the accomplishments of others.

(William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker from 1952 until 1987)

A good editor does not tell you what to say, or even how to say it. Good professional editors do not try to silence your voice or change your ideas. Rather, they will point out inconsistencies, help to clarify the points you want to get across and make sure no grammatical errors detract from your message.

Working with the voice, thoughts and ideas of the writer is an essential start for any editor. An editor with experience, a good skill set and an understanding of his or her role becomes a writer’s invaluable ‘silent partner’.

Here are a few points to watch out for when choosing your editing service:

  • Makes specific suggestions about how to solve a problem rather than just pointing it out.
  • Knows the market and the target audience better than you do. Has a good knowledge of what publishers and the target market are looking for.
  • Won’t introduce errors into your manuscript. Changes should not be made without knowing or checking the rules, the dictionary, or the appropriate style guide.
  • Employs organised and disciplined editors who meet deadlines.
  • Doesn’t just make changes without giving you a way to know what has been edited. The “track changes” function is used so that authors can accept or reject changes. That allows the author to learn something for their next book and to retain full control over the manuscript.
  • Won’t over-edit and change things that don’t really need to be changed.

Bangula’s in-house editors specialise in both fiction and non-fiction texts – print and digital. Our areas of expertise include general texts, translated materials, as well as legal and financial documents.

Get in touch and let’s talk about your editing requirements.