Six days until the release of The Boy Who Loved Fire! All proceeds from the first day will be donated to the Grossman Burn Center. Proceeds from the second day will be donated to Carousel Ranch. More details to follow!
When I decided to self publish my YA novel, The Boy Who Loved Fire, I knew I'd hire a freelance editor. Yes, the book had been through rounds of editing. Yes, it was clean. But I knew it wasn't ready for people to plunk down hard-earned money for it.
Stay tuned until the end to see who I picked! (No scrolling…I can see you!)
How should we choose a freelance editor? Opinions may vary, but here's what I looked for:
- Happy clients: I wanted to be sure the editor had a trail of happy writers. I put out feelers to other authors who had paid for professional editing. I asked for their honest opinions about the quality of work.
- Sample edits: Most editors offer a free sample edit, which I took advantage of. I thought of it as an audition. After receiving the samples back, I compared editing style and mood. Style and mood were unidentifiable things to capture, but once I read the samples, I knew for sure who I'd hire.
- Someone who "got" my story: I wanted an editor who got my genre, got my story, and cared about the outcome as much as I did. My editor was invested in the story.
- Knowledge: I'm an avid reader, as most of you are, and I can catch some details that need to be tweaked or corrected. But I'm not good enough to catch the all-encompassing story issues or nitty gritty details. That's not where my strengths lie. Or lay. See? That's what I mean.
- Balanced editing: I didn't want to pay someone to pump up my ego, nor did I want to pay someone to be mean. I looked for an honest editor who'd tell me the truth when my story was funky, and who'd also tell me when I'd done something right.
- Informative comments: My editor didn't just make a change or tell me what didn't work. She told me why. If a certain word seemed weak or out of place, she offered alternatives. It was my choice to make, but I appreciated the options.
- Reasonable response times: Some editors took a loooong time to respond to my inquiries, or never responded at all. That's not a good fit for me. I didn't expect a super fast turnaround with the edit, but I appreciated how quickly my editor did the work and how quickly she responded to my questions.
Bethany at A Little Red, Inc., who did a wonderful job for a fair price. She was truly my partner through the editing process. And the bonus of all bonuses? She's funny as heck. Their motto is "We're funny. We're tactful. And we're fast." True story.
The editing sisters, Bethany and Erynn, are offering a free 5-page edit to one lucky commenter! I'll choose a winner on January 26th.
Have you ever hired a freelance editor? What did you look for before making the choice? Any tips you can share?