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Ready. Fire. Aim. When to hire an editor

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#1 RobbG


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  • Publishing Experience:In August 2012, I signed with Evolved Publishing. My novel HANNAH'S VOICE will debut January 15, 2013. Plans are for two more novels to publish in 2013/early 2014.

    To support my writing habit, I am a freelance book editor. If you're looking for an editor for your manuscript before querying agents, publishers, or self-publishing, browse my website and 'Ask the Editor' blog for more information.

    I've written several articles on the craft of fiction that have been published on writer websites, and have had about a dozen short stories published in various anthologies, print magazines, and e-zines. My horror short story 'Desert Rain' was awarded 'Best of' by Horror Bound magazine in 2012, selected among the 10 best stories ever published by the magazine. I also self-published a short collection of three short stories, SONORAN DREAMS: Three Stories From Exile, which includes 'Desert Rain' plus two more (non-horror) stories.

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:21 AM

REPOSTING FROM MY BLOG ( http://robbgrindstaff.com/?p=780 )

Here's some unsolicited advice from an editor to writers. I’ll start with a message I receive way too frequently (a composite paraphrase of multiple emails here):

“Dear Robb, I found your website (or were referred to you). I have spent the past 6 months (or year, or 5 years) writing my first novel. It is a 150,000-word epic saga, the first of a planned trilogy. I have decided to self-publish, and have set a launch date, have a book-signing event set up, ads on Facebook promoting the upcoming debut, and the cover art designed. The launch date is set for the first of next month. Would you be able to edit my manuscript next week?”

Um. No. Cart? Horse?

If you spend six months or six years writing a novel, plan for the editing and revision process too. Make sure you have completed the editing and revisions, and that you’ve had a thorough final proofread done and complete before you announce a launch date or start submitting to agents and publishers. If you’re self-publishing, you’re setting your own deadlines. Why set it up so that you don’t have adequate time for revisions and editing?

An editor may be booked up with work for weeks in advance. So you’re out scrambling to find an editor who happens to have an opening next week. Hmmm. An editor with no work on his schedule? It happens to all of us at times, but any editor who has been doing it for a while and has a good track record probably isn’t sitting around hoping a new customer walks in the door because they have no project scheduled for next week.

Once the editor begins works on your manuscript, how rushed do you want him or her to be? Or do you want your editor to take his time and be thorough? Allow your editor at least a month to spend on it. At 150,000 words, maybe two months.

When the edits have been completed, how much time do you think you should spend going through those edits? A day? A day and a half? Maybe you should plan on at least another month to make the edits and revisions. Maybe you’ll have questions for your editor and will need to have conversations back and forth to figure out the best solution for a particular issue. Maybe you need to plan for more than one edit of your manuscript with a series of revisions to be made.

Why the rush? You’ve spent hours and weeks and months and maybe years to craft your story. Take your time with the editing process and put out a product you will be proud of and readers will enjoy.

There’s no benefit to publishing it a month or two earlier rather than a month or two later, especially if your book is considerably better a month or two (or six) later.

Take a breath. Horse. Cart.

#2 Jim Offerman

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:11 AM

Lol. Yeah, I think a trap that many creators (not just writers) fall into is that they want the world to see, read or hear what they've made as soon as they are done. Been guilty of that myself once or twice. :blush:

#3 E.B. Black

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:20 AM

I self-publish and this is exactly why I'm vague on release dates. I'll probably never have an actual date set ahead of time. It's just going to be something vague like "This season of this year" and I'm only willing to be that vague after I've finished writing it and either my beta readers have it or my editor has it.

Visit my web-site for links to my twitter, blog, facebook, and a way to e-mail me: http://www.ebblack.com/

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