1. kmlovering
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    kmlovering Senior Member

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    Paying to have a novel "edited" professionally

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by kmlovering, Dec 15, 2007.

    I am wondering if paying someone to edit my book, is a good idea, or bad. The negative side to this would be that if it was picked up for publishing, they would probably request a re-write, which would mean I paid for an edit, and therefore wasted money. On the flip side, having it done might prove to be a good thing, and maybe a learning experience. Finding out what punctuation or grammatical errors I'm making, and learning from it. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think the process of finding and fixing technical errors for yourself, and then finding where the flow could be improved, makes you a better writer from the start. Relying on someone else to do your editing is one short step from hiring a ghostwriter. I personally would not feel it were my work in that case.

    Certainly publishers will do some editing, whether or not you are happy with that. But your chances of getting their attention in the first place is greatly improved if they only feel a need to tweak a little here and a smidgeon there.

    I guess this isn't much of a response. To me, it probabbly comes down more to the old line from a commercial (but I don't remember what the product was):

    "But mom, I'd rather do it myself!"

    The journey is at least half the fun.
     
  3. kmlovering
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    kmlovering Senior Member

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    yeah, and the cost, only to have it ripped to shreds, by a possible publisher. How many people actually get published I wonder, but then I wonder numerous things. LOL
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Kmlovering,

    I would recommend taking the time to learn how to edit your work. It will save time and money, and in the end probably make you a better writer.

    Your question is a common one (about paying someone to edit). I wrote an article a couple years ago that addressed the question in some detail.
    Here's the link: Fiction Factor - Never Learned Grammar

    Also, here a couple of decent online resources to help get you started:

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

    OWL: Handouts: Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

    As far as how many people get published, it depends on what type of work one is trying to get published and the definition of "published." Even so the estimates vary. I briefly address this issue (for novels) here on my website: novels

    Good luck and don't give up!

    Terry
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i do it for free, but only on excerpts, to show writers what needs fixing/improving and give them some pointers on how to do it themselves, which all serious writers really need to do...

    if your ms is violence-free and you'd like me to do that for you, just drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  6. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    At the end of the day I think that it is your own choice. However, I don't think that i'd pay to have any of my work professionally edited.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A friend of mine is a fairly well known mystery author who does use a paid editor prior to publication. However, she does most of her editing herself, and her husband usually does a read-through as well, before passing it along to the editor for final cleanup.

    I know she is very particular about the editor also. She worked with one for years before before settling on her current editor.

    I had forgotten about that until now.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you'll find that many of the most successful novelists have an editor on their payroll... if you're churning out a best-seller or two or three per year, it's a necessary part of doing business as a writer...

    that said, for beginners to pay editors to fix up their work is another thing altogether, because there's little to no chance the cost will ever be justified/reimbursed by a sale...
     

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