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When Should I Hire A Developmental Editor?

Are you a writer? Do you want to write the best piece? Then a development editor is critical for your writing to become more fascinating. A development editor will improve and polish your writing by removing errors and helping you make it more concise and clear.

This is done through proofreading, rewriting, and reorganizing some parts to make the text clear and smoother. This type of editing can be done before or after the initial drafts or revisions. It is best to do this as early as you can.

First-time authors make a big mistake when hiring editors for their manuscripts. Most writers submit premature material to the editors to make them turn it into something grand for them. This leaves editors frustrated as well. Even though they may be doing this unknowingly, a first draft is never sent to an editor.

Hiring an editor and working with them is the best investment for your manuscript and your career. But you need to be smart about it. If you hire an editor before you are ready, then you will not be able to make the most out of the editor services, and this may end up being very expensive. A good developmental edit costs thousands of dollars. So how can you know when to get the help of a qualified developmental editors for hire?

Why do writers send premature manuscripts?

Authors who make premature submissions of their pieces have a fear of not being a good writer that they end up sending their incomplete work to an editor, hoping that they may improve the work and make it much better.

Or sometimes, the authors have been working on their pieces for a long time, and they just want to get over the process. This move puts the editor under a lot of stress and frustration.

When not to hire a developmental editor

If your story is still in its initial draft stages, then it is not the best time for working with an editor. If the story you submit for editing is still in its first draft, then editors’ time will be spent mostly on focusing on obvious problems that may have been corrected with revision on your part or with the help of your acquaintance.

You can get the most out of the services of an editor if you first have a sound foundation that you have corrected to the most of your capabilities. Only then can you hire someone to take your work to the next level. 

Once you have made your manuscript the best possible on your part, then a good developmental editor can easily polish it up and improve your work.

You should never think that an editor is for the revision and editing that you should be doing yourself. So until you have completed the cleanest manuscript you can, hiring a developmental editor is not a good thing in terms of your time and money.

How to know when to hire a developmental editor

So the next question you may be thinking about is when is the right time to hire a developmental editor? Not every writer needs a professional editor for each and every manuscript. Revision and editing of the contents, knowing how to identify mistakes and how to make weak areas stronger, is something that is included in the craft of writing.

Writing, revising, editing, and rewriting, again and again, are the foundational skills of a writer and not just a job of an editor. But editors offer a different and fresh way of strengthening and improving your manuscript according to their experience and knowledge.  So to determine whether you need to hire a developmental editor and is the best time for this, you need to answer a few important questions honestly.

The questions you need to ask yourself

1)     Have you done as much as you can to make the manuscript the best possible, but it still doesn’t feel right?

If you have done all you can on your part, you have revised, rewritten, and edited your manuscript multiple times but still feel that your manuscript is not ready yet, then you can hire an editor who will objectively make your work stronger, concise, and engage for your audience.

2)    Have you done any editing yourself and don’t know how to address the problems?

Editors can help you identify weak areas that need focus and also find ways to improve and polish them. They work with you to understand what you want and offer you suggestions and ways in which you achieve your goals.

3)    Have you made an experienced professional read your work? Do you think or feel that there is something wrong with your manuscript?

Writers often fear that their work is not the way they have planned, or you have got feedback from experienced critics about how the manuscript doesn’t go well or some parts can be much better than you need the help of a professional.

4)    Do you think you need to learn more about writing before proceeding further?

5)     Are you looking for editors because you are tired of writing?

6)    Have you submitted your work to publishers but haven’t received any confirmation?

If you have submitted your work to a number of places and received rejections or silence, then it indicates that you need more developmental editing. Your story will need more work in different areas like characters, writing style, the momentum of the story, or something else. In this case, editors will have you identify the issue and solve it.

7)     Have you budgeted for the cost of hiring a developmental editor?

8)    Do you know the difference between copy-editing and developmental editing?

9)    Are you sending your manuscript to an editor because you think you will be unable to be a good author and want the editor to improve and polish your work?

According to experts, an editor needs to be hired when the manuscript is in its best and cleanest form.  Developmental editors are not for planning, writing, and doing all the hard work needed to produce the manuscript. So this is why it’s essential that you hand over the best material possible to enable the editor to focus only on the editing part.

So to make your material ready for being handed over to the editor, you need to give your manuscript for proofreading by two or three people first. This will allow you to identify apparent problems that can be fixed beforehand and allow the editor to focus on more difficult issues. So it’s best to use all your free resources before you hire an editor.

This will help in reducing costs and improve your piece much more effectively. However, if you want, you can hire an editor early on as these editors will offer mentoring and outline review services to allow the writer to stay in line to create the best draft. You can find developmental editors for hire to get professional advice and experienced editors.

In a nutshell

A developmental editor is a service and tool that you can use just like other writer tools. But it is essential to know when and whether you need the service of a developmental editor. This will allow you to make the most of the opportunity you have at hand.

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