It’s time for the first post in another new series for 2020 – ask the editor!

I’ve compiled a list of questions and my lovely editor at HarperCollins, HQ Digital, the amazing and super-intelligent Abigail Fenton has answered them! Read on to find out some tops tips from one of the best editors in the business!

Q. Why are there different types of editors and what type are you?

There are different editors for each stage of the process. Structural editing is the big picture stuff – does the plot work, is the pace right, are the characters true to life? Then a line edit is a much closer edit, literally line by line, looking at word use, phrasing, and so on. Usually, that is all done in-house by the editor who commissioned the book. This is the type of editing I do.

Then the book goes to a copyeditor, usually out-of-house and always a fresh pair of eyes. This is to look at spelling, grammar, punctuation, consistency (do a character’s eyes change colour from page to page?) and fact-checking (is that really the time the sun would set at that time of year?). The copyeditor’s job is to root out any mistakes or clumsy wording, and make sure everything reads as well as possible.

The final stage is a proofread, which again is done by someone new to the book. This is a last check for any spelling issues or typos that have either been missed or have made their way into the manuscript along the way.

And then you have a book! Easy, right? Thank you so much to Abi for taking the time to answer my questions. Her workload is CRAY-ZEE! So I’m so grateful to her for humouring me and my blog!

Abi is Editorial Director, HQ at HarperCollins and before that was Commissioning Editor at Bookouture.

Cover photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash