Easier said than done! I write books, and help others do the same and then get published, so it may be helpful if I describe how I first found an editor.
It was pure luck! I bumped into her at a party. But there are other ways of tracking down such people, as I’ve discovered over the past seven years as WriteAway has added specialist professionals to its team.
Go to writer’s events
One of the ways I found easiest to get speaking with editors was going to other writer’s events or any literature events in general. By going to writing events, you are almost guaranteed to come into contact with an editor.
Many events are open to the public, so you won’t even have to know the writer or group hosting the event. One of the most successful editors I met was at a writing event I attended in Sydney.
The event was quite well publicised, so I knew there would be eminent editors there.
One of my favourite parts of going to these events is the experience. The Sydney was hosted by a local by a corporate catering company that offered a range of food and beverages as well as a buffet!
There was also the chance to take part in engaging activities, as well as the opportunity to talk to some of the industry’s best people.
Whilst the actual even was not the most important part, it was so nice to be surrounded by likeminded people. I would highly recommend going to gatherings and events within the writing industry, especially professional and well publicised ones as they are more likely to have successful people attending that you can network with.
Once you’ve exhausted your friends and contacts – personal recommendations are invariably the best source – you can Google and Yahoo away using search terms that fit the bill, and you should find a number of organisations worth contacting. Editors often work alone, at home, or in small teams, so don’t be put off by size or disregard individual ‘sole prop.’ outfits. These can be excellent.
Do avoid the vanity publishers, however, who are always advertising for ‘new writers’ work. They are elaborate marketing scams that seek to empty your wallet. Use the term ‘vanity publishers’ when searching to understand just how dangerous these people are.
Some tips for finding an editor you can trust for lifelong support. Don’t plunge into a relationship until you’ve seen samples of their expertise deployed on extracts of your writing. Some agents will do such work for free, or at minimal cost; they appreciate that writers are rarely their bank manager’s favourite customers.
And whatever you do, don’t set an initial budget for editing that entails more than a couple of hours of editing work. I assure you that that’s more than enough to enable a professional editor to gauge both how well you write and how further editing might improve your chances of getting a publishing deal. They will also encourage you to self-edit.
Here I must issue a warning: amongst those offering book editing services are some who delight in offering detailed reports on entire manuscripts at prices that make the eyes water. Avoid these like the plague. Anyone who needs this much support should be enrolling in a writing college where expertise from professionals can be absorbed over a period of years – at a fraction of the cost. All you need initially from a book editor is guidance and advice – and that should be obtainable for a couple of hours work. No more. Of course, if you are tied for time, and want outside editors to work through your entire manuscript, editing and polishing, then seek quotes from three or four editors, and take your pick. But if you already have a facility with words, don’t waste your money on hours of editors’ time, and then have to wade through ludicrously long reports on your manuscript. You’ll end up confused, short of money, and dispirited.
At WriteAway we help those who help themselves – once we hear from them! Contact us today, by clicking here on WriteAway Book Editing Services, and you will soon be in touch with one of our editors. It might even be me.
All the best with your writing project.