Saturday, August 24, 2019

Seven Signs of a Good Editor

As a writer and freelance editor, I know (and have used) my share of fellow editors. Even for that, I've had seasons where it's been hard to find someone I know will do a good job. Actual competency aside, here are a few good signs that you're looking at a good editor.


You can't know all of these things upfront, but they're good things to watch for! Their absence should raise red flags.

Money


They have a money-back policy. This seems like a no-brainer, but on the off chance that you get halfway into an edit and decide they're really not for you, you're going to want to know what they're money-back policy is. What their policy actually says is less important than them having one, but I'd say a 50% refund on half-finished-then-canceled work is pretty standard.

They aren't going to charge you thousands of dollars. Even a 50% refund won't get you very far if they're charging you two thousand dollars, pounds, or what have you. I do know well-established, respected, loved freelance editors who charge this kind of money. (And that's fine--I should say don't pay this much if you've never heard of them.) But you can find cheaper without sacrificing quality.

Integrity


They come off as a generally positive and encouraging person. Obviously, it can be hard to know these things through email communication and whatnot. But sometimes it pays (or in this case, saves you money) to go with your gut. Just because you don't click with them doesn't mean they're a bad editor, but it does mean they're a bad editor for you.

They finish according to the timeline and preferences discussed. As someone presenting themselves as a professional, they should act like it and deliver on the promises they made. Now, life does happen, of course. Even professionals can't remember everything or keep relatives from dying. However, they should still try their best and inform you. 

Which brings us to ...


Communication


They're upfront about your preferences and their services. This is another no-brainer, but it's surprisingly easy to discuss things, hire someone, and then realize how much you should have talked about after the fact. Do they ask what your preferences are for things like the Oxford comma, or do they force their opinion on which way is correct? Do they list the type of edits they offer or have any testimonials on their website?

They reassure you that the story is ultimately yours. Okay, this one isn't a must, but it's a very good sign. It goes hand-in-hand with not forcing the "rights and wrongs" of grammar on you. Many things are personal preference, and they should be there to inform you of the rules and their preferences, but ulitmately let you make the calls! (Hint: you make the calls whether or not they're cool with that--they can't stop you. But they shouldn't try to stop you either.)

They communicate during the process. There isn't always a lot to say during a project. But if they have a two-week vacation in the middle of editing for you, they should let you know. If they have an issue with some of the content, they should let you know before a two-star review. If they get confused, they should shoot you an email or at least leave you a comment in the document. Communication is a key to keeping you--the writer--at the heart of the service.

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Anything you'd add to this list? How do you find reliable editors?

It's been a while! And I've mostly been working on Martin Legacy edits with my editor and editing for my own clients. Thus, this post. :P What's new?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Future of This Blog

My very first posts on this blog almost three and a half years ago were about blogging. That's funny to me because I don't think I've blogged much about blogging since! But today I'm here to discuss this blog in particular because changes are ahead!


As some of you may know, my family is moving soon. We do know where, but we don't know when. Year's end, perhaps?

Between the move, my editing business, all my other jobs, and publishing Martin Legacy this fall ... I've had a hard time blogging lately. All the changes are taking up a lot of mental space. I think I've posted late for this entire month. Oops ...

So as strongly as I feel about the importance of consistency and as much as I love blogging ... now is not a good time for me.

I don't intend to kiss blogging goodbye for forever, but I'm not sure what will happen next. I'm going to aim to continue posting once a month on a Saturday instead of every Saturday.

I have lots of projects and fun things in mind that I'd love to see come to fruition some day. Getting back to vlogging, making a self-editing course/series, publishing little e-books on writing ... But now is not a good time for those, either.

So even though I'll be scaling this back a little, I'll still be around! To make sure you never miss a post, subscribe in my sidebar (underneath the followers). You can find me on social media @abitheauthor.

Blogging was my first connection to the writing world, and you all mean so much to me.  Thanks for your continued support as I step back for a season. I'll have an August post up before you know it!

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What's something you've had to set aside for a time? Can I count on you to stick around?? :D