I make my thoughts on editing no secret. Self-edits have their place -- initial rewrites, shorter information products that need a very quick turnaround, etc. But for most indie publishers there's no good excuse to release your work without it crossing the desk of a professional editor.
Even more than that, I'm a strong believer in hiring an editor. I don't care how many editors you're friends with. Your friends have an incentive to take it easy on you (even if they say they won't), and an editor's job is to be completely objective.
What do you do when your baby is ready for the eyes of another? How do you choose the right editor for your books, stories, or e-books?
I'm currently narrowing down my own options for a short story series. Each story will be released individually online. When the entire series has been published, my plan is to release both a print book and e-book collection. That means I need an editor who not only can handle the horror genre effectively, but one I can count on for a good stretch of time.
I've narrowed it down to three editors, and they're all qualified. I'm still trying to decide who to contact first. But I suspect I'll start with the editor a close colleague recommended. That colleague is similar to me in that she wants an editor who isn't afraid to tell it like it is.
That's my issue with editors I'm friends with. They know I'm a no-BS, very blunt kind of gal, and that can be intimidating to some of them. I need someone who can get down and dirty with my work and meet me on my own level to call me out on any crap I might produce.
I trust this colleague's judgment without question. So if her editor is available and willing, I'll probably start there once I finish my own rewrites on the first story (in a week or two at most).
The other editors were ones I happened upon on my own. One I found through a search engine while looking for editors in the horror genre. The other was found in a directory of professional editors. Both are perfectly fine ways to find an editor of your own, but to me there's no substitute for a personal referral.
What about you? How did you choose the editor for your indie published work? If you were looking for a new editor today, how would you go about finding one who is a good fit? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media -- a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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