Euan Mitchell is a highly experienced editor and independent publishing expert who teaches at Swinburne University and also takes on private editing projects. His website provides further background information. He was interviewed on writing and editing for the Garret podcast. He specialises in Story design (all genres of novel and memoir), Young adult fiction (contemporary realism focus), Novel (commercial adult fiction), Memoir, Non-fiction (educational focus) and Short story (all genres). He has written a detailed guide for creating and marketing print and ebooks, available from Amazon. Here are some of his thoughts on authors and editing:
How does a writer know when their manuscript is ready to show publishers or readers?
This is a tough question to answer precisely, but new and emerging writers should not make the classic mistake of submitting unedited work to publishers. Too many new writers think a spellcheck is sufficient because a publisher will want to edit their manuscript anyway. But publishers want to spend as little money as possible on editing. Even though publishers know that a good edit can be the best way to add value to a book, editing takes time and editors typically work for an hourly rate. If you are self-publishing, then you don’t want your readers deriding your editorial efforts as substandard all over social media. There is a world of vocal armchair pedants out there!
Over the two decades I have been helping new and emerging writers to edit or rewrite their work to a publishable standard, I have found that a free sample edit of about 1,500 words from an extended manuscript is a good way to gauge how much editorial work is needed in total. Writers can then make an informed decision about whether or not to engage my services. Writers are usually pleased when I point out specifics that can be improved. This will typically include fixing some spelling, grammar and punctuation; however, often the sample edit will reveal other aspects to address, such as: lack of clarity, awkward transitions, ‘head-hopping’ points of view, weak dialogue, tautologies, clichés, and too much use of summary or stock character descriptions. The good news is that all these problems can be fixed. A careful edit or rewrite will ensure your ideas have the best chance of connecting successfully with publishers and readers. You can email Euan to discuss your writing project via firstname.lastname@example.org