Monday, September 08, 2008

Hiring an Editor

Last week, I posted about a new blog I’ve joined (just one of many contributors) called The Blood-Red Pencil. The contributors – and the list is growing – are all editors. As you might guess, the purpose of the blog is to provide tips and information about editing your books, short stories, and other writing.

In case you haven’t started following the blog, I wanted to let you know about an interesting discussion that took place over the weekend on the cost of hiring an editor. After you read the post, be sure you go into the Comments section – it gets really interesting there.

It’s important to edit your work before you send it to an agent or editor. You can do a lot of editing yourself, of course, but you need other eyes to look at it. Some people rely on a critique group. Some share with readers and also hire an editor. Rates can vary widely from low to mind-popping high. A lot of the cost depends on what you expect of the editor and the level of your own writing.

If your writing is going to take a lot of work, then you’re going to end up paying more because the editor’s work takes longer and is more involved. This is why it’s a good idea for you, the writer, to do as much work as you can before you hire an editor. Have good, reliable, knowledgeable readers. Learn how to do editing yourself. Set aside your work for a period, then go back and edit – you’ll see more stuff because you have “fresh” eyes.

Do all that before you send it to a professional editor.


  1. Sound advice, Helen. And most of the small traditional pubs, the ones that will even pay any attention to "new" talent, just don't have the editorial staff to turn you "diamond in the rough" into a possible hit in the marketplace - they will just pass on your ms. It's important now more than ever to have you ms as polished as possible before submissions.

  2. It seems that agents do more editing than editors these days. My sister's agent went through three or four drafts with her and his advise was, according to her, invaluable. Agents seem to really nurture their least the good ones do!

  3. People who are readers, but not writers, still think of small press as "less good" than one from a major house, but they're not anymore. Even big houses don't have time to do the edit work on a poor submission. You're right, Marvin, it is imperative that writers get their work edited

  4. That's true Dana. Things have changed over the last ten years. Agents are now the buffer between writers and editors (they always have been, but now they're considered the editing buffer).

  5. thanks--from a freelance editor. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...