Cut and Paste (and Cut Again)

It was time to look for an editor.  Actually, it was a little early for that, but I was so excited to get going that I started shopping for that tough love relationship about 60,000 words into my work (which ended up being about 80,000 in all).

So where should a new blood start?  It turns out that there are several options, many of which I became aware of after the fact.  For instance, Reedsy is a great bank of book writing partners (editors, designers, etc.) that I will most likely use the next time around.

Anyway, as a newbie, I turned to Thumbtack.  This site helped me to find a garage door repair service, after all.  Apples to apples, no?


Why would someone go to the Angie’s List of all services, great and small?  I’ll tell you why (and a few reasons why not).  Here goes:

  1. Pro: it’s a place to start.  You can get quotes for 5 people and then go out to bid again if those five don’t suit your needs.
  2. Pro: it’s free to talk with people.
  3. Pro: people clamor for your business, making you feel, as a nubile author, extremely wanted.
  4. Pro: you may wind up with one (or more) decent editors.  In my case, I think I found two who more or less fit the bill.  More on that later.

There are more reasons, but this is a good start to the list.  Now cons:

  1. Con: you can’t tell what you are going to get… unless you get a sample edit.  Get the sample edit.
  2. Con: what if you choose the wrong one?  What if the ideal fit is in the next grouping?  What if???
  3. Con: people clamor for your business.  Beware of ingratiation, flattery, ego, sales pitches, people who pretend to be the right fit just for a $.  Look at the rating.  See their critiques.  Ask for as much info as you need (resume, CV, references, etc.) to make your decision a comfortable one.
  4. Con: if these editors are so good, why are they looking for random jobs online?  Good point, but if your writing is so good, why aren’t you working with a professional house?  Hmmmm….

So here’s a little overview of my experience.  In my initial bid, I had the following:

  1. Man who offered to turn my manuscript into a screenplay and spelled my name wrong in his introductory email.
  2. Man who first replied and seemed really good… just wasn’t quite what I was looking for.
  3. Woman who, when sent my sample, politely turned me down.  I believe she was more into technical writing, but I might not have been her cup of tea.  I did appreciate how she said that someone would be honored to work with me, that it was fine work– just not in her wheelhouse, and that she would destroy what I sent her to protect my privacy.  Good stuff, in the end.
  4. Woman who I liked very much, was very complimentary of my work, but didn’t offer much criticism at the beginning.  I wanted to work with her (yeah, mainly because she was such an immediate fan), but I decided to wait.  She also sounded like she had more experience in finishing the work (copyright, formatting, press release writing), so it made sense to say “thanks, but I have to get back to you.”
  5. Woman who was harsher and slashed up my first three pages and didn’t give me the warm fuzzy feeling.  Perfect.

To be continued…

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