Hairy Paw-ter was worried about some of the plot holes in his high concept spy thriller Mississauga Spy Games: Russian Zombie Gun, Part Three. He needed a developmental editor.

No writer creates a perfect first draft, and while self-editing is an important step, nothing beats the help of a professional editor to get your book ready for publication. Before you consider self-publishing, it is important to recognize all the potential problems that would put off readers and contribute to very low sales numbers. You do not want all your hard work to be for nothing.

The three types of professional editing that every self-published book needs will solve problems from plot holes to punctuation. When you hire someone with the experience and knowledge to identify and fix all problems, you greatly increase your chance of grabbing reader attention and reaching your ideal of success.

Developmental or Story Editing

This first round of professional editing involves making sure that the story itself works. Are there any plot holes? Do the characters act in accordance with their personality in most cases? Does the book suit genre conventions enough to satisfy readers? The editor that handles these types of questions needs to know a lot not only about story structure but the specific genre you write in.

Copy or Line Editing 

This second round of professional editing involves making sure that the language works. Not only does it focus on sentence structure, grammar, and similar mechanics, it also deals with literary devices like metaphors and dramatic irony, and how well the writing suits the story itself. The people who do this type of editing pass need to have a strong understanding of both literal and figurative language, emotive prose, and so much more.


At last, you get to the final round of pro editing for your work self-published book. Proofreading is sometimes referred to as polishing your manuscript. This involves going over everything with a keen eye and making sure no typos or misspellings exist and every comma is in the right place. This process should make your story as error-free as possible. Remember, however, that nothing is perfect, and a few errors may still make it into the final book.

If you intend to self-publish your novel or non-fiction book, you need the professional assistance of one or more types of editors. These three steps in the editing process will change your self-edited manuscript into a polished product that people will love.

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