Thoughts on Editors

1 year ago | ClearMadness (Member)

So, I'm starting to get to the point in my web serial where I would end the first book. I definitely plan on releasing it as an e-book but I want to have it edited first. I was thinking of hiring a professional editor to go through it, mostly for feedback on story structure and such.

Does anyone have any opinions, insights, or experiences with editors they want to share? I really know nothing about it, so any help would be appreciated.

Author of The Iron Teeth, a online dark fantasy story.

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Responses

  1. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    What's your budget like? Good editors are expensive. :(

    I might be able to provide some advice, but it really depends on how much you can spend.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  2. Dary (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I'm fortunate enough that I went to university with someone who now works as a freelance editor (so all that debt wasn't for nothing!). She looks over my stuff and gives feedback after I've finished the second draft (that is "the draft I'm happy with"), and does a thorough line-edit after I've finished the third (due to her schedule, though, I usually put stuff online beforehand - her changes by this point don't affect the story).

    I'd generally advise people to have someone look over their work before they serialise it. I always see people saying that they'll "edit later for publication", and it makes me wonder if they realise how much work that editing will involve. I mean, I can write a 4,500 word chapter in about ten hours. When you throw in the additional drafts and editing, however, each chapter takes around 30-35 hours. Sometimes more.

    The more work you do beforehand, the easier things will be. The last thing you want is to be serialising Book Two, only for your editor to point out an issue with Book One that demands a thorough rewrite that will ultimately contradict what you're currently serialising.

  3. ClearMadness (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I'm looking to spend less than $1000 right now. If there's a reason to spend more I might wait and save up for later.

    Author of The Iron Teeth, a online dark fantasy story.
  4. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Let me recommend:

    http://arpistaediting.com/

    She is FANTASTIC.

    She did the editing for the Curveball Year One and Year Two Omnibus editions. Excellent editing and really affordable right now, though I suspect someday that will change.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  5. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    The editors I work with charge around 2.4 cents per word for a copy (editor 2) and developmental (editor 1) edit, and they're FANTASTIC. I don't regret a single cent I spent. You can probably find someone who works for less, but they won't be as good.

    A 'not so good' editor might correct mis-spelled words, but not make structural changes that would improve flow, pacing, and reader immersion. A cheap editor won't ask for 10 pages of background information about your world and characters. They'll just do their thing and (probably) make edits that muddle your vision of the story.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  6. DrewHayes (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    For jumping to e-books, a professional editor is pretty much a must. Reviews will ding the crap out of you if they see frequent errors, and especially early on that can be a real bear. The good news is that you should certainly be able to get by under $1000 if you stick to only buying proofing services, even with web-serial sized projects. It's hard to give an estimate of what it will cost without knowing the wordcount, but I can speak to general pricing at least:

    The average freelance editor charges around $0.005-0.03 per word, depending on if you need full editing versus just proofing (I know that's a big spread, but the amount of work for different services also varies a lot). Some will be a little higher, some might be a touch lower, but most of the ones I've gotten per-word quotes from tend to circle around that area. If you get quotes drastically higher than that, you might want to direct your search elsewhere.

    For recommendations, I have two I use frequently: Erin Cooley (cooley.edit@gmail.com) and Kisa Whipkey (http://kisawhipkey.com/freelance-editing/). Can't say if their rates/timetables will fall in line with your needs, but I can attest that they do consistently good work.

    Make sure to get as early a jump on the process as you can. Finding the right editor can sometimes take a while, and once you do there's the matter of waiting until they have room in their workload to accept the job. As someone who has done too many jobs on ridiculously close timetables, trust me that you want some time-padding.

    Super Powereds & Corpies
    http://www.DrewHayesNovels.com/
  7. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I'd like to add it depends on how experienced you are as a writer. Some people like Patrick Rochefort and Maddirose have such a refined writing style that they only really need a good proofreader. Others, like me, write a barely coherent mess and then spend years whipping it into readable shape. XD

    Just something to keep in mind.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  8. FrustratedEgo (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I'll second the whole 'reviewers dig you for errors' thing. (I'm seeing it now, but so it goes. Spending 1000$ is hard at the moment.)

  9. Billy Higgins Peery (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I definitely understand the need for a proofreader.

    What about more big-picture issues?

    For a while I've thought that having an editor do more than proofreading would be a mistake. After all, the web serial audience likes the story, so changing the story/characters for the ebook could backfire.

    At the same time, my serial feels particularly, idk, experimental? And I'm thus wondering if an editor who suggests beefing up certain chapters, streamlining certain plot points, and so on would be useful.

    Web Traffic Expert, my SEO business
    "Any number of hitlers, are still not my problem." -Tempest
  10. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    You never know if editing would make the serial even more popular. :)

    It had that effect on mine. The more I edit, the more people keep reading until the end and post enthusiastic comments. I get more TWF votes and FAR more word of mouth effect, as far as I can tell. I didn't change the characters, though. I just added more details and improved the flow and writing.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  11. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I don't know what to say about big picture issues for serials… if you're writing it in real time, when would you send it off for editing? The only way I can think of that working is if the story editor is part of the writing team and embedded in your publishing schedule work flow.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  12. Dary (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    You write a novel's worth of material and, while your editor is going over that, work on the next part. That's how I've been working, at least.

  13. Billy Higgins Peery (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Yeah, I'm not really talking about editing the serial. That's a good idea -- and I might do it for other projects -- but right now I'm thinking specifically about editing for the ebook without editing the serial.

    Will readers be upset about the differences between ebook and serial?

    Do you think ebook-specific edits more substantial than a proofread are necessary?

    Web Traffic Expert, my SEO business
    "Any number of hitlers, are still not my problem." -Tempest
  14. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Ebook readers are more critical and less forgiving of editing issues than web fiction readers. An ebook is considered a professional product, so it needs to shine.

    This is even more important if you want the ebooks to sell really well. A well-edited book with a professional looking cover is going to do so much better in the Kindle store, though you also need a decent initial sales boost during the first week for it to take off.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/

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