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Professional Editing Advice!

Hi all!

Very new to all of this so hopefully I am putting this in the right place! I have finished my novel and am currently editing it for a fourth time, where I think it will be finally be where I want it to be. However, I am looking at self- publishing and so wondered if anyone had any recommendations for professional editors? Perhaps someone you have used or heard good things about? I've learnt a lot about traditional publishing but less so about self- publishing so all advice is very welcome!!

Thanks so much, 

Kate :)

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Replies (6)
    • Hi Kate, 

      I held off saying anything for a while, because I'm not the self-publishing guru, and there are plenty of them around here, but you're certainly in the right place for lots of help and advice.

      One thing I do know is that the competition in self-pub is no less cut-throat than in traditional publishing, and you need to make your manuscript sparkle as much as possible. First question: who has read the manuscript, until now? In my view, the key to improvement is getting as much feedback as you can from as many readers as possible, and while an editor would be a good idea, I'd start off with peer-to-peer critiques, either here or on another forum (Goodreads or https://www.critiquecircle.com/ perhaps?). People are often open to the idea of swapping chapters (I certainly am!) so that might be a good way of getting started. Let me know if you're interested.

      Either way, making the most of other readers' opinions (even if those readers happen to be other writers) strikes me as the best approach, before going for a professional editor.

      What kind of novel are you writing? If you can give us an idea of genre, maybe you'll pique the interest of others writing in a similar area?

      To give a literal answer to your question (finally), Jericho have their own editing service, and I can certainly recommend the wonderful Emma Cooper (https://emmacooperauthor.wordpress.com/) who did a brilliant job of producing a manuscript assessment for my current WIP (which I'm still working through), and while I'm talking about successful authors who are also editors, I have to mention the highly perceptive Laure van Rensburg (https://www.laurevanrensburg.com/critique-service). These two represent rather different genres, I have to say, so it's worth thinking about where you sit, and where you'd get the most benefit.

      Cheers, S.

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      • Hi Slago,

        Thank you so much for all your help and for taking the time to respond to me - I really appreciate it. 

        So I wrote my manuscript through Faber Academy's 'Writing a Novel' course and therefore received peer feedback from my classmates each week. Since then, however, I have edited it further and have a little circle of beta readers who have been reading it for me. (Although these are all friends and therefore 'readers' as opposed to 'writers'). I'm currently using their feedback to do edit number four and so was prepping for the next step and figured it should be someone more in the know!

        I'm writing a Literary Fiction novel, based around a teacher being accused of an affair with her pupil on social media, and would be more than happy to swap chapters if that is something you are interested in? 

        I will certainly investigate the people you have recommended further.

        Thanks so much again,

        Kate :)

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      • HI Kate

        Is it a critique or a full line by line technical edit you are looking for? They are by their very nature completely different things. The critique will tell you if the plot/characters is/are engaging and also comment on pace/tension etc. They will also pick out any continuity errors. A full technical edit might pick up some of the former, but the focus will be on the punctuation, paragraphs, spelling structure etc. Both important but both totally different beasts. A critique (as mentioned above by Slago) can be obtained informally by swapping chapters/manuscripts etc or by paying someone, usual cost between £3.50 - £6 per 1000 words, so the costs soon mount up. The technical assessment is usually around the same but some will do a two for one offer, but that's not always a good idea.

        This is where the good old fashioned agent/publisher model works as they will do this for you but self-pubbers have to do it themselves. It is where a lot of self published works fall down and it is really important. 

        Cheers D

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        • Hi Danny,

          Thanks so much for your response. I think probably more of a technical edit as it has been read by quite a few people now. Do you have any recommendations of someone I could use? 

          I completely agree that the old fashioned method is more useful but I wanted to properly investigate all areas. I have promised myself that this book will not be 'shelved' like others I have written!

          Thanks again for your response,

          Kate :)

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        • Hi Kate,

          If you are new to this you may not know that there are also Beta readers who will read bits or all or your work for very little or no money. I used Beta readers before going to an editor on my most recent work and it made a huge difference.

          Beta readers are like the people here, who are either writers themselves or just huge readers with an interest in a specific market.

          Which genre do you write in? I write crime but Jericho has a wide spectrum of writers from sci-fi to non-fiction.

          Best, Georgina 

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          • Hi Georgina, 

            Thanks so much for your response! I have a group of beta readers but they are definitely more readers than writers so it would be great to get some advice from people here too. I love crime so always happy to read any of yours if needed! Mine is literary fiction with crime elements so if you have time to read some chapters please let me know. 

            Thanks again,

            Kate :)

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