New writers who have had little or no publishing history often seek the guidance of professional editors in their quest for publication. Sometimes this works out for the better, while it can also be detrimental to your manuscript. Before you hand your prized work over to a stranger, make sure to research his or her background and to make sure that the editor is as professional as he or she claims to be.
First of all, hiring a professional editor for your manuscript can be expensive. Most editors charge between $0.02 and $0.08 per word for line editing, adding a couple of extra cents for more substantive editing. For an 80,000-word manuscript, you’re looking at spending between $1,600 and $6,400 for the editor to work on your book, which can certainly take a chunk out of your bank account.
However, if you feel that your grammar or storytelling abilities are lacking, then you might benefit from the counsel of a professional editor. He or she can clean up the areas that might be awkward or incoherent, which will greatly improve your chances for publication. Some editors will even offer a detailed critique of your work along with the edits so you can understand what was done.
Another thing you need to consider when deciding whether or not to hire a professional editor for a manuscript is your own personal style and voice. Each writer composes sentences a little bit differently, and if the editor decides to make copious changes, it could interfere with the rhythm of your writing. Some professional editors are experienced enough that they can adapt to your voice and style, but most are not quite that savvy. Companies and business should also hire a professional editor. For job board sites–be it freelance writign gigs or event hospitality jobs london area should have a budget dedicated for this work.
I would also recommend examining your reasons for wanting a professional editor to review your manuscript. Are you uncomfortable with your abilities as a writer? Have you received numerous rejections from a publisher or agent? Are you capable of writing professionally?
All of these questions are meant to examine your confidence. In order to become a professional writer, you don’t necessarily need a professional editor. After all, you won’t always be able to fall back on his or her expertise in a crunch, and once you become a successful author, you will need to deliver books on contract.
So what are the alternatives to hiring a professional editor for your manuscript?
Take a few writing classes. Writing classes are a lot of fun and are meant to develop your skills in a non-threatening, educational environment. Rather than handing off your manuscript to a third party, you’ll learn how to edit your own work, which will not only save you money, but also a dependency on something you don’t necessarily require.
Practice, practice, practice. Many professional writers grow stronger simply by writing every day. You don’t have to work on manuscripts all the time; you can write articles, pen thoughts in a journal, or start an Internet blog. Any writing that gives you experience will make you a better writer – without spending more than a thousand dollars
Hire a writing coach. Although this will also cost you money, it is sometimes a better alternative. A writing coach will work with you to better your manuscript rather than making the corrections on your own. The best part is you don’t have to hire a writing coach in your geographical area; many of these professionals work over the Internet or the phone for your convenience.
While hiring a professional editor for your manuscript might be the right option for you at this point in your career, it’s important to examine the reasons why you believe it is necessary and to come up with alternate solutions. After all, you are the only one who knows what’s best for your writing.