Written by: L.J. Andrews
Hire an Editor. Please.
In today’s writing world really anyone can publish a novel. Some people do it within hours. Fantastic. So for those who spent weeks, months, even years on their manuscripts how can you distinguish yourselves above…well above all the slush to be blunt?
The easiest way to stand out is to have a clean, error free manuscript. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but you have a neighbor who got an ‘A’ in high school English so you’re having them read your book. That’s super, and I encourage beta-readers, BUT the best investment you can make as an Indie author, or even an author reaching out to agents is to have your manuscript professionally edited before publication, or submission. I assure it will be money well spent.
Nothing upsets a reader more than getting bogged down during their exciting reading experience due to grammatical errors, spelling errors, or plot errors. I actually read a book (it will remain nameless) where an important character’s name changed halfway through! What?
There are amazing places to find freelance editors I’ll list a few for your convenience:
So when you are looking for an editor what should you keep an eye out for?
Credentials: You don’t need a formal degree in editing, but some have various types. I have a copy editing certificate that has really helped me during my work. However, I have hired editors with no formal training, they simply have talent.
Price: Most editors charge on word count. Even if it’s a penny a word it adds up quick, so make sure you’re clear on the pricing. I have seen some charge per page as well.
Process: Double check the process of the editor. What type of editing program do they use? How quickly can you expect edits returned? Will there be more than one person editing the manuscript? Do they offer samples. Editors should be available to answer questions, but you as the author must keep in mind writing is a subjective business. An editor will do their best to catch every error, but they are human. They also may change something you disagree with. That’s okay, don’t accept the edit, but don’t haggle them either. Again, a subjective business. I highly recommend signing a contract. It’s an investment on your part, protect that investment.
Please take my advice. Editing is priceless in the writing realm. No matter how many times you’ve read your own story, you will miss something. I have ran my own editing business for over a year and I still send out my manuscripts to other editors. I just don’t trust myself with my own writing. It’s worth it.
My most recent editors were wonderful and reasonably priced. You can find them at www.wonderouswords.com
Good luck, and happy writing!