Writers, who publish traditionally, or via eBook format, recognize the value of paying for the services of a professional editor. The old saying “Anyone who represents himself in court has a fool for a client” is so true. And as far as writing and publishing is concerned, anyone who self edits their own work can only expect a financial return commensurate with the level of their editing efforts. I came across this information, from and about an editing service and I’d like to share it with you.
Since you are reading this blog, chances are you are a writer. Once you’ve penned a story, before you place it out there for the whole world to see, you want it to be as polished as possible.
Most writers know the value of “another set of eyes” reading through their manuscript, but they often flinch at the rates of hiring a professional editor.
Okay, so here’s the truth: Not all professional editors are the same. Not all editors charge you outrageous rates for their services. Not all editors are in the business for the income. Not all editors see other editors as competitors.
True professional editors see you and your writing as the #1 importance of their job. They work alongside you to help you bring out the best in your manuscript. Some professional editors even stick with you after publication, helping you with marketing and promotional services.
Can a writer expect a better editing job from a stand-alone editing service than an individual who edits part time? My truthful answer to that is both yes and no. I’ve stated above that not all editors are the same. It’s true that those who have made professional editing their full-time career focus solely on editing and assisting authors in various ways, but those editors still have a personal life and families to care for every day.
However, those who work outside the home and do editing part time, have less time to devote to actual editing. It doesn’t necessarily mean they do not do outstanding work, though. It just means they might be best suited for shorter writings or given more time to complete the longer ones.
What to look for in a professional editor:
E – Excellent communication skills
D – Dependability
I – Interested in your work and helping you reach your goals
T – Trust
O – Observant
R – Responsible
S – Supportive
(And much more!)
What you should expect from a professional editor after paying their rate:
A copy-editor focuses on many things in your manuscript. Sometimes they also proofread the finalized document before publication. The following things are what Geesey Editorial Services do during the editing stages (yes, there is more than one stage to editing).
- Clarity of each sentence
- Style: voice and tone
- Word usage: Homophones (i.e. knew/new, peek/peak)
- Sentence structure (run-on sentences, sentence fragments)
- Subject-verb agreement
- Verb tenses
- Punctuation (apostrophes, quotation marks, colons, semi-colons, comma splices, periods, exclamation points, question marks, hyphens, em dashes, en dashes, ellipses, etc.)
- Grammatical errors
- Typographical errors
- Research/fact checking
- Odd phrasing
- Content editing
- Plot development
- Character development
- Plot holes
And the list goes on …
As you can see, a professional editor has a lot of responsibility with each and every manuscript that crosses their desk. They may charge per word, per page, or a flat rate per project. Never be afraid to ask them if they accept payment arrangements, or if they are flexible with their rates. Again … not all editors are the same. Find one who works within your budget, no matter what that budget may be.
Happy writing, everyone!
Note from Ted: I’ve asked for Patti Geesey’s permission to share the above. And I must add something to what she has said, that only highlights the manner in which she gives her clients a “hand up.”