Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Have Written a Book - and Hired an Editor

When I started this project my goal was to write a novel. Furthermore, I told myself that I couldn't say "I've written a book" until I had not only written a first draft, but had made the book as good as I could make it. At long last, longer than I care to recall, I've reached that point. After ten drafts the manuscript is as good as I can make it. I've written a novel.

The trouble is, the book can be and needs to be better. I know it can be improved but can't figure out how to do it. I've been over it so many times the words are wearing grooves in my brain.

My daughter recently finished reading it for the second time and said, "Dad, it's really good, but it's not ready to be published. It's like a car with a manual transmission instead of an automatic." My wife just finished her third read and says that the second half is great, but the first half doesn't measure up to the second.

I need an editor. A good editor. No, a great editor.

I researched editors at Preditors and Editors and made a list of about a dozen, then culled it to four finalists. Three offered various levels of editing, from proofreading on up, as well as 'sample edits' of the first chapter. I received two sample edits and estimates for the whole 156K manuscript in the neighborhood $2500.

Whew. Am I that committed to my book and my writing?

Evidently I am, because after much thought and email discussions, I committed to the fourth editor and her substantially higher fee (which I won't disclose). Laurie Rosin impressed the hell out of me with her track record (she has edited 38 national best sellers), experience with historical fiction, confidence in herself and her service, and way of challenging me to be serious about writing.

Throughout this whole project - though the hot and cold spells, the breaks, the highs and lows - I've told myself repeatedly to do the best job I could. Right now, that means sucking it up and going with the best editor I could find. The best, for me, is Laurie, and she tells me she'll get to my project this fall.

I'm really looking forward to working with her.

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