VV is an angel to do this for free for me. Seriously, I would be nothing without her. Another complex issue in the publishing world that I don’t really have any answers for (and wasn’t much aware of the problems until reading this post).
Editors can be a fussy bunch. The worst are anal grammar cops prone to creating problems where they aren’t there. The best editors need to be flexible. Can you imagine an editor trying to make The Sound and the Fury grammatically correct?
Getting underbid for editing jobs is an issue, just like in any business. The biz landscape is competitive and ever changing; but as someone points out in this blog’s comments, the editing market’s not disappearing. In fact, with self-publishing so hot and ebooks booming, it’s a pretty good gig. But some editors overworry the process and wax about language degradation rather than doing good work and letting it stand as testament to one’s worth. Grammar cops are reinforced by language preservationists, who lately insist that our Twitter culture is making everyone illiterate. To me, it’s a nonissue because the audience for good writing will always be there. Just because the noise is increasing doesn’t mean that appreciation for talented editors will evaporate.
You get what you pay for in terms of editors, and writers will find this out by doing good research or learning the hard way, through experience. Editors build up a reputation and network for jobs. I got a break by aligning with a network of independent contractors. We compete for bids but our coordinator helps us schedule work. We had to pass a rigorous editing test to be considered for the opportunity. These kinds of professional alliances, like blog boards and LinkedIn, etc., are great ways to prove you’re worth it when it comes to price.
To me, editing is a vocation, and with that in mind I can take on friends’ and Mike Bahl’s work in particular because it’s the kind of writing I enjoy reading. All my Remedy Ink stuff is a labor of love and creative expression that I appreciate for art’s sake, not to make bank.
I recently reviewed the various groups I am a member of on LinkedIn and was astounded to find a U.S.-based editor soliciting editing work and offering to do that work for $1 per page in all genres. Some further searching led me to discover that this person was not alone in her/his pricing.
What astounds me is less that someone is offering to do editorial work for such a low fee but that people actually believe that is a fair price to pay for professional editing. I recently spoke with an author whose ebooks are badly edited — yes, edited is the correct word — who told me that he/she had paid a professional editor $200 to edit the novel in question and so was surprised at all the errors the novel contained.
Recently, I wrote about the publisher who wants copyediting but calls it proofreading in an attempt to…
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