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Paying for editing services and traditional publishing

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#1 Raserei


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Posted 04 November 2018 - 06:41 AM

I'm mulling over hiring a private editor to go over a manuscript. With my word count at about 80k, it seems the going rate will cost me about 1k to have it done. That's a large commitment to not ask a few questions to those who have been there, done that.


So, my question for you all is this : Those of you who have published traditionally and/or found an agent on contract, did you find that having a private editor helped (either for copy/line editing or content editing or both). 


Is private editing services considered more geared for small publishing houses and self publishing (since the big guys have their own editing staff), or have you found it help you get that contract? Thank you!

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#2 LucidDreamer


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Posted 04 November 2018 - 10:45 AM

You do not need an editor if you are going the tradiional route -- agent, trad. pub., etc. In fact, it is often a waste of time and money, as -- when you get a trad. deal -- you will have an editor who might actually want things done differently than any freelance editor you might go with ahead of time. 


You DO need beta readers and critique partners who will read your mss and let you know about grammar, spelling, etc. issues as well as plot holes and the like. You do want to query/submit "clean" manuscripts, but they don't have to be "perfect" in order to get a contract. The major editing will come after you get an agent and/or deal.


Personally, I think paying an editor ahead of querying or submitting, even to small houses, is unnecessary. (The only time when it might be useful is if you are writing in a language that is not your primary language).

#3 mwsinclair


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Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:24 PM

I second what Lucid said. Don't pay an editor at this stage. Not even me :cool:


I'd add that revising your own manuscript is an important skill that all writers should develop. Your tool kit should include good grammar, the ability to spell correctly and to recognize when to fix mis-usage (e.g., their, there, they're; its vs. it's; than and then...), and you will also want to hone your skills at story structure. But that last one in particular is something that often takes a lot of time; keep writing while you develop all these skills/tools.


Lucid's right that those types of things should get caught when you share your work with beta readers and critique partners, but it's also something that should seep into your writerly soul as you're reading. (You are reading, right? Especially in your genre of choice?)


Best of luck!

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