Writer/editor at work!
For as long as I’ve been writing full time (twenty-three years now), one aspect of my chosen career path has always bothered me…
We all know that writers in publishing house stables are expected to apply all the corrections and plot suggestions that their editors have made. So why should Indies have to suffer this totally illogical practice as well? For many, myself included, we parted company with traditional publishing to get away from this less than satisfactory aspect of the writing game, and the often dictatorial way in which publishers rule over their writers, amongst other things.
I’ve given up counting the number of times I’ve heard fellow Indie’s complain about their editors, and the hard won money they’ve spent on their sometimes dubious services.
If you take the sensible decision to go it alone and self edit, its down to you to find the errors and correct them, as well as sealing any and all plot holes! Whereas if you pay for an editor’s services, while they give the impression of doing a so-called ‘professional’ job, what do they actually do for their often exorbitant fee? I’ll tell you. Not enough! A lot act like an opinionated English teacher returning your homework having scrawled all over it in red pen!!! What’s the point?
Yes your editor will tell you that they have judiciously gone through your manuscript, purportedly working their way through your story word by word, line by line, paragraph by paragraph, picking up on bad grammar, spelling mistakes, incorrect punctuation. A few will even have the temerity to suggest that you change this or that aspect of your story as if it was them who wrote it in the first place!!! Fortunately the latter example is becoming few and far between.
When pedants, armchair critics and literary snobs challenge you (and believe me they will), you can honestly say that your work was professionally edited – by you! Logic dictates that if someone is being employed as an editor to find all of the errors, that once found, they should correct them, not send the manuscript back to the writer to do the rest of their job for them!
The best option by far is for a writer to do the sensible thing and send their manuscript to a few dedicated beta readers, hopefully they will point out any and all errors for free!
Remember this, no book is ever perfect (I’ve mentioned that a few times before, but it’s worth repeating). Even the very best editors employed by the major publishing houses will miss the odd error, after all they are human just like the rest of us. Paying for an editor’s services as they stand at the moment is a complete waste of money. Before you even begin to show a profit from the sales of your books, you have to recoup your financial outlay first, ie, editing, layout, cover design and promotion. From a financial point of view its far better that you do it all yourself.
If you are a truly dedicated Indie writer, don’t think that once you have written your manuscript that you have finished. You haven’t. Your work has only just begun. Above all don’t fall into the trap that your manuscript needs the services of a paid ‘professional’ editor. It doesn’t. Do it yourself!
End of lesson…