Hired An Editor for My First Novel
Hopping into the Indie publishing world is about like learning to swim. You can easily pay for some lessons, learn some theory, start in the shallow end of the pool, have someone hold you while you practice strokes, and slowly make your way to becoming a swimmer. That’s a great way to learn, and it has many advantages. Of course, there’s that other way too – DIVE IN!
I laid out of the plan of how I am going to take my first novel to publication, in a previous post. My next big step was to hire a professional editor. There are many editing companies that you can hire online, but I wanted to find someone that I could make a connection with. I began shifting through the profiles of many freelancers on Elance, and found many that I thought would be great. Elance has the tools in place to create a job posting specifically for “Editing and Proofreading.” This allows you to identify a few of the skills you are looking for, such as English Proofreading, Fiction Writing, etc.
One of the toughest parts is writing the “Job Description.” You can poke around on eLance and see how others have posted jobs in the category of “Editing and Proofreading.” While the postings cover a vast amount of needs, you can easily figure out which ones were for editing novels. It becomes apparent quickly that the range of quality of posted jobs and proposals for those jobs was vast. I didn’t want to write a huge job description that no freelancer would completely read, but at the same time, I didn’t want to be so brief that it received an overflowing of proposals that weren’t for what I needed.
I wrote the description, and posted the job. I decided to include a copy of the first three chapters for a number of reason. First, I want to see if anyone would give me some sample edits in their proposals. Second, I did want potential editors to look through it so that they would have an idea of my style, and how much work might be required from their perspective.
My Elance “Job Description”
I am looking for a professional editor who enjoys working with first-time, fiction authors, and also enjoys science fiction with a small paranormal twist. This project is for my first book, “The Transprophetics: Book One – The Betrayal of Ka. The book is completed and contains approximately 96,500 words. It has been reviewed/edited by a few people already, and I am now looking for a professional final round of edits, review, and polishing before publication.
I have attached the first three chapters as an introduction and to help you decide if you are a good fit for this project. A quick overview of the book is below. If you have any questions, please message me on eLance, and I will reply.
+++ Book Overview+++
The Donovackia Corporation on the planet Koranth acquires the license to invade and exploit Earth. An exploratory mission is sent to ascertain whether Earth has developed the global infrastructure necessary to maximize the potential profits of an invasion. The mission’s twin objective is to find and kill Transprophetics – people with telekinetic or paranormal abilities.
Kadamba Vorhoor, a teenager on the planet Koranth, is recruited by a powerful drug lord. Against his better judgment, Kadamba sells to a young boy who dies from the drug. Branded a monster, brutalized in prison, and demonized by society, a twist of fate sends Kadamba to the Donovackia Corporation’s military on the exploratory mission to Earth. Teamed with a Transprophetic hunter and racked with the guilt of his past, Kadamba must decide who is, and who he will become.
Total word count: 96,500
I did not set a budget, as I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Proposals came back ranging from $315 to over $2,500. The levels of service that was offered varied also. Some simply proposed to read it, edit it, and send it back. Others pitched a more comprehensive approach, akin to what one might experience with a contact editor for a publishing house. These proposals tended to offer an initial edit, with some including a report of the strengths and weakness of the novel, along with suggestions to strengthen the story. A second round of editing was also included for after you made any adjustments in response to the first round.
The proposals came in very fast. Within a few days, I had 40 proposals. Some completely missed the mark, but a few quickly rose to the top. I narrowed it down to two, and began a dialogue with each. Ultimately, either would have been fantastic, but I had to choose one.
My editor has the book now, and her process includes breaking it down into smaller chunks around 20,000 words. She’ll edit a chunk, and then send it to me. This allows me to make changes without having to wait for her to edit the entire book.
The process has started and I am excited to be underway!!!