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Book Editing Timeline

book editing article

As a book marketing professional, I am amazed at how many authors have skipped the critical step of having their book professionally edited. When I first speak to a prospective client, I ask how their book was edited and if they used a book editing timeline. The answers are amazing! A marketing friend once told me that authors who do their own editing make over 50% less money than those that hire professional editors. Although I could never corroborate this fact online, it makes sense.

book editing article

Once you decide to hire a professional editor, how do you know what type of editing you need, and where to find the help?  Here is a book editing timeline for the pre and post editing process.

Use Beta Readers– When you complete your manuscript, and it’s free from errors, send it to some beta readers who can offer their feedback. Use the feedback to revise your manuscript. You can resend it back to the same readers and or send it to other beta readers.

Hire a Professional Editor– when you feel the manuscript is as good as you can make it, hire a professional editor who will ensure that the structure, content, language, style, and presentation are suitable for its intended purpose and audience.. You can hire an editor from a firm like Kirkus or look at an organization like the Editorial Freelancers Association. Do your homework and find a quality editor at an affordable price. Qualifications and credentials are important.

Make the Adjustments– Allow for enough time to make all the changes the editor suggests. Keep in mind these edits can take weeks to rework so avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself during this important phase. Take your time and do it right.

Time For a Copy Editor– Once you have made the changes suggested by the developmental editor hire a copy editor who will focus on accuracy, clarity, and consistency within your manuscript. At this phase, there should not be any significant rewriting needed. You’re in the home stretch.

Proofread the book– The final step in the editing process is to proofread the book, or better yet have a professional do it. Proofreading is the process that makes sure your book is free from typos, spelling and punctuation errors and formatting issues.

Now you are ready to format and submit your book to the publisher feeling proud of what you have created.

Creating a book takes time and money. When you are first in the discovery phase, factor in the costs of editing, publishing, and marketing so you can allocate your funds appropriately. You don’t want to be in a position where you must sacrifice any of these essential parts of producing a work of art.


Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.

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