Your book is finished!
And you’re thinking maybe you should let someone other than your spouse or your Aunt Lucinda look at it. Maybe you should hire a manuscript editor.
But that sounds expensive. And you’re a writer, and you don’t have a trust fund. And, you know, the recession and all that. Who can afford an editor?
You can. You must. Because the first time your readers come across a mistake, they may take note of it and continue on. But the second time, they’re going to doubt how well you know your craft. And the third time, they may put the book down and never pick it up again. After all, they bought your book because they love to read, not because they love to edit.
You don’t have to have perfect grammar to be a writer — you just have to write. As Hemingway said to the editors at goodreads.com, “There is nothing to writing. You just sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” If you worried about every controversial comma and dangling participle, you’d bleed yourself dry before you ever finished a paragraph. Enter the editor.
You don’t want your English teacher for an editor. You want your English teacher’s pet, the one who skipped P.E. and Foods to hide out in the library, who may or may not have stolen that copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s because of the great marginalia. You want an editor to take books like medicine and dispense poetry precisely.
You want me.
You’ll be delighted to learn that I’m affordable and easy, and very, very good. Call me. Let’s work something out.
Meghan Pinson is a freelance manuscript editor who works primarily on novels and nonfiction books. She offers comprehensive manuscript critiques and a full range of editing services: copyediting, line editing, substantive editing, content editing, developmental editing, and post-editing cleanup. She’s quite friendly and will help your books become amazing, so if you’re into that sort of thing, you should get in touch with her soon.