Do I Want the Editor Behind Door Number One?

And let me tell you, this is NOT an easy decision to make! I got my sample edits back2014-03-09 22.06.19 from the five editors for review. Each email I received was like a new gift waiting to be unwrapped. You may think that this is a bit masochistic of me, since editors tell you what does not ‘work’ in your manuscript, however I am taking a different view of things this year.

So what did I find in these sample pages?

Well, first of all let me tell you that each editor provided me with DIFFERENT insights, which was very enlightening. Yes, there were some repeats on grammar and punctuation suggestions, but otherwise, each editor had a unique take on suggestions.

What else did I find? Redline changes and comment bubbles peppered my pages. Some of the suggestions were quite EXTENSIVE. (ughhhh) Now, before you wonder if I curled up in the fetal position and started mumbling to myself, the answer is no. (Okay, maybe a little hyperventilating took place, but there was no mumbling, honest).

It may be time again to remind my followers and those of you who have just joined this merry-go-round (and myself) that I have a new mantra this year. BE FEARLESS

So I won’t get discouraged at the suggestions, rather I look at it as opportunity for improvement. Ultimately I want my manuscript to be better. If not, then I shouldn’t waste the time or money it takes to find an editor in the first place!

So how in the world did I make my decision? Cause that’s what you’re waiting to hear, right?

I read the sample edits once. Then I read them a few days later so that emotion was taken out of the equation. During this time, one of the editors informed me that her calendar had filled up and she would not be able to work with me until the fall, so the pool was reduced to four.

Then I had a published author friend review the edits as well. I wanted someone who has been through the editing process before take a look at the samples. Why wouldn’t I leverage someone who has knowledge that I lack? Ultimately the decision was mine to make, but it was nice to hear her take on the comments.

So I narrowed the four down to two. The interesting thing about the two I chose as ‘finalists’ was that their edits were much more extensive than the other editors. AND their suggestions made me think AND made me improve my pages.

Then I read the two again and decided to go with Door #2. Henceforth, I will call her Miss Editor or M.E. for short.  What were the make it or break it things for me?

M.E. got my humor. I write funny and if that had been lacking there would have been no further discussions needed.

M.E.’s suggestions were good and numerous (and did I say good?). She was great at ‘little things’ like word suggestions, but she was also great at big-picture thinks and questioning things that didn’t make sense.

M.E. will read my story more than once. She will actually provide edits for me and then I am going to re-work the pages and she will then provide another edit! I found this a huge positive since I am new to this process.

M.E. answered my EXHAUSTIVE list of questions with patience and professionalism. Remember last week, I mentioned that this is a professional relationship. One of the last questions I asked M.E. before offering her the job, was if she would be okay when I didn’t agree with her suggestions. Afterall, the book is mine and so there will be times when I will not use all of her changes or comments. She was okay with that. She is a writer too, so I think that helps that she sees both perspectives as well.

And I think the important takeaway in this process is that an editor that is GREAT for me, might now be great for you. It comes down to your gut sometimes. Don’t ignore your gut, it is right most of the time.

So now, my baby is in the hands of my editor. And the anticipation is building. Who would have thought this self-pub journey would be so emotionally demanding?

BE FEARLESS! BE PATIENT! LISTEN TO YOUR GUT! (I’m building up quite a list, aren’t I?)


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