About a month ago, I decided I needed to find an editor. I’ve read a lot about what makes an indie author successful among the thousands of indie authors publishing ebooks, and I’ve read a lot of reviews of other indie authors’ works. The major theme I noticed: a well-edited book is important! Poor editing is criticized mercilessly by readers. (By editing, I mean everything from bad grammar/spelling to a story’s structure, flow, development, etc.) I’ve received several comments about typos and character development in reviews of my books. Even the most successful of indie authors (AH) lamented the comments she’s received about the shape of her books.
For those who know how much good fiction editors can charge, you know you’ll likely need another part-time job to hire one, more so if you’re trying to produce, say, 12 books in a year! It’s also difficult to know where to go to find freelance editors with good reputations. Finally, for me, it was scary to venture into Editor-land, given the general view of writers that editors are at least going to ask me to do something that bruises my pride in my work or at most, will tell me my work sucks and I shouldn’t quit my day job (had that happen once.) What I had to remind myself is this: it’s an investment in my writing and me.
IT Sherpa recommended eLance, an online site for professional freelancers of every kind and the folks who hope to hire them. The site lists the providers’ profiles and resumes, displays their reviews from others they’ve worked for, and -in many cases – outlines an approximate cost. The process of placing a contract for indie editors to bid on is simple: describe your job, define the price target range, and post a contract. It’s also FREE to post a contract, which is big here at GW.
I wrote a contract that expressed my writing goals, my accomplishments to date, my weak points in writing, the project, AND INCLUDED LINKS TO WHERE THEY COULD FIND MY WORK. I didn’t realize how important this was until I started to receive proposals from freelance editors. The shape your work is in will most likely determine how much someone will charge you to fix it!
You can also peruse through all the profiles of the indie editors on the site, invite ones you feel will be a good fit, and sit back and wait for proposals. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was stunned to receive about 17 proposals bidding on my contract within about 3 days.
What was more amazing was the quality of editors. These aren’t just people who will run spell check on your manuscript: they were real book editors who do this for a living. I’ve listed the top few who really impressed me below. What these editors have in common: provided personalized responses to my contract, read my work and gave initial impressions, were just beyond qualified based on their past work, and were flexible in their pricing and their schedules.
Ultimately I went with Christine, whose bio I posted on Monday. I was also very impressed by the following: JoAnn, Rebecca, and Amber. If you contact any of them, tell them you received their name from Lizzy Ford!
eLance also allows you to track and pay for the work done online, and provides a pretty simple-to-use dashboard so you can manage your contracts as well as communicate with your indie editor.
Christine is working on her first project for me, so I’m totally thrilled to see how the next step unfolds. I’ll post again down the road with more details!