Would like to share a personal experience when it comes to deciding to use an editor for your book. Do you edit your own work, hire a professional editor with their price tag or a friend of a friend whose daughter is an English major in university. I have done all three and I’ll tell you what happened to me.
I am talking from a perspective of a novel bordering on 500 pages that was written by someone (me) that had little background in fiction writing. As inexperienced as I was when it came to writing I was equally inexperienced in navigating the rough seas of finding and determining whether an editor was good or was not. A friend at the time graciously volunteered her daughter, a university student to help me edit the book. It took me a few months to figure out a novel of this size needed a professional, it was just to much for the poor girl. I made the mistake of jumping on the first editor that I found who had impressive credentials. I never questioned those credentials or asked for referrals. Big mistake. Book one in the Superstars Trilogy, Evil Rises, was self published after the editor had completed his work. Books were sent out to hundreds of readers and professional reviewers. The reviews that were coming back were phenomenal. I was thrilled. The book review clubs loved it. Then I got my first negative review. The review did not critique the story itself, in fact the reviewer loved it but to my shock, attacked the grammar. That is the last thing I was worried about but it should have been the first. I went back to my ‘professional editor’ that I spent thousands of dollars in fees and asked for an explanation. To this editor’s credit, he reviewed his work and admitted that he made some mistakes and immediately reimbursed me a portion of my fees. Unfortunately that only covered ‘a portion’ of the fees I had to pay another editor to re-edit the book. It was an expensive lesson and caused undue delays in taking the book out of circulation while it was re-edited. Painful to say the least. The new editor I made sure I thoroughly checked her references and had her do a sample edit of my work to ensure it was quality.
She saved my life, her work is impeccable and now Evil Rises is now at a level I can be very proud of. Her work on Book two, Vasallus was exceptional and she is in the process of editing Book three, Songs for Survival. I am so excited to receive her final edits and get the conclusion to Superstars out their to all the readers who have been patiently waiting and hopefully all of the new readers who jump on the Trilogy.
The moral of the story is: If you’re serious about your work and want the very best you can do, hire an editor and don’t scrimp by automatically going with an editor because they’re the cheapest. Do your homework, don’t be afraid to ask for references and some sample work. I now have a long term relationship with my editor as I plan to write many more books and she will be the editor in every one of them.
If you would like to purchase Book One, Evil Rises, here are the paperback and e-book links below:
E-Book All Formats Smashwords: