Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Grab the Polish by Sandra Ardoin

Last month, we talked about the need for an editor for your work. Afterward, I was asked to write about finding an editor and the possible costs involved, so I thought I’d concentrate on that in this month’s post.

How do I go about finding the right editor for my work?

One tip I mentioned last month was to use someone who is familiar with editing your genre. Do you write suspense? Contemporary Romance? Sci-fi or fantasy? Hire someone who knows reader expectations when they pick up that type of book. Oftentimes, an editor will call out on their website the types of writing they will or won’t take on. Sometimes, for them, it’s a matter of story preference but consider, too, that they know their strengths pertaining to genre. 

Since this blog mainly speaks to those who write for the Christian market, let me suggest you start your search at The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network. This is an organization with an amazing list of possibilities. (You’ll even find our own Dawn Kinzer.) You can also fill out a form with your needs and specifications on the sister site. They’ll make editor suggestions for you. 

When looking for a freelance editor, check out the best indie books in your genre. On the copyright page or in the acknowledgments, many authors list the editor. Write down the names and check them out. What are their qualifications? Have they won awards for their editing? Do they list references or testimonials by writers they’ve worked with? Do they specialize in a certain type of edit—developmental, copyedit, non-fiction, fiction? It doesn’t hurt to read or ask the authors about their experiences. 

Many freelance editors will do a sample edit. You send them the number of pages or words they request (ex.: 1,000 words or five pages). They edit those pages and return them to show you their style. That way, you’ll have an idea whether their way of working lines up with your preference. Be sure to take advantage of that offer. On their end, they get an idea of the type of editing you need and how much work it will require of them.

Which leads to… 

Seriously, how much will this set me back?

There is no way to sugarcoat this: If you’re indie publishing, editing will most likely be your largest expenditure. I won’t get into the dollars and dimes. Charges vary widely. The Editorial Freelancers Association provides a rate chart to give you a range of pricing you might expect from the various types of editing. Also, realize there are a number of ways to be charged. With some editors you’ll pay by the page (standard is 250 words equals one page). Some charge by the word count, some by the hour, and some by the project as a whole.

One key to helping yourself and your bank account is to make sure your writing is the best it can be. Sure, that’s why you’re hiring an editor, but believe me, there still will be plenty for that person to find, and polishing that manuscript can cost you less money in the long run, because it’s less time and effort for your editor.

Do your homework, but in the end, choosing an editor will depend on your budget, your gut feeling about a sense of camaraderie in working with that person, and your faith in that person’s ability to take your work to the next level.

How do you go about choosing an editor? Editors, do you have anything to add?

One key to helping yourself and your bank account is to make sure your writing is the best it can be. via @SandraArdoin #SeriouslyWrite


As an author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

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Loving her might be a blueprint for disaster.

Claire Kingsley once dared to assert herself into the male world of 1890s architecture. It cost her husband both his life and an heir. Now fear controls her choices and her dreams. When offered a chance to create another design, she fights against the pull, afraid of further disaster. But disturbing news ignites a fierce loyalty to her past love and a powerful attraction to a new one—an attraction she resists…for his sake.

Mark Gregory’s first architectural project in town comes with the proviso that he works with a female. He balks, even though Claire stirs his heart like no other woman. Yet, with a loan payment looming, risking his business on someone of unknown talent invites failure, a word he’s struck from his vocabulary.

When bigotry and Claire’s fears threaten an important commission, will she summon the courage to help Mark succeed, or will she destroy another man’s dream?

Get Enduring Dreams and check out Sandra's other books on Amazon!