People ask me all the time, “Should I Hire An Editor?”
There, that’s settled.
Different people have different needs, so let’s explore the options.
You and another author friend are coming up on your editing phase, and both of you want to hire editors – which is a decision I respect. A good editor earns their money. I know several.
You and your friend can help each other search for an editor, and maybe even find a better deal by offering two books – as in two customers – to the editor. Either way, if I’m a friend of yours, keep me in the loop. Maybe I can help, or refer someone, or learn something, or pass along the names of the editors you finally decide on. Maybe there’s a guest blog post in it for you, “My Quest For An Editor.”
There are MANY good editors out there, and they vary in price, and also in what they’ll do for you. The time to shop for editors is sooner, not later. You don’t necessarily have to wait until your book is finished. Sending a sample chapter to an editor will result in getting an estimate of what your whole book is going to cost to edit. Lots of spelling issues? That’s gonna run you more. Discover the wonder that is spellcheck. Have a friend proofread it and you proofread for them = money saved, starving artists!
Some beta readers catch spelling errors, too. That’s also a good time to send the sample out to an editor and start shopping. An editor will have a backlog and a schedule, too. No need to delay your publication any longer than necessary. Consider it multitasking.
What if you go the non-editor route?
So do smart people I know….
A friend recently self published her first novel and it was edited by herself (not a great idea for most of us because we don’t usually see our own errors after a second pass), with the help of her husband and some friends.
It was fine. Everyone survived. And they still talk to each other.
If you have author type friends – and you really should – they can edit, or help co-edit, for what I call “listing credit” (I’ll explain in a moment). Author friends can catch spelling and tense issues, too, and make a few suggestions or whatever else you want them to bring to the table. You can do this for them, too.
That way, you can list each other as the editors Amazon for your respective books (listing credit). That means the book you edit shows up on your Amazon author page. You can help edit four books for edit credit, and when you publish your first book on Ammy, there will be FIVE titles there for fans to see. There are a few easy steps, like creating an Amazon author page and “claiming” the book, but you can handle it. (If I can do it, you can.)
Five titles helps you look more established, makes your FIRST book look more credible when it comes out. It’s five ways for you to be found when people search, and it makes everyone’s books look more professional because somebody else is listed as editor. So do a good job. (Don’t have five books you can help with? Two is still better than one.)
On my author page, The Grandfather Tree is a book I helped edit with another author friend, so it shows up as a title on both of our author pages – cool, huh? For that reason, I’m big into trading favors, so when I help somebody they’ll help me and vice versa.
So I should… what?
Study up, ask friends, and make the call that’s best for you.
Paying an editor is a good idea, and I recommend it. Like I said, different people have different needs and a good editor earns their money. When you’re ready, I can help you with that process.
For me, between my critique group, beta readers, and a few friends, I’m thinking that’s as good as an edit – for me, and only part of the time. I like to get the task of editing accomplished through friends, as described above. Sometimes, that’s not the best way for me to go. I do it when I can.
Either way, I like to help new authors get established and start making money in this business, and I look to build lasting relationships that I hope lead to all of us toasting each other in some swanky New York literary club as we wait to receive our awards.
Want me to critique the first chapter of your story? SEND IT. Hit the Contact Me button and, you know, contact me. I’ll see what I can do.
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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi” – yeah, we know. We’re trying to convince him to change that title – check out his other works here http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1425128559&sr=1-1 and check back often for interesting stuff.