There are a number of pros and cons related to whether you should hire a freelance editor. Some writers benefit greatly from the experience while others have a difficult time and may even get insulted.
Six Points to Examine Before Hiring a Freelance Editor
1. Can you handle it?
One of the most important aspects of hiring someone to critique or edit your work is to be open to criticism. If you do not have the personality to handle constructive criticism, suggestions, and/or edits, then you shouldn’t hire a freelance editor.
2. Learn the craft.
Before you contemplate hiring a freelance editor, get your manuscript in the best shape possible by learning the writing craft.
What this means is you should know your craft or be engaged in learning it. You should obviously belong to a critique group that focuses on the genre you write. This group should have new and experienced/published authors in it. This will help you to hone your craft through the critiques you receive and the critiques you give.
There are also a number of fantastic free online writers’ conferences that will help you hone your craft. There are usually workshops offered covering just about every writing genre, plus freelance writing and marketing. AND, at some of them, you will have the opportunity to pitch to publishers. Between the networking and learning, it’s not something you should lightly pass on.
Next up on the road to learning your craft is to join a couple of writing groups – again be sure they have new and experienced writers. You can even look into a writing coach or instructor.
3. Self-edit, self-edit, self-edit.
Before you pass your manuscript off, be sure you’ve gone over it meticulously. Make sure you’ve gone over all the tips and tricks to have your manuscript in ‘good’ showing form.
Editors frown upon authors who send sloppy, error-filled manuscripts.
4. There are NO guarantees.
Hiring a freelance editor to go over your manuscript will not guarantee it will get published, even the best in the field can’t promise this. What they will do is help you to get it in the best shape possible. But, whether or not you take their advice is another story. And, again, even if you do, there are no guarantees.
This holds true everywhere in the writing world. After your manuscript is polished, you may send it to forty publishers and agents, and get forty rejections. Then, you send it to one more and it happens, this publisher was looking for just what you’re offering. They were looking for your story. Time and chance, my friends . . . and more importantly, perseverance.
But, it’s a sure bet if you’re manuscript isn’t polished you won’t ever get that far.
5. Ask around.
If you did your best to get your manuscript into what you think is publishable shape and you
want an editor to give it a final once over, be sure to ask for recommendations from other writers.
6. It ain’t over till it’s over.
Although you may spend money to get your manuscript edited before submitting it to publishers or agents, once it’s given a contract, it’ll be back to editing again – this time with the agency or publishing house.
Keep this in mind, so when it happens you’re not taken aback. It’s just the way it works.
MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN
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