Saturday, September 19, 2009

When Is It Time To Get a Freelance Editor?

At the WD conference on Saturday, three independent editors, Alice Rosengard, Ruth Greenstein and Linda Carbone led a lively session on the freelance editing. I've blogged about this issue in recent weeks and decided to attend the session.

The freelance editors discussed when the need for their services arose, as editorial departments at various publishing houses began to downsize. They also provided several means of locating editors through other writers, Publishers Marketplace, and direct hire. They shared their individual approaches to editing, looking at technical concerns such as POV, sequence of events, character development and veracity; the average costs of such services, the length of time it can take dependent on the quality of the work, and the things a freelance editor cannot guarantee the author, such as a sale.

The topic is of particular interest to me because I've decided to hire a freelance editor, whom I had the pleasure of meeting two years ago at the Historical Novel Society. We've barely started but I'm already impressed by her professionalism and the recommendations I've had from her previous and current clients. What made me decide to do this? As Ruth Greenstein advised attendees today, I've reached a critical point in my manuscript; I've done as much as I possibly can with it. It's gone through a critique group and I've revised and edited until I felt I would go mad. Now, I feel is the time for fresh eyes to spot the difficulties I'm NOT seeing.

I don't know what the result may be, but for a work that is so precious to me, I've often referred to it as my baby, it's worth the investment.


Anita Davison said...

A brave decision, Lisa - but make sure they don't neutralise your author voice as I for one think yours is unique.
I cannot help feeling that it's a shame that all the onus is now upon the author to produce a clean, acceptable manuscript that needs no work at all - What next? Will authors be expected to submit our own cover art, and our own distribution network?

Victoria Dixon said...

I saw this post while looking over your site, Lisa. Would you be willing to send me the name of the freelance editor? I can't hire anyone right now, (no funds) but I may need to do so by next March. Thanks!

Victoria Dixon

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