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IaNo
July 10th, 2003, 04:44 PM
I need information about sending my work to an editor. At what stage do you do this? I have two works in progress that are what I would consider tentative final drafts, given that I know I will need to rewrite sections of the story to push it in other possible directions. Is this something that an editor does? Make suggestions about how to improve the story and which aspects of it to add to, and to drop, to hopefully make it more marketable, or do they just fix bad grammar and formatting? How do you know you are ready to send it? Who do you send it to? How much do you anticipate paying? Is it necessary? Can an editor be a link to a publisher/agent? If you send a book to a publisher/agent and they like it will they recommend editors to you? What to hell am I doing!? Any feedback about this would be greatly appreciated.

Chlestron
July 10th, 2003, 07:21 PM
I am by no means an expert. All information I have I've garnered from visiting freelance editor websites. A VERY good resource for editors, publishers, and what not isPreditors & Editors (http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/)

How I personally would answer these questions:


I know I will need to rewrite sections of the story to push it in other possible directions. Is this something that an editor does?

I don't think so. The reason is because that would take the creative rights away from you. What you want for this question is a good critique group.

An editor will critique the work, but there are much cheaper ways to get it done (i.e. free)


Make suggestions about how to improve the story and which aspects of it to add to, and to drop, to hopefully make it more marketable, or do they just fix bad grammar and formatting?

I think that most editors will do this, depending on the level of editing you buy. All Editors will fix bad grammar - but most won't touch formatting because that is entirely dependent upon the publishing house. Some MIGHT suggest things to make a book more marketable, after all they are in the business, but again most probably won't because that is again up to the publishing house


How do you know you are ready to send it?

I don't know. I think it depends on how confident you are in your work.


Who do you send it to? How much do you anticipate paying?

You'll have to do your own research on this. There are a LOT of would be Editors out there. I suggest checking out Preditors & Editors for some hints on what to look for in an editor. Editor rates vary depending on who you talk to, what they are doing, and what not. A novel length story could cost from $500 to $5000 for editing depending on who you see and what you buy.


Is it necessary? Can an editor be a link to a publisher/agent?

Is it necessary? I don't think so. If you want the warm fuzzy that a professional looked over your work, then go for it. I don't think any reputible publishing houses will REQUIRE the story to be edited prior to approval. Most will do an edit for formatting and whatnot after.

An Editor CAN be a link to a publisher/agent but you need to be careful here. There are a LOT of scams between fraudelent Editor/Agent/Publisher groups that bilk naive writers out of a LOT of money. Many reputible editors have worked for a publishing company and may suggest you see them. NO REPUTIBLE EDITOR WILL GUARANTEE THAT A PUBLISHER OR AGENT WILL TAKE YOUR WORK!!!!!



If you send a book to a publisher/agent and they like it will they recommend editors to you?

They might. Again you need to be careful. You need to make absoultely sure that the two groups are independant of each other. There are a lot of scams that follow these lines and many people have been burned by them. The way the scam works is this:

An Agent/Publisher says that they like your work but it needs some editing. So they suggest you go see The Editor. The Editor takes your work, does his thing - collects his fee - and hands it back to you. At this point, the Agent/Publisher says that they either changed their mind and are no longer interested, or that it needs MORE work.

In these scams, The Editor and the Agent have some sort of business arangement that the Agent gets money for referrals to The Editor.

IaNo
July 10th, 2003, 07:49 PM
Chlestron:

Thanks for the reply!

It seems to me that there is a lot of fraud going on in the business and it looks a bit harder to avoid them going the editor route. As far as agents and publishers go, I only plan on sending queries to bonafide well know companies and people. I guess what I need is a good source of pre-checked proven editors. I'm going to go check out that link you gave me now. Thanks again!

milamber_reborn
July 11th, 2003, 12:45 AM
With a novel it must be highly polished to even get a look-in.

With short stories, what you submit needs to be the final product bar a few minor tweaks by the editor upon acceptance.

Edit as you write, edit once you've finished a scene/chapter and had a break from it. Get critiques from a Writers Group on the story once you are happy with it. Edit again. Take care of inconsistencies, polish the grammar, add a few details, tighten it up etc.

I don't go by how many drafts. Simply, I write a story, then I polish the piece over time until its good enough for publishing.

IaNo
July 11th, 2003, 01:35 AM
My problem is that I feel like I could just keep editing and rewriting forever and not know if it's getting better or worse and I'd never be done. Sometimes I feel like it's perfect and other times I feel like it's terrible. Are there writer's groups that deal with full lenght novel critiquing? I could polish something for years and not even know how dirty it was in the first place. That seems stupid. Any suggestions for places to go for really good and honest feedback from a few respectable folks?

Chlestron
July 11th, 2003, 11:36 AM
I've encoutered a few critique groups that will handle a novel in various ways. Critters is one of them (found at www.critters.org I believe). They require you to critique a story every week in order to post any of your own an , depending on how many people read your work you might get some useful critiques. There seem to be a number of people there that like bashing others so take what you hear with a grain of salt.

KatG
July 11th, 2003, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by IaNo
I need information about sending my work to an editor. At what stage do you do this? I have two works in progress that are what I would consider tentative final drafts, given that I know I will need to rewrite sections of the story to push it in other possible directions. Is this something that an editor does? Make suggestions about how to improve the story and which aspects of it to add to, and to drop, to hopefully make it more marketable, or do they just fix bad grammar and formatting? How do you know you are ready to send it? Who do you send it to? How much do you anticipate paying? Is it necessary? Can an editor be a link to a publisher/agent? If you send a book to a publisher/agent and they like it will they recommend editors to you? What to hell am I doing!? Any feedback about this would be greatly appreciated.
Okay, first, take one deep breath. :)

Free-lance developmental editors work with authors on a critique for payment basis. Different editors have different procedures and payment set-ups, and their rates vary, depending on their level of experience and on the type of work being done. You can bring in a free-lance editor at any stage of the process and have them critique a little or a lot, a partial ms. or a full ms., whichever way you work out is most helpful for you. They will tell you whether they think there are potential problems and weaknesses and make suggestions for improving the work. This is similar to the developmental editing an editor at a publishing house would do, but it is usually more extensive since editors at publishing houses have very little time to do a great deal of developmental editing these days.

You can also hire free-lance editors to do line-editing, which is going through a ms. line by line and making suggestions to smooth out the prose. You can also hire free-lance copy-editors who will check your grammar and formatting for you. None of these freelancers are a link to publishers or agents and are not being hired to get you an agent or publishing contract, only to help you improve your manuscript.

There is a problem, however, in that a great many con-artists posing as agents and free-lance editors have emerged to fleece money from hopeful authors. Therefore, legitimate agents generally don't recommend free-lance editors to authors unless the author is a client and the free-lance editor is someone the agent knows and has worked with before. This also means that you have to be very careful in hiring a free-lance editor to make sure you are getting someone legitimate and capable. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America does keep a list at their website of con-artist agents and free-lance editors, so that you can avoid them. Other writers organizations may have lists of legitimate free-lance editors you can contact. Or you can get a reference from an author who has worked with a particular free-lance editor -- that's how the free-lancers tend to get most of their new clients.

Free-lance editors are useful because they can give you in-depth editorial help with your work, and because editors and agents have very little time to do such work and want projects that are as near to publishable as possible. However, they are an investment with no guarantee of return, so if you are on a tight budget, writing classes may be a cheaper alternative. Or you can use free sources of imput: critique groups, friends and family members.

I, Brian
July 12th, 2003, 05:44 AM
I did some research on editors not all that long ago. I needed some professional advice on my use of POV. Turned out I was fine, but still felt like money well spent.

Essentially, line-editing tends to get *very* expensive.

For online critiques I actually use the writing workshop community at Hatrack River (http://www.hatrack.com)

After then, pay for an external editor. There are a lot available, from big guns like Sol Stein or Patrick Lebutto. If not, there are other smaller ones. I got some names of apparently reputable editors here (http://www.chronicles-network.net/forum/index.php?board=8;action=display;threadid=119). Sorry, they are mostly UK.

I went with another freelancer for my work progress. You can get more info and read the editing report here (http://www.chronicles-network.net/forum/index.php?board=11;action=display;threadid=167).

IaNo
July 29th, 2003, 04:57 PM
Thanks everybody! I've joined a few critique groups online and I'm doing critiques of other people's works and learning the process. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. the publishing / editing world seems like a very confusing place to me and I want to get my feet wet without getting drowned.