So it’s time to talk about editors and how the ‘H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks’ I am going to find a good one. Last week I decided what types of edits I need. This is important because when you start your research on editors you will find out rather quickly what they do and do not edit.
I’ve gathered a list of names from various boards, loops, recommendations etc. And it is a rather large one. So it’s time to jump in and skinny down the list right? Hold on a minute, my followers. First you need to establish a set of criteria. How can you skinny down a list if you have no idea what you are looking for in the first place? (rhetorical question alert)
The first criteria is that the editor has to have a website. For me (and you might think differently), this is a make it or break it item on my checklist. Here is the reason why…I want to be able to learn the basics about the editor from their site and not have to email someone numerous times to discover in the end that we cannot work together.
What did I want to see on their website?
- Do they have a description of the types of edits they do?
- Do they have a price listing (or at least a range of pricing)?
- Do they have a listing of clients they have worked with?
- Do they have testimonials from those clients?
- How do they edit – use of track changes for example?
- How long does an average edit take?
- Does the editor read and/or edit your work more than once?
- And do they offer a FREE sample edit of your work?
The research can now begin! And even though the list is large, many of the editors fell out of the running rather quickly. The first group to go were those that didn’t have a website. The next to go were the ones that did not offer content and copy-edits. Then there were those editors who had no client lists or testimonials on their sites. They were crossed off as well.
The list is becoming much more manageable. And I can dig in more deeply into this smaller set of names.
Now here’s where my OCD kicked in. For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I can be a bit obsessive in my day-to-day life. Sometimes this pays off. I created a spreadsheet (cause there was no way I was going to keep all of these things straight). In the left hand column, I listed the questions and then across the top of the spreadsheet I placed the names of the editors in their own columns.
And while on each website, I would jot notes down in my spreadsheet. And more editors came off the list. Until I was left with 5 potential editors that I wanted to talk to a bit more. NOW I can start having email conversations. Instead of emailing hundreds of editors (because who has time for that), I am working with a controlled, reasonable number.
Next week, we’ll talk about what I call the Inquiry Stage of the process. In the meantime, keep busy, I know that I am!