Why Does Editing Take So Long?


The POP Newsletter

“Hi, I’m looking for an editor. I have all of my notes and reference books, I just need help putting it together.”

Hmm, I thought. Sounds like this guy needs more than copyediting. Maybe I can refer him to a book coach. . . .

And then,

“I need it Sunday.”

It was Friday afternoon. I’m not sure what this person thought was going to happen, but certainly no one could seriously expect an editor, or really any publishing professional, to create something out of nothing and do so in 48 hours.

This is an extreme example of the sometimes unrealistic expectations writers have of how quickly an editor can work. Still, even reasonable people want to know why copyediting takes three to four weeks, why development takes eight to twelve weeks or longer depending on how complex of a development it is. It’s a fair question. Here are my…

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One response to “Why Does Editing Take So Long?

  1. I’ve coauthored 8 books and proofread most of them! some other time-consuming issues – many books use colloquial language, others more formal language and it must be consistent throughout the book. What if a book uses dialect or language specific to a genre? An editor must learn that too! I write books about marriage and about families with children with special needs – special language, treatment formats, all kinds of specialized information – it’s not just novels!! I think editors have amazing jobs and do extraordinary work – sometimes much harder than writing the book in the first place!!

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