Wednesday, August 26, 2009
A Dirty Little Secret
If you hired a freelance editor to help you re-work your manuscript, would you ever admit it? To anyone?
I've discussed this option with a friend of mine recently, who has hired a mutual acquaintance of ours. With the freelance editor's help, my friend is writing better than ever. There's a prevailing stigma against having a freelance editor, because people often associate them with scams. One of my favorite blogs, The Rejecter, posted a lively discussion about this same topic here. The consensus seems to be that most often it's a scam and that even if the freelance editor helps the author improve the work, there's no guarantee of a sale. Also, even if you hire one, never EVER admit to having done so to an agent or editor, because somehow this makes the work less worthy.
As with anything, I think you have to use common sense in considering a freelance editor and ask a few questions before paying someone to edit your work. What experience does the freelance editor have? Better yet, does he / she have a previous client list they're willing to share, preferably one with authors who've actually gone on to sell the work the freelancer edited? How much is the freelancer charging? Do they do sample edits, and if so, do you feel as though the freelancer is knowledgeable and helpful?
There's such a stigma attached to paying someone else to edit your work, but for those who see real value in it, I wonder, what's the harm?
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