1. Moira
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    Moira Member

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    Editors...

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Moira, Apr 10, 2009.

    I'm not really sure where to put this, but I'm curious. How important are editors when publishing a book? I know that personally I am terrible with a capitol T when it comes to punctuation, spelling (if you can't tell) and all that jazz, but they (you know those people who say things) say that when you send your book in they want it to be nice and neat. How am I supposed to do that without an editor. I know most of you are going to tell me to practice, get books, read up on it, but I've tried and I still makes stupid inane mistakes. Like my instead of me, or a coma when it should be a period. I tend to look over those small things when I'm rereading. My brain doesn't care about the small stuff, it is too interested in the story taking place.

    Okay, so basically what I'm asking is...

    1) How important is it that you're manuscript be spick-idy span clean when you send it in to an agent.

    &

    2) Should I find an editor before I send it in to go over it and comb out the mistakes I've looked over or wait for the agency to hire one for me.

    Thanks friend!
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Moira,

    Your manuscript is going to be competing against tens of thousands of others out there. Agents/Editors get hundreds of queries/submission packages a month. Most are utter crap, never going to be ready for publication. But even taking that big slice away, there are still far far more manuscripts out there than there are publishing slots, and you generally only get one shot with any agent/publisher with each novel you write.

    Get your brain to care about the small stuff. Or find someone/hire someone, if for some reason you won't or can't.

    Say your story is great, but there are bound to be others in the pile of equal quality. The editor/agent looks and sees all those careless errors. What kind of impression will that make? Who would they rather work with, a writer who took the time/made the effort to polish the manuscript or one who apparently didn't? Will they look into why the one writer didn't submit a polished manuscript (we're not saying perfect here)? With all of the other responsiblities the editor/agent has, is it worth their time, or more efficient to simply reject and move on to examine the next envelope?

    A lot of questions with what I believe have easy answers.

    Hang in there and to what it takes.

    Terry
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I believe that a new writer hiring an editor is wasting his or her money. If your story is publishable, it will be so because of your own commitment and attention to detail. Yes, you may be able to get someone to clean it up for a not-insignificant fee, but choosing an editor who preserves your unique voice while only fixing what needs to be fixed takes a great deal of care. I doubt you can do it unless you are already very secure in your own writing style to begin with,

    I worked with the husband of an award winning mystery author, and I knew both of them pretty well. At one point, she (the author) decided to sever her relations with an editor she had worked with for years, because they were on different wavelengths too frequently. It took her a couple years before she found another editor she was happy with.

    And why did she need an editor at all? To shorten her turnaround time for novels for a multi-book publication contract. Iyt was only possible to realize that benefit when she built up enough trust in the editor's decision making that she knew the editing changes would be according to her wishes.
     
  4. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    From my experience, it's a waste of time hiring an editor before you've brought your work as far as you possibly can. If you're serious about getting your work published, you should study the editing process to bring yourself to the necessary standard required to enable you to do that. During this time I'd suggest you give your 'final' draft to a trusted friend (it would help if she/he was a writer) to look over and give an opinion. It might give you a better idea what you'll need to look for from an editor. I certainly wouldn't recommend sending anything to an agent or publisher before your work is done and dusted.
     
  5. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    It sounds like what you need is a Proofreader, rather than an editor. An editor deals with the work as a whole. A proofreader deals with the fiddly bits that give you fits. (Pardon the bad rhyme, but after it was there I liked it, so I'm leaving it.)
     
  6. Moira
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    Moira Member

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    I like the rhyme. Lol.
     

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