Monday, April 22, 2013

Ask the Editor: When Do I Hire an Editor?

Kevin D. sent me the following question: I've written the first hundred pages of my story (the other 200 or so are still in my head). Is it okay for me to take advantage of your Introductory Special to make sure I'm not wasting my time? Thanks in advance for your reply!

My answer? That depends on how much money you have to throw around and how serious you are about your story. To be honest, my "introductory special" is so successful, I don't see how I could stop offering it any time soon. And of course, even if it's not advertised, any writer who wants to make sure (s)he and I will see eye to eye on edits prior to hiring me to take on a larger project will always be welcome to send me a sample and I'll be happy to provide the sample price.

Here's the thing. Sure, you've got the story written in your head. But I strongly suggest you get it written on paper before you contact an editor. Why? Because a lot of times what's in your head doesn't translate to paper and you wind up with an entirely different story than what you'd originally envisioned. Because lots of people start a story and even write a hundred or a hundred fifty pages, then quit. Because it's more difficult for an editor to perform a structural edit on an incomplete manuscript.

The Internet's a wonderful thing and the sudden growth of self-publishing is grand. But it also means that people are in more of a hurry than ever to get their book "live"--often before it's polished and ready. Take a deep breath, put your head down, get those fingers on the keyboard and finish the story! Then revise and polish. Once you've done all that, contact me. I'll still be here and your story will benefit in the long run. I promise.

1 comment:

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