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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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Great article - thanks for posting the link :)
 

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If you're not sure about the various types of editors she references, her post last week explains them all.

I thought it was very interesting that she suggested that most writers could skip a developmental editor (unless you're already rich and know one of the good ones to hire), and to rely more on a network of trusted readers. And completely agree with her that a copyeditor and a proofreader are essential (the more skilled the better).

I think most of us dream about a developmental editor who will help us reach the pinnacle of our abilities, but most of the editors you'll run into are not going to do that. I know when I was magazine writing years ago I had one editor who was brilliant. My articles would come back from him, and somehow it seemed like exactly what I'd written, but a thousand times better than what I'd done. He made me far more excellent than I ever was. And I had another editor who was very good in that she was exceptionally clear about what she needed and how to turn it out. But beyond that the other half dozen I dealt with were very little help and sometimes actively a pain in the s***flake to deal with.

So Kris's post really resonated with me.
 

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Bookmarked. Thanks.

Reminder: send the same sample to several editors to see what you are getting for your money. If you are unsure of the results, ask someone more experienced for an opinion.
 

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Thank you for posting the link.  This is an excellent article/blog on finding an editor.  Well worth the time to read.
 

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Very useful article. I too was surprised by that nugget about trad published books.
 

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Thanks for sharing, J. She seems to be suggesting to get a seperate copy and line editor and proofreader. There's no way I'm gonna pay 3 different people to go through my MS. I'm just hoping to find one person who's willing to do all three. Maybe that's a mistake on my part, but that's all I'm gonna be willing to do.
 

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My experience with traditional publishing was very different. I did two or three rounds with a very good editor, the same one who acquired my book. Then the copy edits, again very good. And then it was proofread and then it was given to me for proofreading. I didn't feel that any of the steps were missed or not given full weight. And I have not heard any of my author friends not having content edits. Perhaps it's a genre thing?

I know it seems like a lot of people looking at the same thing, but they are three very different skills. Sometimes during copy edits, mistakes get put INTO the manuscript. It happens a lot. You want as many eyes on your book as you can find before you put your name on it and release it into the wild. If you can't afford all three kinds of editors, cultivate as many nit-picky friends as you can to read it over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Gwen Hayes said:
My experience with traditional publishing was very different. I did two or three rounds with a very good editor, the same one who acquired my book. Then the copy edits, again very good. And then it was proofread and then it was given to me for proofreading. I didn't feel that any of the steps were missed or not given full weight. And I have not heard any of my author friends not having content edits. Perhaps it's a genre thing?

I know it seems like a lot of people looking at the same thing, but they are three very different skills. Sometimes during copy edits, mistakes get put INTO the manuscript. It happens a lot. You want as many eyes on your book as you can find before you put your name on it and release it into the wild. If you can't afford all three kinds of editors, cultivate as many nit-picky friends as you can to read it over.
Oh, dear. (Since KKR is a Hugo-winning editor in addition to being a well-known writer, her experience probably is different ;) )

I suggest you read what she says more carefully. :)
 

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I didn't mean any disrespect. I was just relaying that my experience included content editing. And that the people I know who are published with traditional houses have had content editing happen on their manuscripts as well.

It is perhaps because she is such a well known writer that maybe they don't feel the need to edit her as much? Or that perhaps different genres work differently in New York.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Gwen Hayes said:
I didn't mean any disrespect. I was just relaying that my experience included content editing. And that the people I know who are published with traditional houses have had content editing happen on their manuscripts as well.

It is perhaps because she is such a well known writer that maybe they don't feel the need to edit her as much? Or that perhaps different genres work differently in New York.
I suggested re-reading the post because she was very specifically talking about hiring our own editors.

This post had nothing to do with what traditional publishers do.

ETA: She has talked about what to expect from editing with traditional publishers, including what to expect from a content edit, in another recent post. If you want to know what she said about that, go back in her blog a bit.
 

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I was referring to this:

"Here's the biggest secret in all of traditional publishing: Most fiction books have never had a true content edit.

From Big Name's fifteenth bestseller, which the acquiring editor (read company president) is afraid to touch for fear of losing Big Name to another company, to Sweet Young Thing's first novel, which no one has the time (or the budget) to edit, most fiction books get little more than a line edit followed by a copyedit.

I would wager 95% of what you read has never had a content edit. Decades ago, writers started complaining that editors didn't "edit" any more, and by that, writers meant that they never got a content edit."


My experience was different. That's all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Gwen Hayes said:
I was referring to this:

"Here's the biggest secret in all of traditional publishing: Most fiction books have never had a true content edit.

From Big Name's fifteenth bestseller, which the acquiring editor (read company president) is afraid to touch for fear of losing Big Name to another company, to Sweet Young Thing's first novel, which no one has the time (or the budget) to edit, most fiction books get little more than a line edit followed by a copyedit.

I would wager 95% of what you read has never had a content edit. Decades ago, writers started complaining that editors didn't "edit" any more, and by that, writers meant that they never got a content edit."


My experience was different. That's all.
I see what you're talking about.

I also had content edits when I was traditionally published, but I am pretty sure (considering the huge number of novels she has published in a number of genres not to mention being an editor) that she knows more than I do about what most publishers do. She doesn't say that no one gets content edits, just most novels.

The complaint about lack of editing is very common.

ETA: As I said, she discussed editing with traditional publishers in some depth recently. This really wasn't about that and that was more of an aside.
 

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Gwen Hayes said:
It is perhaps because she is such a well known writer that maybe they don't feel the need to edit her as much? Or that perhaps different genres work differently in New York.
I do think it may be because of her name. In speaking to author friends, it seems the bigger the name, the less content editing the author gets. Whether that's because the author is more experienced and needs less in the way of content editing or because the editor feels hesitant to touch it (for fear of prima-donna syndrome -- no, I'm not saying KKR would be a prima donna if her work was edited), but it does that newer authors seem to get more in the way of content editing.

I haven't published with NY, but I've been on the receiving end when many of my friends have opened their revision letters and cried. The pages just bled with red pen, with hundreds or thousands of comments. Doesn't sound to me like they weren't getting content edited.

That being said, I also have several friends with certain publishing houses (it always seems to be the same houses over and over) who comment that they essentially have to turn in a perfect manuscript because their editor doesn't...well... edit. So I know some traditionally-published authors who have taken to hiring freelance editors BEFORE they turn in their manuscripts.
 
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