Sunday, August 28, 2016

Shilling For Editing Services - Legit Or Con?

As I move forward towards actually publishing my first novel, one of the things I have to do is get a copyeditor for my work.  The problem is how to find one that's decent at a decent price.  I have a gmail account for all my writer stuff, and that's the account associated with several writing websites.  Inevitably, I get spam from some of them touting one thing or another, and one of those other things is editing services.

Like I've said before, I'm not interested in a content editor.  I have beta-readers for that, and I don't need some pretentious editor who would rather be a writer but couldn't make it to get snotty about what I wrote.  That doesn't mean that my work is completely clean, though.  If you want to be a professional, you need to have a copyeditor to polish the work from a grammatical and correctness point of view.

But how much of what I get in my inbox is legit?  It's real easy for someone to declare themselves to be a copyeditor and then tell people what their rates are.  I know more than a few who see copyediting as an easy side gig that can bring in some extra cash while they work on their "real" job.  I don't want my stuff looked at by someone in passing - I want someone who will dedicate themselves to what I wrote.

For me, I don't want to be anyone's guinea pig.  Therefore, as unfair as this sounds, I won't be submitting my work to a new copyeditor.  Sorry.  Go find other clients who are willing to take that risk.  I want someone established.

When I see a copyediting service in my inbox, the first thing I do is search for them on Google.  If I can't find them, they're out.  Once I find someone, I see a few things - how professional is their website, what are their rates, and, most importantly, what outside reviews I can find.

I trust reviews to a point, understanding that some people pad reviews with friends, relatives, or simply other aliases.  That's why word of mouth is the best review.  That's very hard to come by if you're not connected, but if someone I trust gives a thumbs up, I'm more inclined to accept the judgement.

Okay, that's a lot of blathering to say that it takes a combination of a lot of things to determine if a copyeditor is worth a hoot.  Email solicitation alone won't do it.  And if you're new, then I'm sorry, but you're just not for me.  Copyediting services can be expensive, and I want to make sure I get value for the amount of money I'll probably be spending.

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