It is time to put my editor research and preparation into practice! The most important part of this stage in the process is connecting with the list of editors that you want to potentially work with. Helpful hint: Don’t just send an inquiry to one editor. That does not allow you room for comparison which is important (editors are different and you want to be able to compare). For me, the number was five (which may have been a little overzealous of me, but this is all new to me). Three is a pretty reasonable number to work with.
So how exactly did this inquiry phase work? I sent an email to the five editors. What did it include?
- A quick introduction of myself and my decision to self publish
- An introduction of my work and that it is a series. I felt this was important because I wanted the editor to know up front that I was looking for a long-term relationship. This wasn’t going to be a one-time event.
- An explanation of what I was looking for in an editor
- Inquiry on WHEN the editor could begin editing my work
- Request for a sample to be completed (remember, I made sure in my research phase that any editors I chose were willing to complete FREE sample edits for me.
- Finally, I let the editor know WHY I had chosen to query them. Was it the author testimonials on their site? Was it the explanation of how they would edit? Was it their willingness to read the book more than once? Whatever the reason was that attracted me to that editor, I let them know.
Why did I feel that all of this was necessary? (I am glad you asked, my followers.) Drumroll, please….Because this process is all about establishing a BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP with someone. Yes, writing is about creativity and diving into an imaginary world where you are in control of your character’s destinies, and I want to share my stories with the world. But I also want to make money doing it. For right now, I have taken off my creative hat and put on my business cap.
So, I sent out my five inquiries and in very short order received emails back from ALL the editors stating that they would like to receive sample pages in order to complete an edit. I giddily prepared the pages (each editor asked for different amounts of pages, etc) and sent them out to them. Proof is in the pudding after all (someone famous said that at some time when pudding apparently was very popular).
Another VERY HELPFUL Hint: the sample is one of the most important parts of this entire process. An editor can look really good on paper, come with rave reviews and edit top-notch authors, but you still need to see what they will do with YOUR pages. Do not skip this step. It will save you heartburn later on.
Now I’m waiting for my sample edits. The next stage is deciding on who to work with. Yipes!