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Finding an editor


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  • 9 months later...

There are a number of answers to that question, depending on how you are asking it:


Do the majority of authors who are sending manuscripts to publishers have their manuscripts professionally edited first?

No. This is more than likely one of the factors why most are rejected by agents and publishers.


Do the majority of authors who have manuscripts accepted by publishers pay to have their manuscripts professionally edited?

Yes. I say this both as an AE for a publisher, and from what I've read other AEs, agents, publishers, and authors write. They wanted to be submitting a truly professional work, and it paid off.


Do the majority of authors who self-publish pay for an editor to professionally edit their book?

No. This is one of the contributing factors as to why most self-published works are considered sub-par and not reviewed by popular newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc.


Have those authors whose self-published works were reviewed by professional sources and sell 4000+ copies paid for their books to be professionally edited?

Yes. Everyone I've read online who had a self-published work that generated significant sales (usually resulting in a large publishing house picking them up) has talked about getting professional editors to edit their book before they started selling it. They wanted their book to be truly "professional quality" in every way, and their investment paid off.


In other words: it is "normal" that authors who achieve a certainly level of success, either in finding representation, a publisher, or self-publishing, front the money for an editor. However, when looking at the vast numbers of authors writing either works to release for free out of personal enjoyment, or who submit material but aren't successful in ever getting published, the majority of authors do not pay for editors.


If someone writes for fun, fan fiction, for friends, or for free blogs/zines because it fulfills them, no need for the expense. But if someone wants to play in the "big leagues" with the pros, the text (and cover art, for that matter, if self-publishing) needs to be as polished as theirs.



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  • 1 year later...

After I think my novel is completely finish and rewritten to hell I still know I need an editor or someone with a ready grasp of the English language to read the entire thing I make it bleed from the errors. I'm a horrible spelling, my grammar or horrible, I may use an incorrect word here and there, I think finding someone to help my polish my novel that EXTRA bit before I submit it would be great. So, how would I go about doing this?


You do what you're doing right now: ask people you trust for reccommendations.


(Disclaimer: I work as a freelance editor/copy editor, including with self-publishing authors).


If you want to hire an editor to get feedback for your novel, so you can learn and improve and produce better prose, that would be a legitimate reason to pay them.


If you want someone to improve your grammar and pick up typos, you'd be wasting your money, because, to put it bluntly, there's a good chance your manuscript _isn't_ ready for publication yet (few are). And yes, a copy editor will improve those things - but what will you do when you"ve spent $500 on copy editing the manuscript, and an agent or editor gives you feedback, so you rewrite a whole section, and... pay again?


I would reccommend that you approach editors in your genre (this makes a big difference - I'm very familiar with reader expectations in SF/Mystery, and not familiar at all with Romance) with a sample (1-3 chapters) and a synopsis; ask them whether they'd be willing to do an edit/mss evaluation. Ask them for a sample edit of 2-3 pages and a quote - and take it from there.


If your writing has recurring patterns, such as all your scenes take place in white rooms, or your action sequences are full of long convoluted sentences, or... you don't need someone to go through the whole manuscript and mark up every instance; you need them to point it out, and then you can go home and fix every other instance. Just like running spellcheck yourself, it's cheaper that way.


And do consider the alternatives - crit groups and writing workshops. Paying an editor is an option, but not the only way towards a better book.

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  • 8 months later...

I have been struggling with the same problem, the need for a editor without the funds to hire one. I found something that works almost as well. The university I am attending and the Public library here have Writers in Resident. I went to the one at the university.


Her job is to help mentor writers.


She took the first 20 pages of my story and shredded it with red ink. She showed grammar and spelling problem, details on how to structure the paragraphs better. Comments about producing vivid imagery, and consistency Notes on how she thought my characters where like and then asked if that matched the image in my head.


In short she asked a lot of questions about things I hadn't considered and her questions where more helpful than the mark up on paper.


you might want to see if there is any Writers in residence in your area and see if they will give you some pointers.


I find storiest spell checker and grammer checker is very good, I have used it to write a couple of english papers and it has worked great.


hope this helps.

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I have found a Editor that has quite reasonable prices.




I was quoted $75.00 yes less than $100 dollars for 110k words.


She said she will also do a 5-10 page sample if you want to try her out.

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Hey, I'm new to Storyist and just saw your question about a book editor. I'm one of those -- from ghostwriting and developmental editing to fact-checking and copyediting -- I work with fiction and nonfiction authors. Be honest with yourself and consider how much you'll need from an editor. Many writers, especially new ones, require a lot more than polishing. Send thirty pages and ask potential book editors to give you their opinion re: what level of editing your story needs. Also, be sure to ask them if they work with The Chicago Manual of Style, the bible of publishing guidelines (very important!). Remember too: not all editors are created equal. Like many professions, it's often a mix of science (technical training) and art (creative instinct). Congratulations!

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I can recommend Bea she has been doing a excellent job on my horrid spelling and her rates are VERY reasonable for a starving student.



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