Thursday, April 5, 2012

How Do You Pick The Right Editor?

Recently, it has come to my attention that there is almost no right way or wrong way to edit a manuscript. I'm not talking about the basics, such as commas, and colons, or even dotting the I's or crossing the T's, I am talking about indentations, POV's (points of view) and even head hopping.

This new revelation of self-publishing has brought out a lot more people for hire for editing, and a lot more books that are published with quite a few mistakes. I do agree that is is very important to have your book edited before you put it out there to the public, but when you do not have a publishing house, there tends to be more books out there that have "big" mistakes.

Yes, I have read novels recently that have mistakes that are through a publishing houses also, and I wonder if this is not a priority anymore?!

I am reading a very popular book right now, that is also a movie, and the mistakes are so distracting that I am having a hard time reading it. I wonder how it got as far as it did, but I guess when you are a writer you pick up on the mistakes, and believe me, this one has plenty! I know that the story is supposed to be fantastic, and that is why I am sticking to reading it, but it is difficult. There is head hopping, bringing in author intrusion, and throwing in paragraphs right in the middle of another scene that shouldn't be there. Like I said, distracting.

I know there are also people that have self-published that didn't have the right 'voice' for a character and it threw the book into left field some where. For example, writing about a teen using adult terminology. So what to do?

I plan on self-publishing myself and I know that it isn't cheep to find a good editor. I have recently been looking into editors and I am actually afraid I won't pick the right one. I feel it should be a person who has edited sci-fi/fantasy before and maybe even has references and has been doing it for years. I also have teen characters and want to make sure I have their voice properly. I also can't afford to pay a huge fee to have this done, so I am faced with a dilemma.

I would love any suggestions you may have, or even if you know a good editor that won't charge me an arm and a leg, and won't take a year to edit my book. I know that it isn't cheep, but some editors are over the top! I know I should be the one giving the answers to this question, but I am at a loss on this one.

If you have any ideas, leave me a note in the comment section. I would love to hear your advice!

Love, Lisa


  1. I as you know am reading the Hunger Games, and there are plenty of mistakes in the books. Mostly random typos that i see. I dont know anything about this just thought I would give you my 2 cents :)

  2. Yeah, there were little random mistakes in the game of thrones series too, but I could deal with that. This is really bad! I'm only on chapter 6 and I've already encountered all that I said above. It stops me in my tracks!

  3. Maybe approach a few and tell them your situation. Ask them for their credentials. See if they'll work with you on price. I think the one we heard speak at HODRW would be a good place to start. If her thing isn't sci-fi/fantasy, maybe she would have a suggestion for you. It seemed to me that she would be open to listen to your concerns.

    I know we've talked about this and this is my thought on it. What it may boil down to is the feeling you get when you editor shop. You may click with someone and just know that person is the one for your book. Maybe it will be a like mind set or just a feeling you get.

    I know that you don't want to put a story out that isn't what you think it should be, neither do I. Letting someone else work on your work is a little scary. You're probably thinking 'What if they change everything around?' 'What if they work against me, not with me?' These are things I think about. I want an editor that will sit down with me and discuss with, not tell me what should be.

    I think you should shop and see which person that is. Find someone that will fit. That will work with you and help you produce the work you envision.

    Hang in there! You'll find your editor.


  4. Thanks for the thoughts and ideas Robin, I will be talking to Lizzie I'm sure when I am ready!

  5. Hey Lisa! Great realization. I interviewed several editors before I partnered with mine. She is amazing, but I don't know if she does sci-fi. Here is a fantastic referral site for matching you to an editor, though.
    Wishing you well
    Heidi Lee!

  6. Thanks Heidi, I will check that out and thanks for the tip to put my blog site on twitter!