The importance of finding the right editor

How do you know if you need an editor?

 

  • If you've submitted your manuscript again and again and are still  receiving rejections. You've decided that maybe it's not "them" after  all. Perhaps your "baby" needs help.  
  • If you've already been edited but feel you didn't get the feedback you needed.  
  • If you've decided to self-publish and want a second  opinion—unbiased eyes to double check your manuscript before sending it  to press.
  • If you've chosen a vanity publisher. While most vanity publishers provide basic copy edits, few do substantial content editing. 

 Many people ​have ​come to me ​unsure: "This is my first book, no one but family has ever seen it." "I've never hired an editor before and don't know what I need.""I  don't really think I need an editor but my mother in law..." Sigh.  "I've been over it a million times so it must be perfect by now. I don't know what she's talking about." It's all okay. Together we can figure it out.
Sometimes​ people come to me​ angry. ​"I spent a lot of money on an editor and ​they didn't do what I needed." My first question is, "Did you tell them what you wanted?" "Um, no. I wasn't sure."​ ​Sorry to say, some of the blame for this can be laid on you, the author. It's   important pivotal—to let the editor know what you want done. Any  reputable editor will offer a free sample edit. Some do a page, some do a   chapter—that doesn't matter. What's important is for you, in the notes and comments made by that editor, to determine whether this​ person​  ​can  help  your story​--will help you learn so in your next book, you'll have a better grasp of the technique​ . Do you understand what the editor is saying​ in their notes?​ Do you feel a  rapport with t​his person? ​​Your relationship with the editor is relatively long-term​. Even  if you're only doing one project together, your association will last  several weeks or months. It might even extend to years  (I've worked with a number ​of amazing authors for over 15 years). You need to understand each other, be able to  discuss problems, be flexible​, have fun​. But—and I cannot stress this enough—if  you, ​the  author, don't feel that connection from the outset, and before  handing over any money, find another editor​. There are hundreds of us out there​ .  Be honest,  tell him/her "Look, this isn't working for me." A  reputable, experienced  editor will understand. Some will even offer  names of other  editors. 
Get  several sample edits? Compare ​them. See  how each relates to your individual situation.​ We choose plumbers,  ​hairdressers , ​and ​stores  in this way—be ​equally ​as selective with your potential  editor. You've spent months  or maybe years working on your 'baby.' You need someone to help it be  the best it can be. Remember, an editor isn't there to rewrite your story—that's the job of a  ghostwriter​, and is very expensive​.
An editor gives you ideas and examples to help not only  your story, but you as an author to be the best you can be.​ 
Since  the advent of Amazon's KDP program, hundreds of books are being  published every month. Sorry to say, many of them are getting published  without any editing whatsoever. Authors have told me, "All I need is to  get it out there and people will buy it." WRONG! There is enormous  competition and, even if you know how to promote, which 99% of authors  don't, and the few who manage to find the book will tell the world about  all the typos, grammatical mistakes, and plot holes. 
I'm going to include a few stats for you here. From Forbes.com: "There  are somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year  in the US alone. Many of those – perhaps as many as half or even more –  are self-published. On average, they sell less than 250 copies each."   
I  was unable to learn exact numbers but a study in 2016 by Huffington Post said the second reason given for a book not selling is--poor  quality writing. 

What do you want

 

  • A one on one personal relationship with your editor
  • Free estimates
  • Fast turnaround
  • Practical, honest advice
  • Free sample edit
  • Complete privacy
  • Reasonable rates

Fiction Editing

You Have the Power

  Self-edit Your Way Into Print Cindy shares her years of editing experience.

Her guidelines give you the power to edit and polish your own writing.

Cindy will teach you many editing strategies.

Learn how to decipher overwriting, how to make dialect more readable. Learn to remove the overuse of adverbs and pronouns.

Learn how to make your opening sentence stand out.

Cindy  Davis is the author of 22 mysteries and romantic suspense novels, and  several non-fiction books. She’s a 20-year veteran free-lance editor,  editing over 700 books and a recent transplant to the land of sunshine where she can be  outdoors twelve months of the year rather than the four or five in New  England. Cindy and her new husband Rick do a lot of hiking and swimming.  They like to travel—next on the bucket list is Italy. The last trip to  Rome produced a novel Lethal Dose of Revenge (being marketed now) which  made it TAX DEDUCTIBLE!  Personally, she’s addicted to  coffee—particularly chocolate raspberry flavor. And don’t anyone dare  get between her and her life-loves: Ben & Jerry. Other than that,  she’s pretty laid back.