Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Would You Hire a Professional Editor?

Today I received this email from Authonomy/ Harper Collins:

Save 20% on Editing Services from CreateSpace
As an authonomist, you'll know better than most that no matter how well you write, a simple typo or a stylistic inconsistency can disrupt the reader and potentially derail the meaning of your work. But you don't have to face the challenge of editing and proof reading alone. Our partner, CreateSpace, offers professional editing services to help refine your manuscript and prepare it for publication.

My first instinct after reading this email was...umm....NO. 

Reason #1: I want to personally know who's going to be editing my manuscript. I know grammar is grammar. But I think finding "stylistic inconsistencies" is subjective. What if their subjectivity doesn't jive with my style or vision?

Reason #2: Isn't that what Beta Readers are for? After much searching and networking, I've met a few beta readers that I really trust AND they understand my vision for the manuscript. AND I like them as people (that I've never met), but I'm sure they will treat my work with the same respect and sincerity that they treat their own with.

Reason #3: A service like that can't be cheap. And if it is, I would seriously question the quality of said service.

Maybe, I'm making incorrect assumptions. Maybe some of you have hired professional editors and had wonderful experiences. What do you guys think?


  1. I feel like you, Anita. Good Beta readers can do most of this, and as for editing, the best way is to train yourself as an editor by getting as much Beta reading experience of your own. And by reading insatiably, of course:)

  2. I agree with the reading insatiably. You learn so much!

  3. I'm not completely against the idea. But it has to be the right fit.

    Let's say you don't have a critique group, or you are dissatisfied with the one you have. You can find freelance editors out there who will give you an edit for a fee. Of course, you'd have to check out their credentials, and also feel comfortable that they understand your genre, etc.

    I actually did this before I found my crit group. The editor's name was John Jarrold and I found him on a reputable site. He is a fiction editor but also offers an editorial service in addition to his day job.

    I found him, we agreed on a price and he critiqued my first manuscript. His comments were very good and we traded a lot of emails.

    So I think it all depends. The one you mentioned in your post, I would be hesitant about, because I want to know exactly who is looking at my work.