So we talked about literary agents earlier this week and now we’re going to be editors – not editing. Editors are fantastic and you can find them in just about any field you enter into. They make sure that your written word, pictures, videos, etc. look like the sparkling gems that they are.
There are three editors in your writing life, one is mandatory and the other two are a bit more optional. You, for sure, have to edit your own work. It’s healthy for you to do so and you have the control to make changes and fix your mistakes in the way you want. You could hire a live human being as an editor or you can use a software to edit for you. Ideally, if you can use all three of these then you’re going to be on top of your editing game.
The Software Option
Here’s one precautionary tale about software editing: your computer is still a machine and it will make mistakes. I know from personal experience that Microsoft Word does not catch every error that I make. So it is always good to go over things yourself and/or have someone else read your manuscript over. On top of this, a real life human being can suggest changes and improvements that a software can’t.
Regardless, here are some helpful sites that go over some of the more popular software for writers and editing:
Off of that list I have heard the most about Hemingway. I’ve had nothing but good reviews about the program.
The Human Editor
There has been a bit of a debate over writers and editing their own work. Mostly, everyone agrees that the writer should take the first edit, this is where the debate comes in, however does this mean that the manuscript is then ready for publication? Obviously, there is going to be a bit of bias depending on who is speaking, but there are a lot of benefits to having someone else look over your work.
Some of these benefits include:
- Having a fresh eye look over your work. You’ve been working on this manuscript for a long time and you may not be noticing the mistakes, awkwardness, or passiveness of your writing.
- Suggestions to make your book better. Along with that new perspective comes some new ideas. Your editor should be familiar with what is getting put out on the market and what is successful. They can help you tweak your book a bit to make it more appealing to a publisher.
- Having a perfect, or near perfect, book. This gives you a lot more credibility as a writer and it doesn’t drive your readers nuts if they keep finding mistakes.
- You’ve got someone who knows the industry. They have industry knowledge and they are going to help get your book on the market. Or they specialize in a certain genre, which has definite benefits.
- They cost money. So, you’re going to need to budget it in if you’re going to be self-publishing or even before you submit it to a traditional publishing house. Most freelancers are going to start at $30/hr.
- There are some shady people. Unfortunately, there are people who like to take advantage of others. There should be no extra fees. It should be a flat or hourly fee.
Here’s a list of links to find an editor near you:
- She’s got a good list of different editors that she’s met or worked with on there.
- Editor’s Canada
- Calgary Association of Freelance Editors
- There are other freelance editing groups most likely in your community.
- Do your research here. There are going to be freelancers from all over the world and the quality can vary. So will the price.
As always I want to remind you to do your due diligence in your researching of prospective editors. I don’t want to see anyone get scammed and I want you to get the best for your money. Also make sure you look at the fine print and read over what is in your contract.
That’s it from me this week! Next week we’re going to be looking at different ways to market your book after it’s been published.
Until next week!