A few weeks ago I mentioned that I’m starting to hire my own copy editors. So far, my results have been very mixed.
One of the people I’ve worked with has been fabulous. She’s reasonably priced, she’s quick, and she’s caught dozens of errors and typos that slipped by me. Basically, everything I could hope for in an editor.
The other two … well, my results were less than stellar. When I did a final read-through of the manuscripts they returned, I found dozens of typos my “professional” editors missed. And that leaves me a bit torn.
On the one hand, it’s kind of hypocritical to complain about someone missing typos that I both injected and missed on all of my previous read-throughs. On the other hand, if I’m paying someone hundreds of dollars to copy edit my work, I’d really appreciate it if they did the job I’m paying them for.
Between editors and cover artists, I’ve spent close to a thousand dollars on various publishing expenses this month. That’s a lot of money, but it’s also kind of expected, as I’m trying to get four books out the door in the next three months.
The project I’m trying to wrap up right now, though, is a bit different. One, it’s the longest work I’ve published to date, at slightly more than one hundred thousand words. That means it’s going to be more expensive to have edited, by a considerable margin. Second, it’s kind of my baby, and I really want it to be the absolute best product it can be. The idea of spending hundreds of dollars on someone who’s going to treat the project carelessly is, to say the least, depressing.
My plan right now is to go back to the editor who’s done the best work for me in the past. Going forward, I also plan to write a short “audition” script that I’ll send to new editors before I buy more expensive services from them, to see how they perform. I might end up posting the close-to-final versions for some crowdsourced editing, too.
What say you, internets? What’s the best way to get a novel edited?