writing-427527_640Our thanks to http://pejepscothistorical.org/education/term-paper-on-abortion/03/ argumentative essay writing help resume etiquette references baby thesis acknowledgement sample https://www.upaya.org/teaching/chinua-achebe-essay-an-image-of-africa/21/ http://www.naymz.com/can-you-write-a-dissertation-in-6-weeks/ https://goodsamatlanta.org/patients/buy-viagra-egypt/01/ https://lajudicialcollege.org/forall/being-earnest-essay-free-importance-play/16/ follow link https://soils.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/index.php?apr=employee-motivation-dissertation viagra debate viagra best dosage https://pittsburghgreenstory.com/newyork/thesis-acknowledgement-sample-tagalog/15/ blague avec le viagra buy research proposal how to delete emails from hotmail server on iphone watch harvard essay prompt click qualitative thesis proposal sample pdf data analysis thesis https://greenechamber.org/blog/resume-review-services-denver/74/ click here book report pattern whats better levitra or viagra burn dvd onto macbook pro article sample for writing article phd thesis bibtex entry source link source url see get link Carol Van Den Hende for this installment of the DIYMBA for Writers! This is the fourth in a series of posts to provide perspective on the business of writing, leveraging a marketing professional’s experience.

Along my writing journey, I recognize that there’s much to learn. It’s a new industry, with unfamiliar terminology, new people, and most excitingly, new opportunities. My business and marketing savvy nudges me after I complete a first draft. “You need advice from writers,” my intuition counsels.

I turn to resources that help in my business life: online information, books by experts, classes and organizations. I read about writing. I absorb varying approaches and opinions. I try techniques, writing prompts, character studies and scene synopses. I enter contests to get feedback, and participate in online classes that include agent critiques. I join writer’s groups, discover critique partners, and attend writing conferences. Each step teaches me something valuable. Each step provides new appreciation for how much more there is to learn.

Leveraging my experience, I publish articles, judge writing contests, teach author workshops, and pitch my premise.  My pitch is well-received. All the agents and editors I meet request a full or partial manuscript.

Still, there’s some critical component missing. Critique partners and writer’s groups give feedback on chapters at a time. What I crave is a partner to discuss the full arc of the story. I want to debate the merit and consistency of the major and minor characters. I need perspective. I need an editor.

First, I hire an adhoc writing consultant. For a fee per hour, she advises me on synopses and early chapters. Her advice is helpful but still at the sentence, paragraph and chapter level. I desire a partner to shape the arc of the narrative.

So I take an analytical approach. I assess what I need and weigh the options. I’m willing to invest funds to respond to submission requests with a polished manuscript. For me, it’s worth the cost for the professional perspective. Even if I don’t publish, I’ll have learned from the experience.

I clarify my priorities and objectives in hiring an editor. Then, I seek recommendations. I contact editors to learn about their process, experience and pricing (usually quoted in cents per thousand words).

I interview several editors who’ve been recommended by other writers, and assess them for:

  • Their philosophy, style and method of working
  • Personal rapport. Did we connect and understand each other?
  • Experience level, scope of work, contractual terms and cost
  • Industry knowledge and contacts

logo2After refining my selection to multiple seasoned editors, my final deciding factors come down to chemistry and intuition. I’m thrilled with the combination of professionalism and approachability of Ellie Maas Davis, the editor I hire at Pressque LLC.

Ellie caveats her process as “organic,” which means that it’s non-linear and unable to be detailed in advance. This echoes the trial-and-error method taken to develop new products, so I instinctively trust her approach. I dive into each element not worrying about subsequent steps.

She starts with a developmental edit, in which phone calls alternate between candor about what’s not working and encouragement for what is working.

Ellie-Davis-Pressque

Ellie Maas Davis

She’s a master coach, planting seeds of ideas that sprout later as if they’re my own. “When do you plan to write? How many hours a week?” she asks, genuinely curious. “Do you think there’s benefit to submitting before agents and editors get busy for the holidays?” While she demands nothing, I find myself volunteering vacation days and school holidays for writing.

She only offers what’s needed in the moment, wise enough not to overwhelm me with the entire process up front. She gives me individual assignments, meaty enough that they’re substantial, but not so onerous that I shirk them. “Think from each character’s point of view, search for their dialogue and tweak it to be true to their individual voice,” she says one week.

She asks me questions about the book’s premise that leads me to continue my research. I interview more sources until I’m a subject matter expert. I recruit beta readers who provide new perspective.

Following a productive and thorough developmental edit, she lets me know that there will be significant thinking and changes during a copy and line edit. “Find words you’ve used more than half-a-dozen times and create a fresh way to say the same thing,” she instructs.

She undertakes a copy and line edit in which each paragraph and sentence is scrutinized, polished and, sometimes, debated. She shares this reminder:

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subject only in outline, but that every word tell. “ – William Strunk and E. B. White

Either consciously or subconsciously, her method of alternating between criticism and praise strikes the ideal balance of keeping me motivated but not satisfied.

At one point, she shares this encouragement:

“Your job as a writer is making sentences. Your other jobs include fixing sentences, killing sentences, and arranging sentences. If this is the case — making, fixing, killing, arranging— how can your writing possibly flow? It can’t. Flow is something the reader experiences, not the writer.” Verlyn Klinkenborg “SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING”

At the end, I step back to see the manuscript we’ve culled and crafted. I feel as accomplished as when I’ve launched a new product. The hard work, the push and pull, and the collaboration have yielded tremendous growth, a holistic story well-told, with authentic emotion and transformed characters.

Other DIY Articles on WWW by Carol:

Have you hired an editor? What has your experience been? Share with your comment below!

 

Carol-ChiaoAs a marketing executive for a top 20 consumer goods company, Carol Van Den Hende has led the positioning, branding, strategy, design and product development for billion dollar brands. For more than 15 years, she’s collaborated with best-in-class advertising and promotions agencies.

Recently, Carol has been teaching authors to apply marketing techniques to branding and design. Carol is completing her debut novel titled “Missing Pieces.” Inspired by combat-wounded veterans, Carol has crafted a love story centered on transformational challenges.

Carol earned an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Rutgers, and an MBA from Lehigh University. She is an avid member of RWA, NJRW, Mensa and Women Who Write. Carol has lived in the U.S. and China with her husband and twin boys. Connect with Carol at Twitter: @c_vandenhende or Facebook: facebook.com/carolvandenhende

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11 thoughts on “Hiring a Freelance Editor (#4 of the Do-It-Yourself MBA for Writers Series)

  • July 10, 2015 at 1:23 am
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    If only all authors were as thorough as you.

    I am a professional certified proofreader and editor. I am also a writer, so I have experience on both ends.

    What I find with most writers who contact me is that they are newbie authors. They have pie-in-the-sky dreams of becoming the next breakout indie writer, yet they have done little to no homework about the process of publishing, let alone prepping a manuscript to be published.

    Because they can get beta readers for free (and by beta readers, they really mean alpha readers), they think that editors are dirt cheap as well. Many say they just need a proofreader when what they really need is a line editor. They have decided they can’t even afford the price of proofreading. Many need a full blown developmental editor.

    Authors must educate themselves on all aspects of the business, not just the business of writing. My best clients are ones who know what editors do and what they cost. Knowing that you need an editor and then balking at the rates is rather self-defeating. If you need a plumber and all the ones you contact say it’s going to cost $500 give or take, you don’t say no to all of them and go with the guy who says he’ll do it for $10.

    Just a pet peeve of mine….

    • July 10, 2015 at 8:59 am
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      Ooh, said a mouthful there, sister! Agreed – cost-effective should not mean free, which is unfortunately what some aspiring authors are leading themselves to believe. Slowly though we see more and more educated authors knowing there are things they WILL want to invest in if they’re to publish and sell real books!

    • July 11, 2015 at 11:18 pm
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      Cynthia,

      You make great points – as with so many things, you get what you pay for. Editing, well done, is a time-consuming labor of love. Finding the right collaborative partner is truly a gift!

      Carol

  • July 9, 2015 at 2:39 am
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    Thanks for this post, I think it is beneficial for my dissertation writing. I recently on the work of writing a dissertation paper for my post graduation course and I really need an editor. http://www.dissertationcapital.com/

    • July 11, 2015 at 11:20 pm
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      Rachel,

      I’m glad you found it helpful. Good luck with your dissertation!

      Carol

  • July 7, 2015 at 9:16 pm
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    Thank you for this timely post. It’s timely because I’m near completion of my ms, but know there are kinks to work out. Finding the match is the key.

    • July 8, 2015 at 8:19 am
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      Thanks, Katrina! Yes, finding a great editor is the secret sauce to putting out the best books we can!

    • July 11, 2015 at 11:23 pm
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      Katrina,

      Congrats on your ms. Good luck finding a great editor. Having a partner in creative endeavors can make all the difference!

      Carol

  • July 7, 2015 at 12:17 pm
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    Chemistry makes a huge difference. If the writer respects the tips of the editor, if the editor opens the writer’s eyes, if they go back and forth, building on what the other one says, the chemistry is there.
    If you’re interested in “auditioning” me as your editor, visit Writer Advice’s Manuscript Consultation Page, http://www.writeradvice.com/manuscriptconsultation.html. I offer a free trial. Send me your first 750 words. Let’s see if we’re a match.

    http://www.writeradvice.com

    • July 7, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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      Thanks, Lynn – yes, chemistry is key, AND talent. I’ve run into far too many authors who thought they’d paid for an editor, yet were left with a manuscript that needed editing. Folks should also ask what else the editor has worked on for their own peace of mind…

    • July 11, 2015 at 11:41 pm
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      Lynn,

      That’s a great description of chemistry (and collaboration). It’s all about the mutual trust and respect.

      Carol

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