1. Algoma

    Algoma New Member

    Aug 20, 2016
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    A question about professional editors

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Algoma, Nov 5, 2017.

    I hear that you have to get a professional editor to go over your MS if you want to get published. The problem is, the fee they charge is out of reach for most people, as it could easily be 5k-10k or more, and very few can afford that before they're published, if they're newbies.

    So what are people who write a book for the first time supposed to do? Give up because they can't afford one? Or do editors work on a "no publish no fee" basis, like agents?
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    I don't think a good editor would work on a "no publish no fee" basis, no.

    But it's absolutely not necessary to get a book professionally edited before submitting it to agents/publishers. Five or ten years ago people were being STRONGLY discouraged from hiring their own editors. This has changed somewhat, but it's still far from required.

    If you have the money, working with a good editor can be a huge learning experience. But there are other, cheaper ways to learn.
    TWErvin2 likes this.
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Aug 1, 2016
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    East devon/somerset border
    5-10k sounds like a lot .. I'm getting quotes currently (I'm going to self publish which means an editor is pretty much required) and mostly they are in the $1500 -$3000 area for a 99k word book.

    That aside if you are going for a trad deal or looking for an agent I'm dubious that you need to hire an editor at this stage, just get it as good as you can via alpha and beta reads and a proof check (plus may be a run through grammarly or pro writers aid)

    I'd assume (although i'm not published so I don't know for sure) that if you secure a trad deal the publisher will have/hire an editor to work on the project anyway
  4. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Jun 5, 2016
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    Agreed that is you're submitting to agents and publishers you don't need a professional editor. If your manuscript is accepted than that's one of the services they'll provide in return for their share of the book sales. It should be as clean as you can possibly get it, but as mentioned above alphas/betas/software can help with that.

    If you're self-publishing though, I would highly recommend working with a professional editor before hitting the publish button on Amazon for sure.
  5. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView Supporter

    Aug 12, 2015
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    London, UK
    What they said ^.

    Are you talking about proofreading or developmental editing?

    For proofreading, you won't produce a perfect manuscript through self-editing, but you should be able to get it close enough that it needs minimal investment from your agent/publisher to get it perfect. If you don't have the SPAG knowledge to self-edit to that point, you need to take a step back and learn before you try for publication.

    But I'm guessing you mean developmental editing, considering the costs you quoted. Again, you should be able to write a good story without needing a professional editor to expose big problems with it. Beta reading should expose any glaring problems, assuming you get good beta readers. You need to be able to know how to fix them, because even a professional editor isn't going to rewrite your work - she'll just tell you what needs to change, and it's up to you to figure out how.

    So no, I don't see any value in hiring a professional editor before submitting to agents/publishers.

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