Virgin Author Ch 4 But No Really, Editing
But No Really, Editing.
Shine, Polish, Repeat - then Pros
Go online sometime when your parents aren’t home and just look at it all. You know what I’m talking about. Go online. Find the bad stuff. I mean the really nasty, like oh my God, why? Stuff. No need to troll. Just be aware. Beware too. That could easily be you. Every crappily done book should be a cautionary tale. (I mean, if you think about it, they often literally are). If you go to writers cons or comic-cons or whatever it is you young whippersnappers are into these days, you’ll even find em there too. Books that, as gently as I can say it, never ought to have been published(in their present form). I’m talking horrible covers (yes, covers matter. No, your buddy you know who is a maverick on Microsoft Paint should not design your cover). I’m talking bad spacing. I’m even saying glaring grammar and spelling mistakes.
Here’s the thing. As good as you are. As awesome as you are (and I’m sure you are)… In the immortal words of the great literary poets of our time, Disturbing the Peace, “Move Bitch, get out the way!” I’m serious. No one needs another shitty amateur ebook. No one.
NOW READ THOSE LAST FEW SENTENCES AGAIN.
Ok, now take a deep cleansing breath with me, and edit that shit. I mean, really edit it. More than just running it through spell check. Even more than running it through Grammarly (I love you, Grammarly). Even more than applying your 3-5 beta reader’s comments. EVEN more than working in your old English teacher’s suggestions. (I know, I realize this sort of commitment is kinda a big deal).
There comes a time in every young writer's life when they need it. Whether they know it or not, or you know it or not, when you need a pro. You need the unrivaled god-like powers of an editor. AND not just any old editor, either. You need one that preferably gets you. One that is vetted by your local writers guild or some outside national editor’s association. Don’t just Google search this, son. This is where being an active part of a professional writers group will go miles for you. Really get you off… to a good start, that is.
Remember the first time you realized you might actually be able to make a few bucks off this? Crazy, I know right? You want to get paid for your work. Your long hard slogs through depression, anxiety, and wonderfully awesome creative orgasms of literary splendor. You made your Good Art. Now you want some cash for it – Maybe even a little respect too. Well, so do editors. Good ones cost money, hun. Save your allowance. It’s worth it. Now, they might not charge you a crap ton, but it’s still money. But it’s money well spent. It’s necessary.
Just do it, ok?
In this humble author’s experience, editors who handle what he typically writes (Fantasy) have quoted rates anywhere from $400 - $2,500 for content and some line editing 85,000+ word novels. I think that’s decent and I’m not well off by any means (anyone want to help pay my electric bill next month? – Serious offers only, please). In related news, I’d be happy to content edit your WIP (Work In Progress) for $10/1k words – just hit me up. Find editors who specialize in your genre. Ask around your professional writer community (not on Facebook – the ones in… you know… Real Life). Or check out Writers Conventions – You can usually find a few editors hanging around those, too. Gateway to Publishing Conference and Convention is a great one for this. If you have trouble paying all the dough up front for an editor, ask if they’ll take payments, or are willing to split the bill up somehow… or hell, if you're good at something, see if you can swing some sort of trade deal. My point is, you never know until you ask. So ask! If you’d like to learn specifically who I’ve had edit my own works in the past, shoot me an email and I’ll help how I can.
Shine, Polish, Repeat – then Pros