A big subject in the indie/self-publishing world, the general consensus is that you should hire an editor to look at your work much the same as if you had been taken on by a “proper” publishing house.
Before thinking whether to hire an editor or not, every indie writer and self-publisher should ask some searching questions:
- Is my work of art good enough?
- Am I prepared to listen to what the editor says?
- Can I find an editor enthusiastic enough to look at my book and work on it with me?
- Can I afford this editor?
- Then, once again, just in case you lied to yourself the first time round: Is my itty-bitty book worth the effort and the financial outlay?
Be honest before you hire an editor
You have been working on this remarkable novel for the last two years. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it, not to mention a good few litres of cheap vino to get your creative juices flowing. You’ve finished. You think it’s the bee’s knees. Your sister thinks it’s the greatest thing that’s ever been written. Your mother has called from beyond the grave to say it’s marvellllllouuuussssoooou…
But ask yourself this question:
Is it going to set the world on fire?
In all probability, the answer to this is going to be no. Ouch! Did that hurt? I apologise.
Face the facts
90% of the self-published stuff out there is crap. Yours may or may not be amongst that pile of shit-drivel, or it may be. You might be honest enough with yourself to admit that. But you have to accept the fact that, in all probability, your beautiful novel is not going to be in the top 10% of Kindle all time greats.
Accept this and be free: Your novel is not going to cause a major sensation, people are not going to be talking about it at bus stops and in cafes, you’re not going to be invited to posh soirees, drinking champagne and discussing literary shit with the glitterati, and no one but your immediate friends and family is ever going to know you as a serious writer.
It doesn’t matter! Let it go.
So, once more with feeling, should you fork out on a professional editor?
If you’re a decent writer and you’ve written something good, and you have the money to burn/waste/invest, then it’s worth the effort.
First off, make sure you find a good editor. A good editor will tell you before she’s even asked you for money that your book is:
- Worth some effort, or
- A pile of KACK
HEALTH WARNING: A good editor will charge you a fair whack but she/he won’t take you on without you being sure your book is worth it.
If your book is a pile of KACK and the EDITOR takes it on, they’re not an EDITOR they’re just a piss-taking-fuck-wit-troll who knows a sorry ass when they see one.
Research your editor. Don’t accept them at face value. Find out who they’ve worked with. Contact those people to see if they’re happy.
If you’re one of the five zillion or so writers with hope in their hearts but not quite enough talent to make the big splash, then stop looking for an editor. The work you have created is your own. It belongs to you and it may even sell a few copies and you may get some rave reviews from your friends and a couple of negative ones from people you’ve never met.
As Humphrey Bogart once said: “It don’t amount to a hill of beans.”
But do me a favour…
If you are going to self-publish. DOOOOOOOO get yourself a proof-reader. Your story may be shite but at least the grammar and the typos should be ironed out. Have a little respect for your dear reader.
By the way, proof-readers cost a lot less than an editor.
Leave your comments down below as usual, you rat-arsed scribes of the dark and twisted tale…