What is a Nonfiction Book Editor and What Do They Do?
A nonfiction book editor’s job is to ensure that the ideas in your book are developed and presented effectively. They are the last line of defense against typos, syntax errors, and outright mistakes.
The nonfiction book editor’s role can also include researching the author’s topic, checking for factual accuracy, and looking for logical consistency or contradictions in the material.
They work with writers to help them improve their content by highlighting both strengths and weaknesses. The primary responsibility of a nonfiction book editor is to edit manuscripts to be published for a niche target market.
Understand the Difference Between a Copy Editor and a Nonfiction Book Editor
The main difference between a copy editor and a nonfiction book editor is scope. A copy editor detects mistakes, checks flow and edits for consistency. The job of the nonfiction book editor is to provide guidance with structure, development, tone, style, clarity of message and accessibility.
Often, research is involved, and the book is geared toward the target market in a way that would be more appealing.
Nonfiction Editors’ Main Tasks and Skills That Make Them Unique
Nonfiction book editing is also about shaping and refining a manuscript’s structure.
Nonfiction editors are skilled in research, fact-checking, and the ability to spot inconsistencies that other readers may miss. They can evaluate various sources of information for accuracy and relevance before changing the text.
An editor should also be experienced enough to improve readability through changes like adjusting sentence sentences or paragraph length.
The Best Ways to Find the Right Non-Fiction Editor for Your Project
Picking the right nonfiction editor can be quite a chore. You want someone with experience in your topic if possible. You want an editor that understands the market and what the target market wants.
An editor experienced in your topic can help find issues and mistakes a regular editor would miss.
A Google search can help, and editors that can’t help can often point you in the right direction.
How hiring the right Editor can help make your manuscript shine
Editors play a pivotal role in the success of the manuscript. As authors, we can never be too careful when trusting our writing to someone else.
The editor’s responsibility is to ensure that your book fulfills its potential and is marketable.
They also help you refine and strengthen your ideas and help you find how you can create a better story for your readers.
A good editor can show you where your manuscript lacks depth, flow, or clarity. They will also help you understand what makes for a good narrative to write more compelling stories.
They are usually hired after an author has completed their first draft but before the publishing process starts.
The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Professional Nonfiction Book Editor
Not all professional nonfiction book editors are created equal.
The Pros: A professional nonfiction book editor can help you create a more polished manuscript for publishing or submitting to agents or publishers by finding every little error in your manuscript before publication. They provide an unbiased opinion on your work and offer constructive criticism you might not be able to see yourself or get from friends and family that read it for you.
The Cons: Professional nonfiction book editors can be expensive. You are paying for a specialist, and you can’t compare it to general editing.
Necessities for Working with a nonfiction book Editor
You need to work through the 1st or 2nd draft so they can focus on the hard stuff. If you send a nonfiction book editor specializing in your topic the 1st draft, they will spend all their time correcting things a regular editor can.
Be clear with the book’s goals and who your target market is.
What to look for when finding a Nonfiction Book Editor
You want someone with experience. Most editors sign NDAs with authors and can’t share their work, but it’s not uncommon for specialists to have permission to list books on the topic they have worked with.
How to find an affordable and professional Nonfiction Book Editor
Many services offer editing for nonfiction books. You can find a nonfiction book editor by looking for an affordable one that suits your requirements. However, look into the editor’s resume and portfolio before hiring them.
Compare sample edits and pick the one that fits your budget and works best with your unique needs.
Nonfiction Book Editor vs. a General Book Editor
Nonfiction editors typically have a wide knowledge of the subject matter, which is essential to their job. They are often experts in publishing, technical writing, or other related fields. General book editors are more generalists with a diverse range of skills that may not be as deep in any one field.
A nonfiction editor typically has experience in publishing and/or journalism and is familiar with the basics of book structure and how to work with authors to complete revisions. A general book editor typically has less editorial experience but excellent writing skills.
Nonfiction editors are typically dedicated to one or two types of nonfiction books—biographies, science textbooks, memoirs—while general book editors may edit any type of nonfiction books and fiction titles.
The Disadvantages of Hiring a Nonfiction Book Editor
Hiring a nonfiction book editor is not always the best decision.
Nonfiction book editors are not cheap. They charge a premium for their services, which can be quite expensive for some authors.
In the end, it all depends on whether you need a nonfiction book editor for your project or can slide with a regular editor.