Yesterday we had a great discussion about the advantages of using a professional editor.
Today I want to discuss the potential disadvantages of using a paid editor.
1. We may send our work to an editor before we're ready: If we're fairly new in the writing journey, we need to focus on reading craft books and blogs that can help us improve our writing skills. I have several shelves of writing books and a thick stack of note cards filled with all of the writing skills I need hone. I've spent years learning about the craft of writing. I wouldn't have been ready for an editor earlier.
2. We may have the tendency to grow lazy in our own editing: We may think that if we're using an editor, then we're off the hook with our own careful editing. I personally do not send anything to my editor until I've spent time re-reading and revising it first. I want my work to be its absolute best before I send it out to critical eyes. After all, the more time an editor has to spend correcting my little mistakes, the more money it will cost me. Besides I want her to focus on the bigger issues and help improve my writing on deeper level.
3. We may have a difficult time finding the right editor: As writers, we research agents and editors before we query. We must do our research with editors too. There are many editing services available. Finding one that is reputable and that meshes with our writing style may pose a challenge. Rachelle Gardner has a list of editors on her website here. Usually an editor will let you send in a chapter or two to start with. My editor critiqued the first chapter of both my books which allowed me to see her style and how well we would work together. Because I liked how she critiqued my work, I wanted to keep going.
4. We may have to invest a lot of money: The cost of hiring an editor is not cheap. Sometimes we may be able to find an editor that is running a special. My editor offered her current clients a discount, so I took advantage of her special and started sending her my manuscript even though I wasn't finished writing it. I've spent at least $300 so far, and will spend that much or more for her to edit my next book. I consider myself fortunate to have got in on such a great deal. Usually it's not so cheap. But it's an investment in my writing career that will hopefully one day pay off.
Rachelle Gardner pointed me to the comment of a previous client as a great example of the PAY OFF. Here's what Austin said:
"When I retired from the Navy and quit the great astronaut chase, I had this burden again. . . to tell the story of what I'd dreamt of but had narrowly missed--being an astronaut. I wrote and wrote and then realized I had a long tome that no one cared about.
So I borrowed $7000 on my house, spent it on three successive developmental edits by a freelance editor, and forced myself to walk the talk of being a good writer. Linda Nathan ripped my lips off so many times I lost count. . . but her critical comments led me to learn to correct and to write better.
Then one day, after thousands of dollars, three years of editing and lots of prayer, I met. . .Rachelle Gardner who gave me a shot at publishing, and the rest is history.
If you are burdened to write, follow Jim Bell's advice. WRITE. WRITE. WRITE. Then follow mine. . . invest in a freelance editor and make yourself better. Edit, rewrite, learn, read. Invest in yourself. You'll never regret it."
The cost is high. But if we're sacrificing so many other things to write and bring our skills to the next level, then why not sacrifice our money too?
What is the biggest disadvantage for you in hiring an editor? If cost wasn't a factor, would you hire one? Why or why not?
Remember: The key is finding someone who can objectively critique our work. Whether freelance editor or critique group, the important thing is getting objective feedback.