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Ma'am
March 25th, 2020, 03:01 PM
I have a few ideas for you:

1) You could list it in the beta reading section and try to do a swap with someone, where you help them with their book and they help you with yours. It's not "professional" but we all know a lot as readers and can spot a lot of things the writer missed and some writers on here do have professional level skills anyway. If you do this, though, I suggest first beta reading just a couple of chapters of each other's work first. It's a lot of effort to put in if you don't feel like you're getting solid help in return.

https://www.writingforums.com/forums/215-Beta-Reading

2) Or, after you get the required number of posts, post it in the workshop, a chapter at a time. You are expected to critique at least two other entries there for each one you post, and it's also a good way to get in your required number of initial posts. I learned far more about writing from critiquing other people's work than anything else, so I think it is really free writing lessons anyway. (After you critique a few dozen stories/chapters, you begin to notice a bunch of common errors and then you stop making them yourself). That would be more for help on the details though, not the big picture, though you could include a synopsis of the whole thing with each chapter posted. It's also a good way to get to know who is useful to you and who is not. From there, you could suggest a swap etc. for the whole book too, if you wanted to. It can also help you find a beta swap person when they get a glimpse of what type of novel it is etc. ahead of time.

And then you have to learn an additional set of skills, knowing which suggestions to use and which to toss.

Many writers don't hire editors. We give and receive critiques with other writers instead. It's free and, as I mentioned above, it improves your own writing too.

3) Writers with self-published books are usually just dying for reviews, which are hard to come by. You could offer to leave honest Amazon reviews on their book/s (which you'd have to read first, of course) in exchange for editing/beta reading of yours. The advantage here is that you can check out their book/s on Amazon and see if you think they have good enough skills to be of use to you.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

ETA: If you ever do hire a freelance editor, be careful because no certification etc. is required. Anyone can state that they are an editor and immediately be one, in other words. You can get some great, free help on a give-and-take basis on writing forums (which, again, can also greatly increase your own writing skills far more than just getting an editor for your own novel can).

Olly Buckle
March 25th, 2020, 03:29 PM
It really can be a lot of work, I have spent an hour giving a detailed crit to a page of work. Of course your work may not need that much, but be aware you are asking probably a couple of weeks full time work for probably no reward. Most self published work sells only a few hundred copies.

Amnesiac
March 25th, 2020, 05:31 PM
I've edited books and even ghostwritten a novel for a friend. She's promised me 15% commission of her sales. I swear to f*cking god, I will NEVER do it again. Never.

Foxee
March 25th, 2020, 05:47 PM
I've recently finished the second draft of my first novella, which will hopefully be part of a series, and it's around 220 full pages so far so it's a fairly short story.
That's a novel and not really a short one. A novella runs somewhere around a hundred pages.

It's unlikely that someone will accept this large of a piece of work to do at a pro level for free. Your best bet is the give-a-little-get-a-little model until you can pay someone.

TL Murphy
March 25th, 2020, 09:58 PM
Tophat, there is a simple solution. Barter. Offer to edit someone else’s novel in exchange for them editing your novel. I would do it but I’m fresh out of novels, sorry. But maybe there is someone on this forum who would take you up on the offer. You just have to ask the question in the right way.

Firemajic
March 25th, 2020, 10:18 PM
Tophat, there is a simple solution. Barter. Offer to edit someone else’s novel in exchange for them editing your novel. I would do it but I’m fresh out of novels, sorry. But maybe there is someone on this forum who would take you up on the offer. You just have to ask the question in the right way.

Yes, as TL said there are solutions... maybe, in your town or on the web, you could join a new writers group... it seems that if you give a honest request, and offer to help someone who is willing to help you, maybe you will have better results....

I have been a mentor for many years and I have helped a lot of people [ hopefully ;) ] but I still get pissed when a new poet dumps their work on the poetry board, asking for feedback, or critique, but has nothing to offer the other poets... writers need readers...
A community is a give and take, and most likely, you will get what you give... good luck, and congratulations on finishing your book ;)

luckyscars
March 26th, 2020, 03:54 AM
Tophat, there is a simple solution. Barter. Offer to edit someone else’s novel in exchange for them editing your novel. I would do it but I’m fresh out of novels, sorry. But maybe there is someone on this forum who would take you up on the offer. You just have to ask the question in the right way.


Yes, as TL said there are solutions... maybe, in your town or on the web, you could join a new writers group...

Not to continue to be the Pantomime Prick Of The Thread but... is this logical, you think? Is it even ethical? Sorry but the whole Solomon's-Wisdom attempt to compromise, while well-meant I am very sure, seems way off base.

We are talking about editors, yes? Not beta readers. A beta reader is all druthers and did-this-work-for-me and asking people to read a story in exchange for their opinion, to the extent they feel like offering one, which is supposed to be a fun thing anyway. Anybody who can read is qualified to be a beta reader. Beta reading is all opinion, all subjective. There's no expectation. Or should not be. Ditto workshop. These are voluntary, casual things with no strings attached. Everybody understands that.

An editor is supposed to have some degree of aptitude. Some measure of professional skill backing it up. An advanced level of knowledge about the English language (SPaG, etc) and what actually 'works' versus what doesn't. They're not infallible, sure, but they are supposed to offer an improved product at minimum. They are the plumber who knows how to auger out the shit. It's a profession. Some people go to school for this shit.

Consider: If the OP feels sufficient discomfort with their ability to edit (and they must, unless they are lazy) what the hell business do they have 'exchanging' their editorial skill and maybe fucking up somebody else's work? For that matter what benefit will it be for the OP to have a layman -- somebody who also feels sufficient discomfort with their ability to edit, hence they are agreeing to this -- potentially fucking up theirs?

I get the 'fresh eyes' argument. If this was suggested as an exercise for mutual learning and development, then I agree exchanging 'editing' is a great idea. But that isn't what the OP is talking about and I guarantee they aren't looking for some newbie to 'have a go' and see what happens. The OP says they want to sell their book. For money. They therefore must want to feel confident about how the book is edited. We must assume that will be true for whomever the OP might find to exchange with (otherwise it's even more problematic) as well.

So then: What if one person's 'editing' is far better than the others, due to a large gap in competency and/or effort between the two individuals? What if the OP ends up with a great manuscript (wow thanks!) and the other person ends up with a crock of ass (uh...thanks...)? That is not bartering. That is one person benefiting at the other's expense, whether intentionally or not makes no matter. What recourse then for the person who ended up with the shit edit, having put their best effort into their side of the bargain? If two people agree to wash each other's cars and one person does a great job and the car looks like it came out the dealership while the other covers it in bleach because they didn't know better...is that going to fly? Because that is possible. Probable, even.

OP, for what it's worth, I am a terrible editor myself and shared the shock factor when looking into the Upworx pricing on hiring anybody who had any experience. It's thousands of dollars to get a novel edited and with no proof it will guarantee publication. So I do understand the dilemma. It is unfortunate.

But you cannot cut corners. Either you do it yourself or you don't, and if you don't you have to assume you will get exactly what you pay for because That Is Life. It is no different than a small businessman can't expect to start a hardware store without putting down capital on the lease of property, acquiring stock, paying employee wages, etc. You cannot bank on publishing a 'professional quality' manuscript without investment of either your money or time or both. You cannot expect others to donate to you. You have to pay.

The OP is, as it stands, resembles one of those wannabe entrepreneurs who enters the Shark Tank (or Dragons Den, if you're not from America) with a great business idea that exists solely on paper, asking for a million dollars for 1% (or 0%) of equity with no assumption of risk. This does not work, we've seen the show. People aren't that dumb..and if they are that dumb, it is incumbent on us not to exploit that.

The OP should assess what is financially possible, research what is needed, and either pony up the cash, do what they can themselves, or put the book aside while they go sell some lemonade.

clark
March 26th, 2020, 08:40 AM
I've edited a number of books of poetry. The first two, some years ago, I did for free. On completion of the second, I realized I should have sought psychiatric help for doing it for free in the first place. Dozens and dozens of hours, and the poet fighting me over many of my edits which, I learned from his popping veins and snapping teeth, were to him roughly equivalent to selling his children into slavery in a faraway land.

First, a word about luckyscars' posts. Notice my cunningly careful choice of words. This man and I have never met. I know nothing about him, so everything I say about 'him' is not about 'him' atall. My chin-stroking comes solely from reading his posts. Those posts tell me the writer behind them is a skilled practitioner of our craft, takes our craft very seriously, has an experienced and well-developed view of the current publishing world, and feels a need to cry out with what my British friends call 'vig-ah'! against what he perceives as exploitation within the ranks of his fellow writers. There is another way to look on your request.

The other way? That you did not quite understand the depth and range of your question, and did not fully grasp the enormity of what you were asking another WF writer to undertake for free. He has responded to your question and request on the assumption that you know what you are doing. Hence all that 'vig-ah' and passion. Exploitation requires planning, intent, and a cold heart. Were luckyscars correct in his assessment of your post, I would be shouldering him aside, reaching deep into his Hamper of Hyperbola to hurl a few of my own in your direction. There is, however, another way to look at the OP which opens up an entirely different perspective.

The other way? That you did not quite understand the depth and range of your question, and did not fully grasp the enormity of what you were asking another WF writer to undertake for free. The information luckyscars offers about editing, publishing, self-publishing, and an editor's time commitment, is quite accurate. Looking at the overall tone of your post, your phrase "first novella," etc. my perspective on your post is that the world of editors, fees, time, and related issues is new territory for you, however experienced you might be as a writer. So my position is that you simply did not know.

If I'm correct, do please re-read luckyscars' comments and the information he provides. It is quite accurate . . .accuracy notwithstanding, I'm going to talk to his people about cutting back his consumption of red meat to three times a week . . . . . :icon_cheesygrin: [LS. . .love ya baby!]

Ma'am
March 26th, 2020, 04:21 PM
I don't think the original poster will be back.

Firemajic
March 26th, 2020, 06:45 PM
Not to continue to be the Pantomime Prick Of The Thread but... is this logical, you think? Is it even ethical? Sorry but the whole Solomon's-Wisdom attempt to compromise, while well-meant I am very sure, seems way off base.

We are talking about editors, yes? Not beta readers. A beta reader is all druthers and did-this-work-for-me and asking people to read a story in exchange for their opinion, to the extent they feel like offering one, which is supposed to be a fun thing anyway. Anybody who can read is qualified to be a beta reader. Beta reading is all opinion, all subjective. There's no expectation. Or should not be. Ditto workshop. These are voluntary, casual things with no strings attached. Everybody understands that.

An editor is supposed to have some degree of aptitude. Some measure of professional skill backing it up. An advanced level of knowledge about the English language (SPaG, etc) and what actually 'works' versus what doesn't. They're not infallible, sure, but they are supposed to offer an improved product at minimum. They are the plumber who knows how to auger out the shit. It's a profession. Some people go to school for this shit.

Consider: If the OP feels sufficient discomfort with their ability to edit (and they must, unless they are lazy) what the hell business do they have 'exchanging' their editorial skill and maybe fucking up somebody else's work? For that matter what benefit will it be for the OP to have a layman -- somebody who also feels sufficient discomfort with their ability to edit, hence they are agreeing to this -- potentially fucking up theirs?

I get the 'fresh eyes' argument. If this was suggested as an exercise for mutual learning and development, then I agree exchanging 'editing' is a great idea. But that isn't what the OP is talking about and I guarantee they aren't looking for some newbie to 'have a go' and see what happens. The OP says they want to sell their book. For money. They therefore must want to feel confident about how the book is edited. We must assume that will be true for whomever the OP might find to exchange with (otherwise it's even more problematic) as well.

So then: What if one person's 'editing' is far better than the others, due to a large gap in competency and/or effort between the two individuals? What if the OP ends up with a great manuscript (wow thanks!) and the other person ends up with a crock of ass (uh...thanks...)? That is not bartering. That is one person benefiting at the other's expense, whether intentionally or not makes no matter. What recourse then for the person who ended up with the shit edit, having put their best effort into their side of the bargain? If two people agree to wash each other's cars and one person does a great job and the car looks like it came out the dealership while the other covers it in bleach because they didn't know better...is that going to fly? Because that is possible. Probable, even.

OP, for what it's worth, I am a terrible editor myself and shared the shock factor when looking into the Upworx pricing on hiring anybody who had any experience. It's thousands of dollars to get a novel edited and with no proof it will guarantee publication. So I do understand the dilemma. It is unfortunate.

But you cannot cut corners. Either you do it yourself or you don't, and if you don't you have to assume you will get exactly what you pay for because That Is Life. It is no different than a small businessman can't expect to start a hardware store without putting down capital on the lease of property, acquiring stock, paying employee wages, etc. You cannot bank on publishing a 'professional quality' manuscript without investment of either your money or time or both. You cannot expect others to donate to you. You have to pay.

The OP is, as it stands, resembles one of those wannabe entrepreneurs who enters the Shark Tank (or Dragons Den, if you're not from America) with a great business idea that exists solely on paper, asking for a million dollars for 1% (or 0%) of equity with no assumption of risk. This does not work, we've seen the show. People aren't that dumb..and if they are that dumb, it is incumbent on us not to exploit that.

The OP should assess what is financially possible, research what is needed, and either pony up the cash, do what they can themselves, or put the book aside while they go sell some lemonade.


Since you quoted me, I will respond, with all due respect to you and your opinions....
You are right, I do not know much about editing ... or the cost in time, energy and money.... but this I DO know... I know what it costs to be kind... it does not cost a single penny.

PiP
March 26th, 2020, 07:25 PM
Okay, I am going to lock this thread now. It has proved to be a valuable discussion and the OP has not only received a reality check but some useful suggestions to chew over.