Premature Hiring of Editors-DON’T!

I’ve blogged about this topic a few times but it’s worth repeating. Some writers seek editorial input prematurely. Unless you hope to work with an editor over time, one willing to help you craft and revise, (an expensive venture) you likely fall into the ‘I have just so much extra money to invest in my passion.’  If that’s you, invest wisely and don’t hire an editor prematurely.

In the past five years, my clients have fallen into two groups: Those ready for the next level of input and those who weren’t.

Editors aren’t cheap. Writers should look for a developmental editor only when they have worked the manuscript to the absolute best of their ability without overworking some parts and under working others. They should have had the manuscript vetted via critique by a peer group and even read by a few trusted beta readers with good eyes tracking the narrative through line.

In these last few years, four clients have published books after working with me as editor. Here’s what they had in common:

  • They knew they had developed the narrative arc enough to be in the vicinity of the intention that inspired their story.
  • They also sensed something wasn’t right.

These writers had all previously published, two of them multi-published over many years.  Ego did not factor in. While they had received many thumbs up from their writing circles, they all sensed in their stories (fiction and non fiction) that something was missing or didn’t work.  In some cases, they had spent enough time pitching via query letters and had received enough agent rejections to reconsider portions or the whole of their works.

Writing books worth reading requires mastery level talent. Don’t be in a hurry. Get it right, writers. Even if you are only using the book to promote your business, it represents you and your business on the page so make sure it’s a marketing tool you proudly display.

For writers in draft mode who may be receiving high marks for a works-in-progress, I offer MtheM Read & Critique Service that is less of an investment than the fees for developmental editing. You will receive a solid overview of what works and what needs attention. Unlike a developmental edit, I will only point out areas working and those that don’t or drop me out of the narrative. Should I think your story is closer to pitching than you thought it was, a quality problem to have, I will help craft and edit your query letter, also included in this flat fee. If this interests you,  email me at marketingthemuse@gmail.com for the rate.