Tip #3: You Need an Editor

Oh, you’re not going to like this one.

3. You Need An Editor

But they’re so expensive! How can I spend R10K on the book before I’ve even made a cent on it?

I know, it hurts. You’re an artist and in an ideal world people would be paying you for your art, not the other way around. But think of it as an investment in your business. It’s a start-up cost. Maybe you’ll spend R20K getting your first book out there, and only make R10K back. It’s all so damn unfair. But here are some things that will make you feel better about spending that money:

1. Fresh eyes will without doubt improve your product. And you want your book to be the best it can be.

2. It’s more of an investment than other hobbies. A jetski isn’t going to earn you royalties.

3. Writing is a lonely job. Having an editor who appreciates your work is like having a gimlet-eyed guardian angel in your corner.

Where do you start?

I asked my writing tribe on Facebook for recommendations and got around ten great ones, of which seven came back to me, willing to work on my memoir, ‘The Underachieving Ovary’ (Due for release September 2016).

Upon quoting me for editing my 96,000 word manuscript, they fell into 2 broad categories:

A) Holy Shit they’re good, with a price tag to match. (R28K – R35K)

B) Excellent AND affordable (R10K – R14K)

Of the latter, one editor stood out for fiction, especially for SFF (Nerine Dorman) and one for non-fiction (Bronwen Muller). Also on my shortlist are Catherine Eberle and Lisa Witepski. With the number of diverse books I’m planning on publishing in the next few years, I’m sure that I’ll be using all four of them for future projects.

Do you know any great local editors? Leave your recommendations in the comments.

Tip #4: Follow a Pro