Personal Updates

the search for a developmental editor


Yes, you read correctly. I’m looking for a developmental editor.

I recently joined Reedsy. It’s a platform where professionals like editors, publishers, and even designers can gather and find the right person for their project. So, ya’ll know I finished my novel about Georgiana—about my life— and after half a year of contemplation, I decided I really want to get this done the right way. If I was to share the novel and publish it physically, I want it done right. Not just me editing my own writing. I want someone outside of my eyes to just wreck it. Write all over my work. Find the holes to my plot. I want it done right! Darn it. But we all also know I’m not close to being financially stable. My art career only recently started gaining momentum. I’m not getting a stable enough income if any at all so there’s really nothing there to rely on. But I did it anyway. I went and inquired about getting myself a developmental editor. Lo and behold, I’ve found two currently who are willing to take on Listening to Georgiana after reading a 600+ words excerpt, the scene in Chapter One, Evangeline. I feel like, if you were captured by that moment, you and I are going to get along well. That was my first impression. Then you get to the quotes. Oh, the quotes! One says over $2000 and another says under but still over that comfortable threshold amount of a dependent, struggling twenty-five almost twenty-six dare I say. What is my comfortable threshold amount you don’t ask? $100. Do you know what else I paid for with that kind of money? For one month, I paid my psychiatrist that and I didn’t come back to her because the next $100 was just too uncomfortable. Every  month I have to pay my student loan and let me tell ya, I’m always uncomfortable with the money I dish out. So, I ask myself, am I even ready to walk the path of publishing a book? Should I wait until the art side of my life has stabilized enough for me to be able to give focus to this part of me? The writer part of me? I don’t know. Followers, who are authors, what do you guys think I should do? It’d be really great if an editor could at least allow me to pay in small increments but I know how ridiculous that may sound. If that was asked of me as an artist, I probably wouldn’t agree to it. Oh great ones, once again bestow your wiseness. I’ll most likely lurk around my usual writers on WordPress and look through their old posts about their experiences. All are welcome to leave me an advice. edit; I was reminded that I should also add that upon receiving said quotes from each editor, one gave me a sample of how they’ve worked with another author before. Two actually! She gave me two samples. The less pricey one edited the 600+ words, gave me a breakdown of her rates, and the EFA Dec 2017 rates. I’d like to point out that Reedsy is supposed to be a secure site and the creators and staff try to only accept professionals with trustworthy backgrounds. In the profiles of each professional, they give a long description/cv of their career. There’s also a list down the page of their profile of books they’ve edited before. They’re also pretty open to giving samples of their work and straightforward about the other details that a beginner like me wouldn’t know to ask about. I mean, I’ve done a lot of research in the past year and even just half the year of 2017 about editing, publishing my own book, other paths I could possibly take like printed copies or ebooks but even then I still wouldn’t be able to ask every question I should be asking. So, I was really thankful that both editors were willing to walk a mile long to explain to me their own procedures.

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  1. You are seeking a developmental editor and not just an editor. Hmmm…

    I would say even $2,000 plus is a bargain for a novel length work. Obviously, that depends on the quality of the developmental editing. If the completed work is rubbish, of course, it is not worth paying even a dollar.

    Even if you can afford to pay the money, this is my advice: Before you engage a writing consultant/ghost writer/editor/developmental editor/coach – I strongly urge you to ask for samples of their work.

    If they are authors, even better, read their books.

    If their works meet your requirements – engage them.

    Good luck with your search and novel.

    1. I’ve actually seen some of their work. They’ve given me samples of how they’ve conducted with previous clients, how they operate, etc but I will most likely do more research after reading this.

      (Will edit original post to include the above details that I have done.)
      Thank you very much for taking the time to give me your input! Much appreciated.

  2. One of the founders of Reedsy here 🙂 Thought I’d drop you a note on your blog.

    First, thanks for taking a look at Reedsy, and glad to hear you had positive responses from several of our editors. We are very picky about the editors we add to our marketplace and they tend to decline most of the work that comes their way through the platform.

    Now, re your budget, I completely understand. My #1 advice for first-time authors is to hire a developmental editor for an “editorial assessment”, as that is the fastest and most effective way to really grow as a writer in your craft. That said, many debut authors don’t have the budget for that, in which case I think you should still publish that first book. You can’t substitute professional editors, but you can dramatically improve your story if you build a team of strong beta readers:

    The more books you write, the more beta readers you work with, the more your craft will improve. And when you do have the budget for a professional editor, go for it. In a few years you’ll probably re-read that first book and want to re-write it all over again, but you’ll be glad you published it 🙂

    Hope this helps!

    1. What a surprise! Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.

      Those are some really great points that I think solidifies what I’d already been leaning towards. I did think, you know what, it’s my first book there’d be plenty more times for me to get a professional editor. It doesn’t have to be ‘this’ book.

      I’ve actually shared this book or part of the book thus far at Wattpad just to see the responses I would get and how many would actually be interested in reading it outside of my personal connections. Though they’re no beta readers, I feel that it could build a community around itself that would potentially later on breed or attract beta readers in the future. I’m also already in a community where I could ask around.

      Thank you again. This will help me put things into perspective as I think more about what to do.

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