Saturday, January 24, 2015
I realized while reading some writing and editing books as well as lurking in various writing groups that there are a lot of authors who don't know that there are different editors out there. I know when I first thought about submitting a story for publication that I had no idea either. Because of this I decided to do a little post about it in case anyone is stumbling around the internet trying to figure it out. First, one has to realize that some editors wear a lot of hats, especially if they work for a smaller publishing company. There are Acquisition Editors (AE), who are in charge of reading through submitted works and deciding if these are right for their house or not or if the manuscript needs a bit more work. Then there are Content Editors (CE). Some CEs are AEs. For all of the publishers I work with as an editor I am labeled a CE but I also do acquisitions. Some of the companies I've published with or have submitted a manuscript to have AEs that accept the story and then a CE who goes through the editing process with me. Line Editors (LE) are in charge of taking your story after it's been through content edits and make sure nothing was missed from your characters' coloring to that comma you forgot to add. Most publishing houses use a Line Editor, but not all of them use a Proofreader. Proofreaders are what some consider as the final line of defense, they are also the ones who are looking at spelling and punctuation rather than anything else. It's a light edit, unless something was missed by a LE concerning consistency. Some of you might be going "Oh, so that's what the Freelance Editor meant when they said line editing versus proofreading." Which leads us to the last editor, a Freelance Editor. Some people don't use them, either because they don't have the money or because they don't think it's needed. A good Freelance Editor can be hard to come by, especially since a story is your baby and you want it treated right. Freelancers are good if you've been attempting to get published but have been met with rejection or if you decide to go the self-publishing route. Concerning using a Freelancer when you've been rejected, they, usually, have the skill to see what it is about your story that has a publishing company rejection your story. Some Freelancers will even offer a consultation, for a fee, where they will go through your story and make notes of what it is that doesn't work in your story. They will usually recommend a level of editing (from light to heavy or Proofreading to Content) and, if you're interested, what their rates are. If you don't have the money for paying the whole editing process, consider asking the Freelancer to do an installment plan. You pay them for editing X number of pages, they do that, and when you have the money ready for the next set of pages, you pay them and they do the edits. This is also a good idea if you're concerned about a Freelancer because if you really don't like their first set of edits, then you can always tell them so in a professional manner and move on to find a different one. Consider, too, if you find a good Freelancer or one who was willing to work with you, offering to write them a review. And, as a repeated reminder, always be professional. As much as you might sometimes think your writing isn't a job, it is.