Hello everyone, I was listening to a video at work today by an indie author mainly discussing what they thought the pros and cons of paying for editors are and their experience in the industry as having been an editor themselves and as an indie author. I was really curious about peoples thoughts on what he said. Here’s the link to the video:
To sum up some his major point, he was talking about how paying for edits can hurt authors more than help them on their first books if they don’t have a “sellable” book to begin with. You’re wasting money you won’t earn back on copy edits, and that book structure is arguably more important from a profit standpoint. Some other points included:
•The rarity of good editors that can make a sellable story, and how many copy editors may be good at grammar and prose but not selling books.
•The difficulties in determining a good editor verses a bad editor that face the industry today. Someone may be a great editor but not good at making a business of themselves, cheaper can be a sign of poor quality, you don’t necessarily want someone that goes too fast because it might mean they’re only skimming the book, etc.
•First time writers might have a better profit if they invest money into a good course of how to write sellable fiction than to but copy edits on their first book.
•Sending cleaner drafts to editors with the help of betas and your own edits in the first place to better catch all those typos if you’re going to pay for them. He quoted that statistically, an editor is going to miss around 5% of edits, so if you give them a manuscript and there are 1,000 typos, even the best editor at their best is likely to miss a lot from the sheer quantity of mistakes.
•Argued that having a good relationship with your editor and someone that “gets” your story isn’t as important as an editor that can sell your story even if they’re harsher.
•Made a point that an editor at an outline stage could be more beneficial in most cases than copy edits after.
I’d just love to hear multiple perspectives! My sum up doesn’t do the video justice, it’s better to watch it, but it IS pretty long. I’ve asked about editing before and it’s been brought up a lot. What really struck me was his point of paying for copy edits for a book that won’t sell anyway and investing money into learning the craft. (Ultimately sounds like he recommends developmental editors over copy editors for first time authors). He offers a course on how to write fiction that sells, so I’m certain there’s some unintentional bias in there in terms of recommending someone pay for a course on writing before paying an editor. BUT it does make me wonder if he still doesn’t have a point, in a roundabout way, of where to spend your money.
(Dear moderators, if YouTube video links aren’t allowed, I deeply apologize! Please edit my video to remove the links and I’ll try and better summarize the points of the video for discussion and link people interested in the video through private messages).