Can we talk about editors?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Can we talk about editors?

Post by Watcher55 » July 26th, 2011, 10:19 am

I don't know a whole lot about editors, but i've seen the word on more than one agency website. is it wise/necessary/advisable to hire an editor before the query process? If someone needs an editor, what should he look for? is anyone aware of a resource people can use to inform themselves before shopping for an editor?

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Re: Can we talk about editors?

Post by Margo » July 26th, 2011, 10:31 am

Professional editors are a great idea, but the good ones are also very expensive. There's a huge difference in the kind of editing you'd get for $500-1,000 from an editor who banned word, for instance, in working with self-published authors and the developmental editing you'd get for $3,000 from a freelancer who works in New York helping professional/advanced authors polish their work. Those editors even have a submission process to screen out possible clients who aren't ready for professional editing.

My advise is this: unless you are already wealthy, save your money and just work on honing your craft. Maybe go to a local or online conference/workshop or two where you'll have the opportunity to get an agent's or editor's opinion on the first 10-15 pages (and maybe a synopsis).

For instance, there are online workshops (1-2 hours) for less than $100 that frequently have a review component. The author/agent/editor will critque your query pitch or your first 5 pages (or something). There are longer classes (several weeks, one night a week) for anywhere from $75-$300 where it's a whole short story or chapter or synopsis that gets critiqued. If you want professional feedback and can't travel, these are more cost effective options.

Edit: If you really want to hire an editor, check them out on Predators & Editors, and ask around for recommendations. If you're going traditional publishing, I recommend Lisa Rector, but she's very very expensive.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves.

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