faqs about Hiring an editor

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What should I do once I’ve finished writing my novel/poetry collection?

First of all, congratulations on finishing your draft. Now it’s time for the fun part: pruning and perfecting!

If you haven’t already, think about what you want for your piece of writing. Ask yourself: Why have I written this? Why have I written it now? Who have I written this for? And what do I want to do with it?

After you have a considered these, had time to reflect on the answers, and adjusted your writing accordingly, I thoroughly recommend sending your manuscript to an editor for an unbiased diagnosis before self-publishing, or submitting to a publishers, as publishing houses are asking manuscripts to be more highly polished upon submission than ever.

I offer an affordable package which will provide you with detailed, critical feedback on your writing’s plot, narrative, structure and strengths and weaknesses, as well as a wide range of selective packages that allow you to pick focused services that will help strengthen the areas of your writing that you think may be lacking.

Do I need an editor to edit my work? What difference does it make?

An editor can have a hugely positive impact not only on the piece that they are editing, but on your future writing. A good editor is not just a critic, but also a teacher and friend.

When you've submerged yourself into writing a piece, there will naturally be things that you, being so paternally involved with the writing process, can no longer assess peripherally and pragmatically, such as spelling mistakes or plot holes. A professional, second pair of eyes is necessary and invaluable if you want your writing to thrive.

A good editor or editorial service such as Killing Darlings will offer you an honest, peripheral review of the strengths and weaknesses of your work, as well as tailored advice about how to develop your writing towards your own unique goals.

Do I need to get my book edited or read by an editor before I submit it to a publisher?

Whatever your intentions for your work are, I would highly recommend having your work read and critiqued, if not edited by someone with professional experience.

It's always better to be told by your editor at an early stage that something's not working than to read it later in a review, and an editor can help inspire ideas and highlight potential problems that you wouldn't otherwise have thought of.

Having an editorial eye look at your work is an invaluable and crucial step if you want to ensure your writing is the best version of itself, and a prior, professional edit can boost your chances of success should you choose to submit your manuscript for publication, or self-publish your work.

Do I need to get my book edited or read by an editor before I self-publish it?

Yes. Your writing needs to be of the highest quality to stand the best chance of success, as you will not have the resources and support that comes as part of a traditional publishing contract, such as such as a editorial team and a marketing team.

I recommend consulting an editor before pushing the self-publish button, even if it's just for an unbiased critique of your work. If it's within your means, I also strongly recommend investing in your writing by consulting an editor to help polish your work, and investing in a service that includes substantive, copy and line editing services(such as my fully-fledged Major Major package).

It is imperative that you also seek the services of a professional proofreader to ensure your grammar is correct. Having a ‘great spellchecker’ or utilising artificial intelligence software to proof your work will not guarantee you the quality that an experienced proof-reader can provide, so I would advise against cutting corners.

Remember: These things take time, so don’t be afraid to take some time to reflect on your work and seek a second opinion before making any major decisions.

How much does it cost to have a book edited?

The cost of editing a book depends on a number of factors: such as your choice of editor, your choice of publishing route, and the length and nature of your writing.

If you are fortunate enough to have your manuscript commissioned or accepted by a publisher, editing will take place post-advance stage, and the cost of editing will be absorbed by your publisher. However, it is worth noting that editing will be one of the last stages of development, and that your work will likely be edited very little — so it’s important to ensure your work is of the best quality upon submission.

For those looking to self-publish, the cost of commissioning an editor will be your responsibility to incur. There are some self-publishing agencies that offer traditional publishing services (PR, editing and marketing) for a fixed fee rate. This cost will depend on the agency, the services you require, and the work required for your work.

As contemporary alternatives to traditional publishing are becoming more popular (such as self-publishing and crowdfunding), manyy writers are turning to freelance editors for advice to ensure that their manuscript is polished and ready to be shared. Most editors charge an hourly rate, and will issue you an estimate of costs at the beginning of a project. Some services, such as Killing Darlings, offer a quote for particular services, which means a fixed cost is agreed to carry out the work agreed.

Depending on the services you select, the editor you choose to work with, and the amount of time required carry out the services your work requires, the cost of editing your work will vary. I recommend researching the best services and editors for you, and asking them for an estimate of costs before committing to anything.

Editing is part of my creative process and development. Can I edit my book myself?

It’s great to hear that you’re getting involved in the editorial process, and finding it a positive tool for development. However, self-editing can only be so affective, and you shouldn’t dismiss the invaluable input that the right editor can have not only on your current writing, but on your future writing.

If you’re planning to self-publish or publish via a traditional route, your manuscript needs to be high quality upon submission or publication, and this is something that you will find far more successful if you have a good editor by your side, and are willing to develop from the criticism of others.

Regardless of whether your intentions are to publish, self-publish, or to keep your writing for yourself, your work and your style as a writer will develop tenfold if you have someone to support you and point out where your work could be improved.

Book editing is no mean feat. Remember: an editor wants to help your book be the best book it can be. That is their job.

I’ve asked my friends and family to critique my work. Do I need an editor to look at my writing?

It’s brilliant that you’ve started asking for critical feedback, as this is one of the most crucial parts of developing your writing.

However, friends and family are not the best critical guides, as they are unlikely to be qualified to give professional advice, and their feedback is likely to be biased.

An editor will not only know how to approach your work with a keen eye, but will deliver unbiased criticism that will help you develop your work more effectively.

If your intention is to publish your writing through self-publishing or traditional publishing methods, you should consult with a professional before submitting or publishing your work.

How do I find a good editor?

There’s many things to consider on your hunt for the perfect editor, and the definition of a ‘good editor’ varies for each writer's specific needs.

The first things to do is to consider when searching for an editor is the logistics of what you want, such as: What type of services do you want? When do you want your work to be completed by? How much money do you have to spend on services? And: Do you require a face to face meeting, and if so, how far are you willing to travel?

The second thing to do once you’ve determined these factors is research, research, research. Think about what sort of experience you want your editor to have. For example, has your editor worked on any books comparable to yours? Investigate what sort of genres certain editors specialise in, and research those who have edited your favourite contemporary books (you’ll often find them listed in the author’s acknowledgements) to see if you think they'd be a suitable match for you.

Remember: experience is important, but so is the personal and professional relationship between you and your editor. You need to feel comfortable and able to yield, or when you feel necessary, resist, to your editors suggestions.

A good editor can change the way you work and write for the better, whilst preserving all the strengths of your own unique style, so take your time, and make sure that you find the right editor for you. Once you have found them, don't be afraid to contact them.