Writing Haven

By Erin MacLeod

Welcome to Writing Haven! Here I'm going to share short stories, answer questions, and keep everyone up to date on my writing and publication journey. Hope to see you in the comments!

  • Erin MacLeod

Hired an Editor!

So, there is a reason this post is four days late. Ron, adorable as he is, is also quite the trouble maker. For reasons known only to himself and methods much the same, he stepped on my keyboard and somehow completely shut down the right most edge, including my enter, delete, and backspace keys. As you can imagine, this has had an impact on my ability to write and I actually finished this on a library computer. Nonetheless, here is my post, albeit late.

You may not be able to tell by the title of this post, but I have actually hired an editor for Haven.

It wasn't easy. Hiring an editor is an expensive step, one that's going to put me back almost $1400, but it was time. I've been working on Haven for almost two years now and it's come to a point where I can't improve it on my own anymore.

I've had almost twenty beta readers, been through sixteen drafts, got a free copy edit(which would've put me back another $1000-$2000), and printed it out three times and there are still things I want to improve on it. Someone else might say that I'll never satisfied and they very well might be right, but I can feel myself getting closer. Maybe, with this ounce of professionalism, I might finally be able to let 'the end' mean the end.

I wouldn't count on it though. I've still got a lot of plans for this world or I wouldn't be 85k into the sequel. Gotta keep things consistent!

Still, hiring an editor was, I feel, a huge step for me. I've learned so much on each step of this journey. From being able to recognize what I didn't like about my own writing, to where to put that comma, to how writing everyday can make me a better writer, I've improved. I cannot wait to see where this next step takes me.

Additionally, taking this step will teach me a lot. I didn't start really hitting my stride as an editor until I started beta reading and having Haven beta read. Each comment and each WIP I went over taught me a little more about how my writing will be received and the importance of proper grammar. Getting that copy edit was what actually taught me how commas worked and helped rid me of my love affair with them.

Truth be told, I was initially worried about how to find an editor. Anyone can make a website, fake a few reviews, and say they're a professional, after all. Still more are people who are qualified but won't be able to give me the help I want or need. I needed something that would allow me to vet my potential editors and get a real feel for how much this process would cost me. Thus, I came to Reedsy.

I wasn't initially too sure about Reedsy, but several legitimate bloggers and writers seemed to trust it, so I signed up. Right away I was impressed with the site as it was plainly set up to connect writers with industry professionals. Upon login, you can choose what you're looking for (editors, ghostwriters, designers, marketers and the like) and choose a few to ask for quotes.

I chose five based on their past experience, what I knew of the books they said they edited, and whether their profile blurb intrigued me or not. Within a few days I had received four quotes broken down into what I could expect from them, how much the project would cost, a timeline, and (except one) a little introductory blurb. Furthermore, I was able to directly communicate with the editors to determine which would be ideal for me.

I did sweat over it for a few days, but ended up choosing the only one who'd also given me a sample. I liked what I saw of her work. She provided an alternative viewpoint while not overpowering my work. It took another day to work out the details (I'm moving in a few weeks and the start-date she gave me was too soon for my liking) and that was it. I'd taken the final steps and hired an editor.

I'll likely do another post in the future with a breakdown of the actual process, but for now I'm finishing up a last few details before I send Haven off to fight the vicious red pen.

On another exciting note, I'm almost finished with Avalon. With luck I'll be able to look for beta readers in just a few weeks!

Next week I'm going to write about my synopsis and blurb method, but for now I'll leave you with a questions. Would any of you be interested in a collection of my writing answers as a blog post once or twice a month?

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