Editors – What I didn’t know
I’m sharing some of the missteps I’ve made along the way to becoming published. The things I didn’t know, I didn’t know.
Editors – What I didn’t know
Where do I begin? In my naviety I thought that all editors were created equal. But they’re not.
First, there are more titles that editors like to throw around for themselves then I could possible name here. (I’m not trying to be provocative just informative.) In my opinion you need to focus more on WHAT they do instead of WHAT they’re called. So, you, unlike me, should decide what type of editing you need before you start shopping for an editor.
1. Plot – These folks will sniff out plot holes and help you fill them. They are not to be confused with Betas who can sniff out plot holes but don’t always know how to fill them. (More on Betas later.) Plot helpers can also aid with pacing your story.
2. Grammar – This group will trudge through you’re poorly structured paragraphs and assist you in creating complete sentences that vary the block of words for your reader.
3. Typo – This magical set of people have the ability to see past the typed words and pick up on almost all your typos and misused words. Notice I said, almost all. I believe that it’s improbable for all the typos in your work to be spotted.
4. Public Appeal – These are usually beta readers or family and friends who volunteer their time to you. They give you an overall impression of how people might take your story, info you of sticky parts, weird bits, some typos, and probably a little grammar preferably before you release it.
*That is in my opinion the basic types of editing provided and that most people need. I am not a professional editor in any way, just sharing my experiences.
When you do start shopping, treat it like you would shopping for anything else or as if you were interview them for a job because you are. Remember it’s your money after all! Ask questions.
1. Ask what editing they do before agreeing to work with them.
2. Ask what type of genre the prefer to edit. Some editors won’t read a story if it’s not clean, some prefer clean but will do both. So, if your characters rival bunnies you might want to search out an editor that usually edits spicier stories.
3. Ask if they do a sample edit and if they do, don’t send them chapters 1-4, send them something further in the book. (You’re more likely to self edit the crap out of your first few chapters.)
4. Ask what they charge. Don’t be embarrassed to ask what their fees are. Some will only quote you a price after they do a sample edit. Send them one if they seem like a good fit genre wise. But be prepared for the number to be large, hundreds of dollars.
5. Ask for references. If your getting hired for a job your new potential employer wants to know your work history, don’t they? You need to know if they get bogged down during finals time or over the summer and return work in an untimely manner. But also remember life happens, some things are forgivable if they aren’t expected.
If the prices quoted to you seem out of your budget, don’t lose heart. There are other methods to get your story edited.
1. High School/College English Teacher – It never hurts to ask.
2. Friend – Do you have a friend that verges on being a grammar nazi? Maybe they would love to edit your story.
3. Critique Buddy – In this day and age you can find almost anything on the internet. Post around and see if any of your followers or friends write the same genre and are willing to swap chapters with you for editing/critique purpose. There are several books, posts, and articles floating around to help you become a better beta/critique partner.
4.Swap Services – Maybe you have an eye for making book media or covers, swap that for editing.
My final word on editing is that it can be costly but there are ways to get it cheaper and still have good quality editing. But self-editing is always an option. Buy books, read post, and search out articles on editing to help make yourself better at spotting your own mistakes.
And pay attention to the things others catch in your work. I know I make the same mistakes over and over again. Bad habits really are hard to break. I would suggest to have at least one other person read your story before you publish it though but remember its your story and your voice. You know what’s best.