People inside the industry—like myself!
Rather than a reassurance, though, queries that mention a professional edit can leave me feeling less confident about the work. Writers may sincerely seek professional help, but very few are this web page to pay for it.
Can you benefit from a professional edit? Your work already needs to be very good and deserving of the investment. But they can make a good work great. Credible and independent professionals have member pages. Jane Friedman has more than 20 years in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media and the future of authorship.
She's the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheetthe essential industry newsletter Best Blog Post Editing For Hire Us authors. You can find out more about her consulting services and online classes at her website, JaneFriedman.
I keep paying for classes, and I really am doing it to get a solid read on my work.
That advice is even more questionable than one from an editor, though I might approach it with more skepticism. And I have very specific questions and needs. I believe going in with that in mind will make the time and money more useful.
Thanks for the post! I agree that having the right editor is a fabulous tool in advancing your writing. That being said, professional editors are very expensive and using them can become addictive. Or a series of them. One thing I would add here and one thing I offer to all potential clients is a free sample.
For a novel, I will edit 20 pages free of charge so they can see what they might expect from me. My reputation rests in the quality of a finished piece, so I have a vested interest in honesty.
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It is my job to read their books with the earnest eye of a new reader, without preconceived notions or fears of damaging a friendship. If a writer has the emotional maturity to face straightforward evaluation of their work, they are ready to hire an editor.
Great post; appreciate your insights. I agree with Allison as well about writers sometimes looking for someone to stroke their ego. Both times the writer has had a difficult time hearing what ultimately served their works better. But the advice read article has always taken me to where I needed to go is that which I fist balked at. Too many clients used me as a substitute for learning the craft.
I got out of the business after 18 months because I felt I was stealing money from these people! Most could not understand what I was doing or why because they were such neophytes.
Writers, it takes time and endurance to develop into a professional. There are plenty of wonderful resources available to help you achieve your dream. Be patient, and spend your money on learning and your time with butt in chair, hands on keyboard!
Like most relationships, its pot-luck. As with interviews, perfect resumes, and love at first sight, it just takes time before you know where fate has landed you. Then, finally, how to row through it and come out upright on the other side.
I know my work is really good, as even strangers have told me so. But it needs the sage, the magician, to make it great. Show me the person who can point out the way to finding that gift. Now that would be a beautiful thing! Developmental editing is big-picture stuff, looking at your novel from the perspective of its underlying premise, the construction of the plot, the portrayal and development of the characters, et cetera.
Line editing is a much narrower view of a work, focusing on the words on the page, and how to improve it at the sentence-by-sentence level.
Copy editing gets you a human spell-check, grammar-check, and fixes your punctuation. Maybe some light fact-checking as well. I spent an enormous amount of time in my talk last night making sure the audience understood the difference between those three things, and when to ask for each. I like to make an analogy to a house. This is to be expected: Ditto with novels, especially the first few novels you try to write.
Chances are, unless you are a particularly gifted writer whose talents will inspire envy in all around them, your first manuscript is going to have serious structural flaws. This is to be expected. Now when you try to sell that house—or query your manuscript—what should you expect?
A copy edit is like hiring a article source service to come in and make the place spotless Best Blog Post Editing For Hire Us you start inviting prospective buyers in to see the place. They finish the manuscript, and I get an e-mail in which they excitedly ask for a line edit. Before anything else, they need that structural engineer to come in and take a look first.
But there is nothing harder in this world for a book doctor to do than to line edit a manuscript that you know will never sell because you can see the structural flaws in it. So what happens is that in most cases, after I explain the difference between line editing and developmental editing, the client ends up opting for the latter. Which is ultimately better for them.
Why pay a lot of money slapping paint on a broken house? What makes a sympathetic hero? A good editor helps with that final polish and brings expertise into turning a good book into a great book. The majority of these writers have no idea about editing and assume it means correcting punctuation, spelling and grammar.
Coherence of content has not even been considered. I have also come across writers who ask for an honest opinion of their work and who then turn sour because I gave an honest opinion. I do not see the point of telling a writer their book is wonderful if it is in desperate need of a good edit!
Possibly Professional Presentation Proofreading For Hire Au not, again agreeing with Allison, too many new writers, sadly, are in need of learning how to write, not an edit. I must add, I am also very proud to have helped several new authors in their first tentative steps into writing and who have gone on to produce a fabulous read after being professionally edited! Finally — thank you to my professional freelance editor who not only knows her job, but is also a trusted friend.
And trust is something that must be nurtured between author and editor. Do not spend a lot of money slapping point on a broken house! This is the saddest thing I see happening to writers — again and again and again. Several of the members give me tough, sometimes even cruel critiques, and while sometimes tough to swallow, once I take my ego out of the equation, I see the value of their suggestions.
There are two groups of writers who I think should especially consider a professional edit, whether they have to pay for it or can trade or just get a friend to do it: Non-fiction writing tends to be more straightforward and easier to self-edit. But if you know your story and characters like the back of your brain, you are going to be less likely to Best Blog Post Editing For Hire Us your own omissions, errors, and self-indulgences.
And for these reasons, I think memoir writers and fiction writers should put their work through one or two professional processes before submission. After all, you only get one opportunity to impress. Make the the most of it! You are just a pro, making sure that your work is of publishable quality. No need to disclose it for fear of exactly what Jane said. And while it happens most often in non-fiction, believe me, it happens in fiction as well!
Regarding free sample edits: All the local editors I know are writers as well who have gone the self-pub route. While that is great for them, I worry which quality bar their editing would live up to: I hired a professional editor, and I have no regrets.
She focused on story i. Her critique took a broad, big-picture view of what I thought Best Blog Post Editing For Hire Us my novel — developmental, as opposed to line- or copy-editing.
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It was up to me to then rewrite it, and incorporate her suggestions into my new conception of the book. Though it might be considered cheating to some — I have horrible grammar and often my words get away from me and I write in circles for a paragraph.
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Recently it has been pointed out that I switch from present tense to past tense as well. Because I know about these things, I just get editor friends to go over my school work and I probably will with my manuscript as well. To boldly go where every college student goes eventually. In the end, it all comes down to great writing and a great story. Find a great editor that will help you get there. This post is great, and the comments even better. We have a cultural predisposition to focus on curing symptoms rather than learning about problem prevention or how to cultivate healthy development in the first place.
Make it and push it out into the world; fix it later. An editor like Emma Dryden, who has 25 years of experience editing for major NY publishing houses source has now gone freelance, is worth every penny. She knows what see more work. Being self-published — or even traditionally published!