Have you ever looked at your manuscript, nearly finished and almost ready for revisions, and wondered when you need to get in touch with a book editor?

In today’s post, I’ll be breaking down when it’s best to get on an editor’s production calendar so that you can have a smooth editing experience.

Your Indie Publishing Team

Publishing is a slow process. Not only do you need time to craft your book, but you need time to produce the book. That involves hiring an editor, making the revisions, editing again, formatting, and finalizing your cover.

That’s a lot of steps! You can read more about building your indie publishing dream team here.

Consider when you want to publish your novel

When you’re thinking about editing, you first want to consider when you want to publish your novel. 

Are you a year out from when you’d like to publish this particular project? Are you trying to squeeze an edit in three weeks before you need to upload your files for publication?

A thorough edit takes your editor weeks, and one round of editing isn’t magically going to prep your book. Once you get the document back from your editor, you’ve got to do revisions. Then, you’ll probably need another round of pro editing. 

Add to that formatting time and getting your cover work set, and, well… it takes months to get your book from production to published!

Getting back to your publishing schedule, plan at least six weeks per round of professional editing. Not only is your editor working on several projects at once, but editing is meticulous work. 

If you know you’ll need two rounds of editing PLUS time to make those changes to your manuscript, plan for at least 18 weeks of editing time.

  • Professional editing round 1: 6 weeks minimum
  • Revisions round 1: 2 weeks minimum
  • Professional editing round 2: 6 weeks minimum
  • Revisions round 2: 2 weeks minimum

If you get the work done sooner, fantastic! Sometimes it works out that way. But there’s no guarantee it will, so build buffer time into your publishing schedule for editing.

Consider the editor’s calendar

Freelance book editors and other creative agencies have a steady flow of work. That’s good for business, but that also means their calendar may be tied up for a while!

I always recommend clients get in touch with me six to eight weeks before they’d like to begin working with me. This ensures there’s plenty of time for us to chat about their vision for their book, and I’m usually booked out that far anyway.

If you add this to your timeline before your publication date, you’re now at 24 to 26 weeks for the editing side of production.

  • Contact the editor early: 6-8 weeks before editing begins
  • Professional editing, round 1: 6 weeks minimum
  • Revisions round 1: 2 weeks minimum
  • Professional editing, round 2: 6 weeks minimum
  • Revisions round 2: 2 weeks minimum

When do you contact an editor?

So, what’s the quick answer to this question? 

Reach out when your book is 80% to 90% complete. And don’t plan a launch date before your editing and production services are in your calendar.

If you want to contact me, head over to my Contact page and fill out the form to get in touch!

If you’re interested in taking the first steps toward publishing your book, visit my contact page and fill out the form to learn how I can help you!