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How to create your Author “Pit Crew” Part 2: Editors– #Author #TipsandTricks

by on August 5, 2016

Most people think of authors as solitary creatures who hide out in a dimly lit office pecking away at their keyboard and tearing their hair out in fat chunks while they slave over their newest book.

Okay, so that’s a fairly accurate description, but in my world, the office is replaced by my living room, and instead of pulling out my hair—I chew my fingernails. However, I don’t do it alone.

No, I have a whole TEAM of people who help me get my books released. For the next couple of weeks I’m going to break down what to look for in your “Pit Crew” and how to find them.

Back up and read Part 1: Beta Readers×1



I’m blessed to work with one of the best in the business: Red Quill Editing.

The ladies over there have never disappointed me, and I’ve been a loyal customer of theirs since they opened in 2014. One of the reasons I’ve chosen to stick with the same editing company for so many of my series books, is that the editors know my voice, and my writing style. They’re also familiar enough with the characters in the series to pinpoint if I’m made a mistake on a character from book one in book six.

I’ve also worked with several other companies and free-lance editors. Each has their strengths and weaknesses, and I generally use them when working on a novella for a bundle project, or a standalone story.

My suggestion to newbie’s is to ask in your author groups for recommendations. Word of mouth will tell you if an editor is reliable and honest, or overpriced, and flaky. You can certainly Google freelance editors, but who knows what you’re going to get. I wouldn’t trust my unpublished, unfinished manuscript with just anyone.

Euphoric winner winning at home


Questions to ask a prospective editor:

Price – This varies widely from a flat rate, to $ per words. On average you’re going to pay .005 to .01 cents a word when you break the price structure down. Also, DON’T pay for the full edit up front EVER. Most editors require a 50% down payment before they’ll put you on their calendar, but if you pay someone you don’t know 100% of the cost, there’s no guarantee they’ll follow through. Small claims court is certainly an option, but it’s an expensive one, and if you’re out of country (or they are) it becomes very tricky. You pay the second half when you receive the final edited manuscript.

References – Who have they worked with and are they willing to act as a reference? If the editor is unwilling to give you any references, you should probably steer clear. It’s possible they don’t have any happy customers to send you to.

Clarify the type of editing you’re expecting from them: I always have multiple rounds of edits. The first is the content edit, which is basically just reading through the story to ensure it flows correctly and makes sense. This is where the editor will point out if my beginning is slow, or my antagonist is too soft, or something is completely unbelievable. Once I’ve done revisions, it goes to a line editor for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. This person has my undying devotion because they’re the ones who have to remove all my excess comma’s. Last but not least is my proof reading step. The editor can do this, but generally I have a couple of exceptional readers who have volunteered to read through my new books for errors. They tend to pick up a handful of things that get missed so that when I publish it’s the cleanest copy possible. Some editors are great at line editing, but not content, and vice versa. Make it clear what you need up front.

NDA – Yep, this is another person who needs to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Protect yourself at all times, no matter how trustworthy the person seems.


Good luck, and watch for Part III – Author’s Assistant


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