Editor Woes: 5 Red Flags for Inexperienced Editors

Don't skip out on a professional editor. During my writing process, I've learned that the whole "you get what you paid for" saying is true. Here are a few warning signs that you may have an inexperienced editor (and may potentially waste $700...wait, did I just say that?)

An early draft that was butchered. My story was unrecognizable at this point.

An early draft that was butchered. My story was unrecognizable at this point.

1. They haven't edited ANY novels. 

This seems obvious, but I don't care how many opinion newspaper pieces or blog entries they've done, if you don't see examples of their work, MOVE ON. Make sure they've edited in your genre as well. 

2. They lack referrals.

If you can't find other authors they've worked with to tell you about their experience, move around. You need to know about the editor's work ethic, attitude, and skill-level.

3. They EXPECT to get an acknowledgement.

I am all for authors giving credit when it's due, especially in the acknowledgements, but to put into a contract "You must put my name in your acknowledgements" means something's up. Let your work speak for itself. Who's to say we'll continue working together?

4. You end up editing THEM. 

Nothing is more frustrating then editing the editor. NOTHING. Mixing tenses, passive voice, awkward sentence phrasing, etc. (I actually wrote in the picture above, "Don't quit your day job." I wasn't trying to be mean, I just didn't like that "wasted money" feeling.

5. They are rewriting your story.

I think this is the worst. Editors are supposed to give suggestions, not take this opportunity to channel their inner author. If you didn't ask for a rewrite and your story is unrecognizable in just one chapter, Houston you have a problem.

 

Let's just say I'm happy I learned my lesson early on. I'm also thankful for authors like Michelle Stimpson for recommending professional editors to me. I'm so pleased with the final product of Hot Like FIre!!

If you haven't already done so, check out Chapter One.  The book is available December 2016.