For some writers, like me, editing can be very intimidating. I'm not a good speller. I'm not a grammar expert. But take heart - that's why there are experts! And without a doubt, a well edited book is an enjoyable book. Never skip the editing process!!!!!
According to my good friend, Debi Oneille, there are different types of editing services available:
1) Basic proofreading which focuses on spelling, typos,and some grammar.
2) Copy Editing will point out repetition, bad rhythm, illogical content to some degree, awkward or clumsy sentences, lazy sentences using the weakest verb when a more demanding verb should be used (and vice versa), holes in the story, inconsistencies in POV.
(This same person may not readily point out, nor is required to point out, if the story moves along too slowly, if something in chapter 10 should have been mentioned in chapter 3, if chapter 5 should be trashed. But a good one will, because they comment on and help a lot with structure.)
If you are lucky enough to hire a talented copy editor, that person will be able to do it all.
3) Editor/Story editors read your work and tell you their over all impression of your work i.e. plot, character development and generally ignore grammatical issues.
HOW TO FIND AN EDITOR
Start by asking your peers. Many can give recommendations - or at least who NOT to use.
Look on line. Pick a few. Then interview them!!!! Ask what they specialize in. Ask for a free 10 page review. (You don't want to fork over money and think it's been a waste.)
Also ask them for a list of published books they have edited.
HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST?
Costs vary...anywhere from a couple hundred to $1,000 or more. And I will guarantee that cost does not equal satisfaction! Being happy with the end result equals satisfaction.
Yes, I will toss out a couple names for you to check out!
Lea-Ellen at Night Owl Editing Services describes herself as a "Full Service" editor.
I met Lea-Ellen through the Paranormal Romance Guild and I think she's a gem!
Mike Kalmbach, author friend, and freelance editor can be contacted thru Mike Kalmbach's Life and Times
Mike has also written a guide for teen writers, which he is currently giving away for FREE on Amazon, named appropriately enough Writing Advise for Teens: Creative Stories
I happen to know one of the teens who previewed this book and she she said, and I quote, "It's really good. It's helped me a lot."
One last piece of advise. Not all editors edit all types of work, nor should they edit all books. You'll want to specify your genre up front, as well as identify the editor's dislikes before discussing price. After all, do you really want someone who edits "Daisy's First Day at School" to edit your epic SF "The Galaxy of Nix"?