Money Can’t Buy Everything… Including a Good Editor


10 books, 26 editors, 5 formatters and still I get reviews about the bad editing…

In January, I’m going to undertake a massive new re-editing project.  I have been talking to a new editor, one that came highly recommended by my narrator of Tortured Dreams.  She has had indies send their books to this editor to be fixed before she began the narration.

I don’t know if it’s the editors or the formatters.  Some are definitely the editors.  Some may be funky shit happening when it is formatted.  That is neither here nor there.

The point is, it needs to happen.  Unfortunately, because of the holidays and other expensive crap (doctors’ appointments and what not, plus the money already shelled out for these jobs), I don’t really have the money right this second to pay yet another editor to fix my work.

On the bright side, I’ve learned a lot about formatting lately and after she gets done, I’m formatting them all myself.

But I added it up.  I have spent over $10,000 on editors.  I’ve spent another $1000 or so on formatters.  And the results are less than spectacular.  I don’t require perfection, but I do require more than I’ve gotten for my money.  I’ve tried everything at this point.  I’m sort of at my wits end.

Hence the monotonous, droning, time-consuming, horrifying task of having Adobe Reader actually read my frucking books to me.  Guess what, I found errors in Mercurial Dreams.  Another $3000 down the drain.  I could edit it myself and get similar results and all it would cost me was time.  Oh wait, I’m spending that time when I have to listen to Adobe Reader read my frucking book to me.

Needless to say, I’m very pissed about it.  Two editors and I’m only at the halfway point in the read… Why?  Because I have found 17 errors so far.  17 errors in 40,000 words.  That seems rather high.

So, I’m going to pay another editor starting in January to re-edit all my novels.  I’m going to listen to Adobe read all of them to me (did I mention this should be one of Dante’s rungs of Hell?).  And maybe, just maybe, I will get each novel down to one or two errors… I would find that acceptable.

And are all Indies fooling themselves?  I keep getting editors recommended with glowing praises: “So and so did a once over on my book and it is error free.”  Really?  According to the reviews you’re getting, they aren’t and by the way, I read the book… I found x amount of issues.  Maybe you should start doing something else…

I think from this point forward, every time someone recommends an editor, I will go buy their book and see how many errors are still in it.  When I find one that’s perfect, I’ll hire them… until then, I will commence The Great Re-Editing Project with a proofreader and my headphones.  (on the flip side, the new proofreader/editor that I have been speaking with has edited over 900 books, I checked her resume and intend to download a few of them before actually hiring her)

I know editors work really hard, some of my novels have 100+ errors when they start out (my fingers and brain do not work at the same speed).  But if I’m going to shell out $2000 or even a lowly $1000, I expect high quality work.  I don’t feel I’m getting it.  Maybe editors should consider working on a contingency plan… if they have more than 5 errors left at the end of their editing session, they don’t get paid.

Rant over… To anyone who does have a completely error free book done by an editor, message me with their contact info… I’d love to meet them.

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  1. Wow…I don’t know what to say….that is a lot of $$$ spent on editing and to still find more than a handful of errors…bah….I know traditional publishers usually put books through at least 2 or 3 rounds of editing. There is an editor that does content editing for story continuation. There is a line editor that goes through for the grammer/spelling issues and then there is a final editor who goes through it one more time before it’s sent back to the author for a read through with recommended changes. It’s a tough process but let me just reassure you that there are no perfect books – I won’t name names but there have been “New York Times” authors who have had entire pages/chapters missing in a published work due to poor editing or glaring editing issues from the first page – you are not alone in trying to get good editing – it’s just more agravating because you are paying directly for it instead of having a publisher pay for it.

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