October's Conversation

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
MPhillip
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October's Conversation

Postby MPhillip » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:32 am

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Last edited by MPhillip on Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ostarella
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Re: October's Conversation

Postby ostarella » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:18 am

I guess it would depend on the type of editor one is hiring. For proofreading - well, I wouldn't pay for that at all. Heavy copy-editing/developmental editing - if you get one that has a solid industry background, it can pay for itself over time; even if you don't expect this particular book to sell a lot of copies, every book you put out is an "advertisement" for the rest of your books. And who knows - the right editor could positively affect those statistics (which I never rely on anyway ;) ).

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Re: October's Conversation

Postby rob-lost » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:32 am

For "traditional" publishing, I think $10 is too much. Editing is part of the publication process. The writer does not pay for it.

That doesn't mean that a writer should not hire an editor. I just don't see thinking of one in an ROI context.
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ostarella
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Re: October's Conversation

Postby ostarella » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:10 pm

Jane Friedman just had a post about when you shouldn't hire one (there's also a link to another post about when you should in the article):

https://www.janefriedman.com/dont-hire-editor/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+JaneFriedman+%28Jane+Friedman%29

For self-publishing, I support people hiring the appropriate editor because that's doing what trade publishers do - use professionals. For trade publishing, personally, I think one should be able to self-edit enough to get the interest of an agent. And particularly when going with trade publishing, an independent editor may have completely different ideas of what works than that particular agent/publisher. From the article:

"In query letters, I see more and more writers claim their manuscript has been professionally edited, and it’s no surprise. People inside the industry are known for emphasizing the importance of submitting a flawless manuscript. However, when evaluating such work, I find that it tends to be of lesser quality. This is quite paradoxical. Shouldn’t professionally edited material be much better?

"Unfortunately, writers don’t always understand what type of editor to use, or how an editor is supposed to improve their work. This results in surface-level changes that don’t meaningfully affect the chances at publication. Less experienced writers also tend to be more protective of their work and less likely to revise."

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Re: October's Conversation

Postby sammy2 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:51 pm

[quote="MPhillip"]I wonder if all the questions have been asked. And answered. None posed for October, 2017, yet, so here's one to tickle your fancy.

How much ROI (return on investment) should be expected when paying for editing services?

This came to mind as I started looking for an editor for my 50 K word novella. I don't see $1000.00 for three rounds of editing as being cost effective for a book that statistics indicate will sell anywhere from a dozen to two dozen copies. And that $1K is towards the low end of the scale.

Keep in mind that I don't think the prices I've seen are unreasonable. Editing is no easier than writing and just as important to the finished product.[/quote]


This discussion says there are 5 levels of editing.
http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=263862&p=772403&hilit=levels+of+editing#p772403

I would not pay $1000 for proof reading and line editing. And if a writer needs development editing and the other levels then trying to make money with a book may not be a good strategy. Doing a quality book to reinforce credentials as a speaker or consultant might be worth it for promotional reasons even if the book does not pay for itself.

On the other side, there are an awful lot of unedited ebooks and even POD novels that should have been edited for the readers' sake.

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Dreaming Imrryr
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Re: October's Conversation

Postby Dreaming Imrryr » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:16 pm

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Last edited by Dreaming Imrryr on Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MPhillip
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Re: October's Conversation

Postby MPhillip » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:39 am

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sammy2
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Re: October's Conversation

Postby sammy2 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:04 am

[quote="Dreaming Imrryr"][quote="MPhillip"]

And that $1K is towards the low end of the scale.

[/quote]


Where did you find an editor who will do three edits for $1000.00 ?[/quote]


I helped a guy self publish his book. He found an English teacher who would edit for $300. She liked the book so much she kept editing for free.

T.A.Rodgers
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Re: October's Conversation

Postby T.A.Rodgers » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:41 am

A Developmental Editor with real verifiable credentials for a 100k novel will cost you in the $5k range. When I mean credentials, I mean an editor who's past clients include people that have been on the bestsellers lists or at the minimum have clients that are with reputable publishing houses. These are the type of editors that know what is saleable and most likely are former editors from publishing houses. I know quite a few authors that went this path when they first started out. Some of them frequent the NYT best seller list.

A Line Editor is a different person all together. As long as they have a strong background in English they should be fine. They don't charge nearly as much. An English teacher would be a good Line Editor as long as they realize certain rules will be broken when it comes to novel writing.

MPhillip
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Re: October's Conversation

Postby MPhillip » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:36 pm

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