Now, if you want you mom to read your book and help you out that’s fine. But unless your mother is a professional editor with credentials and experience, you need more. Even if she has all that, I recommend going to someone outside the family. **A quick note about moms: Mine found a few errors after beta readers and my editor went through my manuscript several times. Fresh eyes are never a bad thing! Thanks Mama!**
Finding an editor can be tough. Most offer a trial of some kind. One editor I spoke with offered the first 750 words for free or $50 for the first… 2k. After the trial run I realized she wasn’t for me. At least not the project I needed edited. The next person was referred to me through a friend. After the trial run with her we hashed out the details about payment and a timeline and we have been working together ever since. I was lucky it only took two tries for me to find the right person for the job. If you don’t have any writer friends to recommend an editor, there are websites to help you. I found the first editor by adding #editing and #editor to a tweet. While I hope to find more reliable editors to share with you, for now I will have to recommend you check out The Creative Penn. Joanna Penn has always been a trusted source for me. And you may find other helpful tidbits on her site! She’s been doing this since 2009, I believe.
Some people use multiple editors. Content editors and line editors are two common ones. I use beta readers for content, but my editor will also help with content and continuity as she does line editing.
You need to decide what works best for you. However, make no mistake, you do need and editor. As an Indie Author, I strive to make my books look professional and complete. I have purchased and read many self-published novels that either didn’t have an editor or didn’t have a good one and it shows. Their stories aren’t bad. In-fact the thing that keeps me reading (If I keep reading) is usually the characters or the plot line. They just didn’t take the time to get an editor. The last thing I want when people read my book is for them to think: “This is a self-published author, I can tell.” I absolutely don’t want someone spending money on one of my books and feeling like I stole from them. As a reader, this has happened to me before. I won’t name the title here but you can bet I left a nasty review. I felt like I wasted my money and my time. It would kill me if someone felt that way about one of my books. And if you want to be an Indie Author, you know how I feel. So please, take the time to go through the list of editors and services Joanna Penn has collected for you and find one that suits your needs and your budget! Your fans as well as your bank account will thank you for it!
**Update** Hey guys this is post from the Creative Penn’s podcast and I think C.J. Lyons really hit home on why an editor is so important! Plus who doesn’t want to know how to sell a million books?
Marissa Frosch is the head of marketing at Amphibian Press and also writes under the pseudonym Cameron J Quinn. The first of her Starsboro Series is due out on January 16th. She can found on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.