So you’ve just written “The End” and even added a fancy flourish to your finished manuscript. Congratulations! That’s very exciting.
Now you want to send your text to an editor. Smart move. But wait a moment. Not reviewing your work is like enjoying a lovely feast and then heading off to the dentist without brushing and flossing. Before sending in your manuscript, take some time to make sure it’s ready for prime time. Double-space your manuscript, put it all in a standard twelve-point serif font (Palatino, Times New Roman, etc.), and remove all special formatting, including automatic paragraph indentations (use the tab key instead). All paragraphs, including the first, should be indented. Remove any extra spaces between paragraphs. Go ahead and run the Spelling and Grammar check (just remember to think through every suggestion it makes). After that, look through the “What Do You Need?” page on this site, then think about the following questions:
- What kind of editing do you want? Read through a portion of your manuscript with a critical eye. Do you need a developmental edit or a light copyedit?
- Who is the audience/readership for this work? What will your readers know before they start reading? What do you want them to take away from your text?
- Does your text need to conform a particular style guide? Do you have a copy of the style sheet for the editor?
- What is the scope of your project? How long is your work? What are the deadlines involved? Are there illustrations, graphs, charts, etc. to consider? Will you need permissions checked or facts verified?
- What is your budget for editing?