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Author: Subject: Is it worth hiring a 'professional' editor?
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[*] posted on 7/10/2014 at 10:57 AM
Is it worth hiring a 'professional' editor?

I've been through my novel countless times, fixing all kinds of errors. I'm not an English major and so am sure I've missed some. I'm very close to sending out query letters to agents and wonder if it would help my chances to pay a 'professional' editor to look for more problems. I've read, and heard from other authors, that if your story is good enough, minor grammar, punctuation, etc. errors will be overlooked. Especially if your book is sold to a publisher, who will have an editor go through your work and fix any problems.

So, is the general consensus to hire an editor? If so, what would be a 'fair' price for a 95,500 word novel?

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[*] posted on 7/10/2014 at 01:59 PM

I was also querying agents, but I still hired editors and beta readers. I really think it leaves a better impression. I received a lot of positive feedback because of that. I'm doing the same for my short stories, which I intend to submit to Sci Fi magazines. Good editors don't just do line editing with grammar... etc. They will do developmental editing, and go through your entire book, and find its weaknesses and strengths. The changes they suggest are fundamental.

As for price, they vary. There are some editors who are ridiculously expensive, and others who are very reasonable.

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[*] posted on 7/11/2014 at 12:47 AM

I guess it depends on your financial situation.

I am a firm believer in critique groups. You have to get feedback from several different people to help you edit because they will see things you won't - no matter how many times you've read it. I would definitely make sure it has been through several critiques by other people (not people who love you) before hiring an editor.

And then, if you can afford an editor, then go for it. But I have also read agents comments that have said if someone hired an editor before submitting to them, they would worry a little that you would be unable to edit on your own for the next book. So if you do, maybe not say you hired an editor.

True, if your story is good enough it won't matter. But really, getting published even with a great story is still teensy tiny odds. So you want to make sure your story is as polished as possible.

There are a few people on here who are editors who hopefully will let you know quotes. The prices will range depending on their skill and experience and also on your skill. Just be careful who you hire as an editor that you find online- so many people will say they are editors and the suck. I can't tell you how many times I've read self published books that thank an editor and I am shocked to see there was an editor because of basic mistakes.

Good luck.

Just wanted to add some links for resources for you. Hopefully Michy and some of the other editors will post there links as well. I am not sure if Michy is doing editing right now or not- but she has edited for a lot of us here and she is wonderful!

I haven't had one done by Julie yet, but she is a published author with an agent and her brother is best selling author JimButcher so, I personally would trust her...

I also have had a query, synopsis and ten page crit from Skyla and I will tell you, she was awesome. Here is her link...

[Edited on 7-11-2014 by itzrissa2u]

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[*] posted on 7/11/2014 at 03:57 PM

Yeah, I'm currently only doing a very select few clients on editing and not taking anyone else one. With my health, I simply can't work as fast as I would like.

But I think the point about editors not just doing grammar is very important. Especially as a newer author, writers don't always know what the problems are with the structure of the story. You can have a fantastic story, but if the structure is weak, grammar and punctuation won't matter.

Working with an editor can show you those structural errors. Agents and editors will ignore minor grammar and punctuation, typos and spelling in favor of a great story.

However, as competitive as getting an agent or a publisher is, putting every advantage you have forward never hurts.

Quality editing usually costs anywhere from a few dollars per formatted page to as much as 10-12 bucks per page, making a standard-length novel cost anywhere from $500-12,000 bucks... there are those who will do it for less--and I have myself in the past--but be sure to check their credentials and get references if they do--sometimes, you get what you pay for, and sometimes you just luck out. Good luck!

Love and stuff,
~~Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations~~

Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook


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