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4) No e-mail contact. If I cannot make first contact through e-mail I'm not
interested. If the editor is UK based this isn't that big of a problem, but a
lot of editor's are US based, which means postage isn't cheap and I'm a
skinflint. Next Page
5) Restricted payment methods. When an editor has done
enough to gain my interest, it's rather disappointing to find there is no
accomadtion for credit card payment. Any non UK editor asking for cheques is
ruling me out without trying. If you're looking for an editor check the payment
methods offered before you do anything else.
6) Payment set on a "per
hour" basis. Personally I find this very off-putting. I have no idea how long
it takes to edit work. Please don't say you charge per hour then ask me to send
in a manuscript plus cheque for the correct amount. If you are going to charge
per hour, at the very least asses the manuscript first and give me a MAXIMUM
fee you will charge.
7) Broken links. It goes without saying that a
broken link gives a ba
d impression. How can you trust an editor to work on your manuscript when they
don't take enough time to make sure their own website works.
--Shortlisting the shortlist--
With all the editors narrowed
down using the above reasoning, it's time to narrow that shortlist down even
further. Here's where the writer has to decide exactly what they want out of
1) Interaction. How much direct input do you want on the
editing process. If you want to be able to get updates on progress, comment on
changes or make suggestions based on comments recieved, you'll be wanting an
editor or company that offerd a direct contact service, where the writer will
be able to talk to the editor through e-mail or on the phone. (DO NOT use this
communication to constantly bug the editor.) If, on the other hand, you're
happy to hand the manuscript over and leave the editor to get on with it, then
a large impersonal company will be just as useful to you as a small company or
c es offered. Check what type of manuscripts the editor deals with. There is no
point sending a fantasy work to a thesis editor. Also check to see if the
editor can forward to someone more appropriate.
3) References. Okay,
this was in the first list too, but I'll say it again. Check the editors
references and experience, but this time use it to rank your shortlist in order
of preference. Experienced editors are going to be better - they've had more
practice after all.
4) Compatiblitly. This is extremely important.
There is NO point in contracting an editor you do not like or whose work you do
not like. If an editor offers a sample, get one. Pay attention, not just to the
sample itself, but also the conversation between yourselves. Make sure you're
happy with both things. If you can't get a sample, read the on-line examples
and see if you would accpet such editing on you work. If you're iffy still,
e-mail them, see what sort of response you get. If at any stage this makes you
ss the name of your list.
5) Trust. Trust is a very subjective thing.
If there is ANY doubt in your mind regarding the editor, cross them off your
list NOW. This person is going to be changing your work. If there is no trust,t
hey are not worth a penny to you.
6) Fee. Whilst you should be aware of
the editor's fee from the beginning, this should be the last thing considered
when ordering your shortlist. There is no point picking out all the editors who
charge less than X amount only to find you hate them all. If a fee is very
obviously beyond your budget, then elimanate it.
Copyright © 2002 by Dashjianta, Lynda Lotman, all rights reserved. This article has been provided by Lynda Lotman at http://www.scifieditor.com and is printed with her permission.