Saturday, June 4, 2011

Choosing an editor

thank you for your comments, Wendy and Rosalie.

As a general rule, friends and relatives do not make good editors. My son read a story of mine and his comment was,"Well, you know real authors don't have to promote their books."

Be certain that you choose someone who has at least some education in the field.
Anyone can say, "I'm an editor," but not know anything about editing.

In my opinion editing is an art. Some people have it and some don't.
One of my submissions I sent in recently had been edited by several members of my author group. I decided to edit it one more time. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had changed the sex of the baby in the later pages. First he was an abandoned baby boy, and later I referred to the ribbon in her hair! No one had caught this blooper.

You can hire an editor, but they do charge a fee.
Once your manuscript has been accepted,the publisher assigns an editor. If you feel the editor is not doing you justice, you can request another editor, but you run the risk of having your contract broken. (not good)

Please tell me in the comment section how you choose an editor before you submit your manuscript. I will post again at ten Pacific time.


Christopher Hoare said...

I've never hired an editor. I prefer to have feedback from other authors on the basis of swapping critiques.

I'll say much more about this on my blog turn on the 10th.

Tessa said...

I think a lot of people assume editing is like proofreading, when it's so much more. I follow a few authors on Twitter, and they often discuss the importance of a good editor with a keen eye. It's more than grammar and sentence structure. Will be checking back again.

Julie Jansen said...

I have several people read my stories before I send them out: members of my writers group, my mom (I'm lucky to have one who gives tough, honest feedback), and other writer friends. I think the only time I've considered hiring someone to take a look at a piece of work is with a script.

Nan D Arnold said...

I have a "beta reader" in my wonderful (and frank) cousin and then most importantly, my crit pard, fellow author Cheryl Dale. Kind but firm. Fantastic eye and ear for voice. Could not do without her. Look for her book which comes out in March 2012 from MuseItUp.

jabberingjo said...

thank you, Christopher, Tessa, Julie, and Nan for your comments

Tyvara said...

I run all my work through my critique groups, typically multiple times, but that's the furthest I've ventured. I've been thinking of getting an editor (now that I'm aware there are two types, that should help). But I'm definitely starting to get an idea of what to look for.
Thanks so much for these wonderful posts. Very informative, and I'm excited for more.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've only ever had an editor after my book was accepted. I was lucky, the editors I have worked with were professional, courteous, and inspiring.

Thanks for the great post.

John B. Rosenman said...

For over twenty years, I was a member of a writers group. We submitted copies of stories, chapters of novels, etc. every two weeks. The readers were good, and I sold many stories because of them.

However, having one good editor who is assigned by a publisher can be as good or even better in some ways than having a whole writers group. IF THAT PERSON IS GOOD. One thing my Content Editor does is to highlight words I overuse in my fiction. It can be a real eye-opener to go through your manuscript that way. All of a sudden those invisible words are not so invisible.

Wendy said...

I believe, critique groups are vital. The critiquers are not editors, they are fellow writers (or readers) who help you prepare your book for submission to a publisher. The publisher employs qualified editors who help you polish your book for sale.

John B. Rosenman said...

Well, sometimes the members of a critique group ARE editors, and they do help you polish your book.
I've seen this time and again, especially with those who revise your sentences and devote time to suggesting alternate ways for expressing something. Also, sometimes these critiquers are editors of magazines and publishing houses, so they don't necessarily look at your work just as writers or readers but as editors as well. This was the case, for example, with Rich Rowand, a writer/reader/editor of Starshore magazine, who purchased some fiction from me.

jabberingjo said...

thank you for your comments.
Tessa, you are so right. Editing is
much more than proofreading.
Chris, I'll be reading your workshop on the tenth.
Tyvara, thank you, there is much more that could have been said, but it is a little difficult for me to do a workshop on-line. I have several better drafts out there in cyberspace somewhere.I didn't click save often enough.
Joylene, I'm glad you found a good editor. there are a lot of them. (A
ll of them at Muse are good)
John, you are right some are editors, critiquers, and reviewers all in one.
Webster defines a critique as "a critical estimate or discussion"
the same dictionary defines a review as : a "critical examination of a novel."
What do you think is the difference?