The Editor Search (Concluded!)
So, as mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been busy these past few weeks looking for an editor who’ll help me with the first book in the Order of the Spirits series. Now, as someone who rigorously edits their own stories, for a while there I had questioned if I really need someone’s help in this department, and in short: Yes. Absolutely.
Many successful authors will tell you that as someone who wrote the manuscript, you’ll always be blind to some of its shortcomings; and although not a successful author myself, I can kind of attest to that. I’ve done my best to tidy up the manuscript for Order of the Spirits: Fragments, but I’m aware that no matter how many times I go through it, I’ll never catch every single error. Not to mention the potential improvements that I continue to overlook simply because I’m used to seeing my text a certain way.
So, yeah, if I want Fragments to be as close to perfect as possible, I’ll need an editor. But, what does an editor do exactly? Well, that depends on the editing treatment. There are 3 steps to the editing process:
- Developmental editing – which deals with the structure and the overall flow of the story.
- Line editing – where the focus is on the consistency, clarity, proper choice of words, grammar…
- Proofreading – which mostly comes down to cleaning up the manuscript of typos.
Now, line editing and proofreading are a must on any to-do list when it comes to self-publishing. Hiring a developmental editor, however, is up for debate. Researching the issue, I’ve seen good arguments being made both for and against it. On the one hand, an expert in the field will help and guide you so that your story checks all the right boxes with the majority of readers. On the other, you’re potentially sacrificing those unique elements and narrative risks that might make your story stand out from the competition. It’s a tough decision... However, I’ve discovered two things that ultimately helped me make up my mind on the issue. First being that developmental editing is costly, and second, that I’ve already done most of it myself!
When I look at the collection of stories that make up Fragments, as well as feedback from the people who’ve read them, I’m rather satisfied with what I’ve achieved. Hell, I’m proud of some of these stories! That being said... one of them, in particular, has always stood out to me as subpar. Ironically, back when I was uploading my first drafts on DeviantArt, this was the story that had the most success! So I don’t know if I’m being harsh with myself here or what, but since my goal is to publish Fragments (and hopefully kick-off a successful book series!), I’m not taking any chances. Therefore, I had decided to look for a developmental editor to help me not with the entire book, but rather just this one story featured in it!
Going into this as someone who has never worked with an editor before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I set on my search. I had started where one would expect in today’s day and age: Google. After narrowing down that general search to a few people who seemed like a good fit, I’ve contacted them directly and to my surprise – they’ve all responded! As it happens, most editors are very kind and friendly people!
Most of them expressed an interest in my story and made their offers. Yet, not ready to rush into anything and wanting to make sure I hire the right person, I’ve also decided to try out services specifically developed to pair writers with editors, such as Reedsy and NY Book Editors.
Folks at NY Book Editors turned out to be waaay out of my price range, but their staff was kind enough to direct me to other potential sources – their competitor Reedsy included. Which, in the end, worked out the best for me! I’ve reached out to several editors through the platform that Reedsy provides and by the end of my search, that got me to a total of seven different editors that I was seriously considering for the job. It would’ve been a tough choice too, if not for Courtney Andersson who eventually got the gig!
Of all the sample edits that I’ve received, Courtney’s stood out. For those curious, a sample edit is when a writer sends the first few pages of their manuscript to the potential editor, and they return it with an example of how their editing would apply to those pages. This doesn’t only help the writer decide if they like the way the editor works, but also helps the editor see the quality of the manuscript and set their price. All the sample edits I’ve received during my search were good, insightful, and surprisingly unique in their observations and overall approach. That distinctive, personal touch is what helped me realise that Courtney’s style of editing and her thought process make her the best fit for this story. So yeah, I’m quite excited to work with her!
We’re scheduled to start in April, which means we’ll probably be done with the developmental editing some time in May. Seeing how the developmental process usually takes the longest, I’m confident that the line editing and the proofreading will be done long before the end of 2020 – which is still my self-appointed deadline to get Order of the Spirits: Fragments published!
So yeah, that’s the news for now! I’ll do my best to keep you updated on further progress. In the meantime, if you’re curious to hear how I approached all these editors, hit me up through the Contact page. Same goes for those interested in the sources I had used during my research of this whole process. I suspect I’ll talk about all of it once the book is out, or nearing that point, but you don’t have to wait that long if you’re looking for some hints on where to start your own editor search.
All right… Peace out!