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Publishing and Promoting > Choosing an editor...Any recommendations?

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message 1: by A.J. (new)

A.J. Norfield (ajnorfield) | 20 comments So...one of the biggest challenges as a self-publishing author is to manage your investment and RoI stream. I have been dreading the moment to invest in a real editor for some time now as it is one of the biggest chunks of money you can spend while creating your own book. However I can only take the quality of my book so far with the help of people I know...so I do believe it is a good service to invest in if I want to get to the best quality book as possible.

However I have a hard time determining who are really good and flexible editors and what is a good price range is for a book of 140.000 words.
So I thought: Let's ask the fine people in Goodreads if there are any recommendations for editors that have experience with (dragon) fantasy novels, as well as work with indie authors.

Have any of you had experience with an editor that has a more friendly price-range for indie authors, that goes a little bit beyond just copy editing in order to help become a better writer without blowing up your bank account? :)

I believe finding an editor is a very personal choice, but I need to start somewhere to see what is possible and I thought this is a good place to begin.

I appreciate any advice that can be given.

- A.J. Norfield


message 2: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Cronin | 111 comments It takes research. This is a good start--asking other writers for recommendations. You can go to books you love in your genre and look for an editor there. You can check out Preditors and Editors, Absolute Write, WritersNet, and Writers Digest for recommendations, discussions, and editors looking for writers. You can do an online search. Best advice I got was to only look at editors who will do a free sample edit of your work.


message 3: by T.H. (new)

T.H. Hernandez (thhernandez) | 113 comments How much beyond copyediting? I have a fantastic editor whom I love, who is very good at not only copy edits, but is an award-winning newspaper editor and can provide feedback on style and writing tight. But she's not a fiction writer, so she can't provide feedback on craft.

There are numerous types of editors, and a developmental editor can provide you with feedback on you story itself, helping you hone your story. I can recommend an affordable developmental editor as well.

In both cases, "affordable" is probably relative. You can get copy edits for around a half-cent a word, but many, many indie authors have gone this route, only to discover that their copy editors were terrible and received bad reviews for poor editing. They end up hiring a second editor and would have been better off paying slightly more for the first one.

DM me if you want contact information. Both of my recommendations work with both traditionally published and indie authors.


message 4: by Liz (new)

Liz Lazarus (lizlazarus) | 9 comments I ended up using 3 different editors. It was the most expensive part of the process but well worth it.

Editor 1) Helped "advance the story" - we cut about 30k words, even changed the title which I swore I'd never do. :-)

Editor 2) Helped dig into the characters & behaviors, we really honed how the protagonist would behave & react, hadn't planned to use this person but she was a friend and my best critic and took the book to a new level.

Editor 3) Fined-tuned the wording, sentence structure and had me expand the epilogue for more closure for the reader.

All 3 were fantastic if you'd like me to provide names, just shoot me a note.
And of course, do not go to layout until you are triple sure you are done! When you need a fantastic graphics person, have that too. It took 3 painful tries to get the right help, but the one I finally found was flawless.

Hope that helps,
Liz


message 5: by Gerry (last edited Dec 01, 2015 10:43AM) (new)

Gerry (gerrydowndoggmailcom) | 60 comments Good to read your comments. I have also reached a point where I have been considering an editor. But what I feel I really need the help in is having someone go through the story for punctuation and word usage. It seems like an endless process discovering little mistakes.So far, just had the help of friends. Would this be a proofreader's job? And are there any suggestions for that? Thank you.


message 6: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Loofbourrow (pattyloof) I'd be happy to recommend my proofreader, she was wonderful. Message me and I'll give you her info.


message 7: by T.H. (new)

T.H. Hernandez (thhernandez) | 113 comments Gerry wrote: "Good to read your comments. I have also reached a point where I have been considering an editor. But what I feel I really need the help in is having someone go through the story for punctuation and..."
This is what a copyeditor does. This is the LAST thing you want to do. Because if you go in and modify anything after that, you could introduce new errors.

If you want a professional quality book, make sure you hire a professional. Ask for references and see what other books they've edited. Then read the reviews to see if anyone complains about the errors and typos in the books. A lot of indie authors who have hired "professional" editors end up with poorly reviewed books due to errors.


message 8: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Dec 01, 2015 09:41PM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) When an editor -- particularly a freelance one -- gives a list of books they edited, definitely check with those authors that they really did.

A list with links of some professional organization's for editors that may or may not help validate and refer some for you is at http://www.writersandeditors.com/for_... (scroll down to the section heading "Organizations for Editors, Proofreaders, and Indexers").


message 9: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Dec 01, 2015 09:48PM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) These from Writers Beware might also prove helpful -- an article on vetting editors at http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/f... , an article on warning. signs at http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/write... and another article on editors at http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/f...


message 10: by A.J. (new)

A.J. Norfield (ajnorfield) | 20 comments Hi All,

Thank you for providing this kind of information. Indeed I am aware that you will often get what you pay for. Hence I intend to do my search thoroughly so hopefully I do not have to do two editing rounds in the end.

T.H.: Sending you a message to check on those names.

- A.J.


message 11: by Gerry (new)

Gerry (gerrydowndoggmailcom) | 60 comments D.A.—just reading ... wrote: "When an editor -- particularly a freelance one -- gives a list of books they edited, definitely check with those authors that they really did.

A list with links of some professional organization's..."


Thanks for the link. It's will be a good place for me to start!


message 12: by Talia (last edited Dec 03, 2015 02:31PM) (new)

Talia Carner (authortalia) | 56 comments A.J. wrote: "So...one of the biggest challenges as a self-publishing author is to manage your investment and RoI stream. I have been dreading the moment to invest in a real editor for some time now as it is one..."

Early on I encountered a whole bunch of incompetent or scrupulous editors--some really famous. (I'm still waiting for the Pulitzer prize promised by an editor who had published an excellent self-editing book.) So you need to be aware.

Finally I settled on one I respect. She had published 4 literary novels in the 1990s and moved on to teaching. I met her at a seminar she gave, and I was impressed by the way she was able to grasp every student's writing and offer constructive suggestions. I have been using her to read an advanced draft of my books, and she helps streamline the story (suggests moving from A to C without B,) as well as she asks questions that make me rethink some plot lines or characters' motivation. She does not write or rewrite, but her high fee includes a second reading with a red pen, which I delay for as long as I can in order to clear her palate...

Before I submit the ms. to my agent I use a copy editor to clean up the grammar and punctuation and make the ms. as polished as can be.

If you need recommendations, please e-mail me at AuthorTalia@aol.com


message 13: by Maggie (last edited Dec 04, 2015 05:27PM) (new)

Maggie Anton | 31 comments I second Talia Carner's comments. Even we authors with big NYC publishers need a freelance editor to get the plot and character arcs in shape, to ensure that our writing actually says what we want it to say and is not confusing, and all sorts of other help so that our manuscripts are as polished as possible when we finally send them off to our publisher.

Yes, my publisher Penguin provides content and copy editing for the ms I give them, but they expect that major problems are fixed when it lands on their desk.

I found my freelance editor, who has edited all 6 of my novels, by seeing who other authors [whose books I liked] thanked in their acknowledgments.

Maggie Anton


message 14: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 253 comments Liz wrote: "I ended up using 3 different editors. It was the most expensive part of the process but well worth it."

Similar to Liz, I used several "concept editors" first for story development, plotting assistance, and things that were wrong with the book I didn't know were wrong, and then a "copy editor" at the final proof for grammar, etc. Very expensive. Necessary. I am extremely detailed and write a very clean copy - and I still make mistakes.

There is a huge range of price out there, from beta readers (free) to down payment on a car. A great editor is pure gold, but I have never been able to ascertain if it is a match or not until I have utilized the service. My absolute favorite (I would kiss her feet if I met her), was not one of the more expensive. It's difficult to find the right match in my experience; finding my husband was easier. But I have never utilized an editor who didn't help me in some way.

Best of luck!


message 15: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 253 comments Maggie wrote: "I found my freelance editor, who has edited all 6 of my novels, by seeing who other authors [whose books I liked] thanked in their acknowledgments."

Great idea, thank you!


message 16: by Don (new)

Don G. (dgford) | 51 comments Hi Maggie and Suzette,
No question that there are editors of all sorts and price ranges that vary to the heavens. I began working with a gal, editing just her short stories. Shortly after about 14 of them, I received a surprise in the mail. She sent me her completed book with short stories totaling 14 and my name was listed in the forward as an astute editor.

I told her I knew what an editor was, but wasn't sure what astute meant. Certainly, I'd been called worse names before. LOL

She also gave me a nice plug in my LinkedIn profile. Word of mouth helps to advance any of us, but seeing it on the printed page places us in a whole new ballpark. Cheers, Don


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