In March, I wrote a guest post for Ciara Ballintyne's 'Somebody Has To Say It' blog about finding an editor. It took me about six weeks and I finally found one that I was willing to trust my infant to. As Ciara commented at the end of my guest post, 'Word of mouth is a powerful thing.' So, it was risky of her to take me on, knowing I would be blogging to the world about her services, good or bad, but she did. Being a good sport and taking that chance got her a few points right up front.
Now I shall eat a bit of humble pie and say that I did not follow my own advice exactly. However, everything is a learning experience, so let me tell you how I made my decision.
1)Price-Yes, I am price conscious. I am on a budget and I would rather pay a moderate amount than a higher amount. Sue me for being poor. And I know that many of you will throw out the tired, old saying 'you get what you pay for'. That is bull. I've bought some pretty amazing things at discount stores---you just have to be willing to take your time and shop around.
I'm not saying my new editor is low priced---not at all. But, moderately priced, which I think is fair to both of us.
2) Experience- She is new to editing, which I don't have a problem with. She does have four or five full manuscripts in different genres under her belt and quickly provided me with those customers names and email addresses to contact. But she is a writer, and a good one. Her website has several examples of her work, and after reading them, I was fairly confident that she could help me with my manuscript, And They Call Me Crazy.
3) Attitude- This is something that I didn't touch on in my original post, but I am going to now. My editor was excited about my project, from reading the brief blurb through the entire process. Her energy and enthusiasm made me feel like we were partners, I had someone I could discuss the manuscript with as she edited. Writing is a lonely sport, and it's nice to finally have a teammate.
4)Website- If you read my original post, you know that I have a 'thing' for wanting to see someone's website. It tells me you are serious about the job, even if you are just starting out. My new editor's website is professionally done and has no spelling or grammar errors! You may find that a strange thing to be excited about, but after going over several, looking for my perfect match, you have no idea how many mistakes I found. As I said in the original post, I can make those errors all by myself, I need an editor that can find them, not make them.
But those are all factors in choosing and editor. The big question is, after editing And They Call Me Crazy, how do I feel about her?
I am thrilled! A writer and a good editor form a relationship, one built on honesty and respect. It takes a team effort to produce an amazing piece of work. You must have a partner that is willing to help you take it to the next level. My editor, and yes, she will be my editor again and again, not only helped me improve my work, but helped me improve it more than I had anticipated. She exceeded my expectations, which is difficult to do, because I've been told more than once that I'm a tough one to please. But she did it. All hail the Editor Extraordinaire.
So who is this Wonder Woman of Words, this Energizer Bunny of Editing, this Goddess of Grammar?
And I hope you do check her out when you need an editor, because every writer needs one. No matter how good you think your work is, how engaging your neighbor found the plot or how interesting and complex your mother finds the protagonist, a second (or third, or fourth) set of eyes to go over it is necessary.... As a person who spends a lot of time editing for others, I would never claim that I don't need one myself. I do.
But I've found my perfect match.
While you're clicking around, check out my books on my website.
And don't forget to read my original post about finding an editor, which also talks about a Victorian era, sex-starved, zombie dragon. How can you resist that?