EDITORS – WHERE DO THEY LIVE? (THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN SELF-PUBLISHING)

edit on the go

edit on the go (Photo credit: fensterbme)

The Editor.

Do any of you lovely people know where one may find one?

Writing the first draft is the easy bit you see. No, don’t believe me? Just ask someone who is in print with a professional publisher. Then ask yourself how many dedication pages in published works contain that bit about how wonderful their editor is… Whilst some of these may have been achieved by the said editor putting a gun to the writers head. I think the majority are probably genuine. Got you thinking now haven’t I?

The first draft is like rainbows and sunny days compared to the horror of the next step… The 59 re-writes and re-drafts.

But how do you source a good one? Beta readers are fine, but I need professional help (hey, stop sniggering at the back) to get my writing to the next level. The only way it will be all it can be, is if someone who has no vested interest except professional pride (and my cold hard cash) helps me get it there.

Every successful author self-published or not, usually has an editor. That’s the person who gives it to them straight; who points out the saggy middle and the over descriptive prose in chapter 12.

I’ve seen a lot of information on how to format my manuscript, how to upload it to Amazon/B&N/Smashwords (pick your pdf’er), how to get my tax in order, how to market it and how to create a website and even how to work out if I’m a pantser or a plotser (I’m a plotser by the way, Scrivener is like crack to me).

“Have your work edited.” those that say these things say, “You must have it professionally edited”. – It’s all very well lecturing me on this, however, do you think it would be too much to ask, if you actually for once blogged about how to find one? Rather than about procrastination, because I don’t need to learn how to procrastinate – I’ve got that one down. Give that girl an A+.

So I’m looking for an editor and I am awfully suspicious of these writing services you see advertised on the inter-web. You type in Google “find an editor” and you are likely to come up with one of the new breed of rip off merchants contract publishers.

As a contract publisher, a wonderful cross between traditional royalty publishing and self-publishing, we take all the guesswork out of writing and publishing your own book. In our model, the author pays the costs of publication, and keeps all of the books and all of the profits from their sales.”

HMMMM, I’m not convinced either.

Now at this point in my post you are wondering if the manuscript is only half-finished, why are you looking for an editor? Well, I’ve come up with a bit of a model for my work, which means that in the lead up to publishing it. I will be publishing six short stories which are a semi-prequel to the book itself. Think of it like a literary teaser.

Personally, I never read prequels that are issued after I’ve read the original book. You know those books that come out about the popular character and what they were doing before the book happened. My short stories are almost the anti-version of this. I’m hoping to build a bit of buzz for the main event.

I’d like my editor there from the beginning to edit the original stories so that they get the “characters” too. That way I hope the writing will be more cohesive.So, if you see an editor, snag-em for me. Or alternatively you could give me some bloody good advice on how I go about finding a reputable one in the comments section below…. Worth a shot? I think so.

15 thoughts on “EDITORS – WHERE DO THEY LIVE? (THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN SELF-PUBLISHING)

  1. Hi,
    Why not look for one in real life? There bound to be some rather good ones around you; local University with English Department would be great place to start. I regularly check classes and ‘what is going on’ in creative writing here at Victoria University, really helpful. I think that in your end of the woods must be even more similar opportunities.
    Cheers!
    Daniela

    • Thanks Daniela, great idea. I was a bit worried about approaching a college or university. Just in case someone who is overly literary gets involved as that is not my style or end goal. It’s a great shout though, thanks.

  2. Love your plan of creating teasers with the prequels! I’m the same way, I never read ones that come out after the main volume… and SJ my lovely, did you recently play “Swedish Athlete or Ikea Furniture” over at my blog? I just got a nameless entry form and am wondering if it belongs to you! Let me know so you can get your well deserved shout out on Friday 🙂

    • It might have been me on the “Swedish Athlete or Ikea Furniture” whish was inspired by the way!…. I work in marketing so the teasers seem like a great idea, especially as the characters have an amazing back story which I didn’t want to hit readers over the head with.

  3. Interesting quandry here…..Just a bit of background for you. I recently edited an ezine (short term) and am currently reading/editing for another writer (fiction). My question for you would be…What exactly do you want from an editor? Have you thought it completely through? In my experience, most “professional” editors have no real incentive to tell you the truth UNLESS they are part of a publishing house. Most publishers have real editors they rely on to get manuscripts in shape. Their editors do the work because they are, in essence, working for the publisher. Their work has to meet the standards set by the publisher. So…If you avoid the traditional publisher relationship…Who do your “professional” editors have to please?? Whose standards will they use in the editing process?? What incentive do they have to tell you the truth?? (Does “truth” mean the same thing to them as it does to you..). Lastly…Without a publishing house twisting your arm….Would you be willing to allow them to exert control over your work??

    Of course, one of the real downsides to professional publishers is their inate cookie-cutter approach to manuscripts…..But, then again, they know what sells (or they should..!!) A lot to think about…….

    Email me if you want to discuss this more…
    Howard

  4. I seriously have to agree with Howard on this one. Though it would be easy enough to trust any hands (and eyes) with what your novel is becoming, you may want to give some extra thought on the subject, if you haven’t done so, already. Also, consider asking any editor that piques your interest what writing format they tend to reference while editing; CMA, MLA, etc. Be sure to also ask for any likely achievements they have earned as an editor, as well as any previous clients whom you may be able to speak with. Choosing the right editor, without going the traditional route, can be a tough task in itself. You want to be able to trust whomever you choose knowing that you’re able to trust their judgement when it comes to your work.

    • Thanks C.A. I realise it is going to be a tough ask but I’m hoping to find a very good one for the work. I’m happy to part with money but only if they are experienced and I can get referrals for previous work. I am thinking about asking other Authors in my genre who they use and how they found them. I’ll also be speaking to Howard. :o)

      • I realize that I made a mistake on Chicago’s Manual of Style, which has been in use since 1906. It’s supposed to be CMS; not CMA. I love abbreviations and acronyms sometimes.

        Well, other than colleges and universities, as have already been mentioned, searching the internet for freelance editors may pop up a few more results. Be sure to take the time to do it right; fewer mistakes are usually easiest to clean up.

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