1. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Do authors always hire an editor?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by jwatson, Jul 31, 2009.

    Title speaks for itself :p
    I was just wondering whether some writers just edit their own work to the best of their abilities and then send a mc to a publisher

    if you are unpublished then would it be almost mandatory to have it edited by someone in that profession because you are, as I would say, a newbie (like me)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    New authors should not, in general, pay the considerable cost for a professional editor. Most of your manuscripts stand a poor chance of getting accepted, and an editor will not materially improve your chances.

    Acceptance involves a great deal more than editorial fixes.

    In any case, any author must be competent at editing his or her own work.

    Professional writers who have multiple book contracts are most able to make use of professional editors. At the same time, they may have the most difficult time finding editors who can work well with their individual writing needs. A friend of mine who is an award-winning mystery novelist let go of an editor she ad worked with for years, because the editor's changes were too often at odds with her choices as a writer. It took her over a year to find an editor with whom she could work effectively.

    She uses an editor to accelerate the fine-tuning of her drafts to more readily meet the deadlines imposed by her contract. For that she really needs a rapport with her editor.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    amen to that!

    and i'm available for free, cog, since you so clearly need one... ;-)
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah. I'n with Cogito. Don't waste your money on an editor. You're better off learning how to do it yourself or finding a friend/teacher who you trust enough.
     
  5. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    thanks guys, always quick to reply :)
     
  6. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    I don’t see how it can harm a work to have it proofed; it can only serve to improve the finished product – and that can only be a good thing!
    As the chances of getting published are slim, I do not see the logic behind advice that suggests writers should refrain from doing all they are happy to do in order to be published.

    The only thing a writer has to loose through paying for editing is money. For some people that would be a major concern, for others it may be no bother at all. I think it is up to individuals to evaluate their own financial health and decide what is of value to them.

    If professional writers benefit in using an editor, I am sure amateur writers can too.

    Hmmm, this seems like the discussion we were having just below:
    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=23521
     
  7. Lijde
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    Lijde Member

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    Mostly it's professional writers that hire an editor. It's mostly because writing becomes more of a job, rather then a hobby, for them and they don't nescessarily take the time to get everything perfect when they can just hire someone to do it for them.

    Amatuers should probably just stick to proofing it themselves and having close friends and relatives look at it as well.
     
  8. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    We're all amatuers until we get published, aren't we? Maybe it's attitude that determines amatuer status. Anyway, I hired an editor when I reckoned I'd brought my work as far as I could. I'd found it difficult to find other writers willing to critique a full ms, so doling out the cash to have an objective and comprehensive editorial critique from a professional, who I'd spent quite a while filtering out from many others, was well worth it for me. It turned out to be the wake up call I needed. I now have two agents reading the full ms, so I'm well contented. Fingers crossed. :)
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I like to edit everything myself without consulting or paying for an editor. I really don't see the point in spending money on something you can do yourself, and I also don't like relying on someone else to polish my work. Not only are you saving money (which writers know is hard to come by) but you are also engaging in a learning process. You are less likely to make the same mistake next time if you edit your own work.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A professional who hires an editor is not hiring someone to do a job he or she cannot. The writer is subcontracting, but only to someone the writer knows will preserve his or her vision and style.

    Most nonprofessionals are expecting an editor to do the work that writer does not feel confident or competent with. That is invariably an unwise choice, even if there were not considerable expense involved as well.

    Also, the professional is usually only using the editor for a project that is already under contract.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cog has added important points that need to be considered here...
     
  12. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    personally, I don't think the editor will improve my chances of getting published, and I'm not going to invest in that considering I'm still a student. Thanks everyone
     

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