So as most of you know, I’ve been working with a professional editor to help with my debut novel. I’ve been working with the wonderful folks at Rowanvale Books and I wanted to discuss how I’ve found working with a professional editor for my book in the hopes that it can give some insight for you as to how the whole process works. As I’m writing this post, I’ve had my manuscript back to look at and it’s been sent off for another little edit so it’s not completely finished yet, but hopefully will be very soon! So, let’s dive in…
When I first began writing my novel, I knew that I was going to go ahead and self-publish it. I talked about my reasons behind the choice in more detail in this post but one thing that scared me was people reading my book and finding typos that could have easily been fixed. Or things that didn’t make sense to them that could have been easily changed with some suggestions. I definitely knew that I’d need an editor on board to help me with that aspect.
Finding the right editor was actually fairly simple. I typed in “Welsh Publishers” in Google, and the Rowanvale team popped up! With them being based in Cardiff (only half an hour down the road from me) and after reading the glowing reviews they’d gotten, I knew I had to approach them. I sent them an email and Cat got back in touch to find out exactly what I wanted out of the experience.
At that point in time, I wasn’t sure about how I would publish the book (whether it would be through a website or through a publisher) and Cat was incredibly helpful in showing me what services they offered. Eventually, I chose to go with their Proofreading & Copy-Editing Service which worked perfectly for my needs. I did pay for three of their Writing Advisor Service sessions beforehand so I could get an opportunity to introduce myself to Emma, who would go on to edit my book. This allowed me to get a taster of the kind of feedback that I could expect from the full edit.
I will be completely honest here…I was not expecting to have such lovely feedback on my work. I showed Emma a brief extract of what I’d written and she thoroughly enjoyed it. As she is the first person I had shown my work to other than friends and family, to hear her say that about my work is incredibly heartwarming. She also had a lot of valid critiques about my work that I hadn’t even noticed myself before. There were certain sentences that didn’t make sense, I kept switching POV (a lot) and there were some suggestions she had chipped in with which worked a lot better in the general narrative. Emma also gave me some brilliant resources for me to look through about world-building and perspective writing that were so incredibly useful to me when I was going through the final edits.
Then, it got to the big edit. When I got it back, I was floored with how many changes that Emma had suggested. I did get a little bit sad, but when I actually read through what she’d said a lot of it made sense. She noted that it was mostly grammatical errors and some sentences that could have been written better, which is exactly what I got the service for. She even left some little notes about the story that completely made me giggle since they were so adorable.
As for the cost, I found their quote very reasonable. They even gave me the option to break it down into two payments since the bulk was a little bit too expensive for me. Obviously getting anything professionally edited is going to cost quite a bit (depending on how much is there to be edited) but I want my work to be the best it can. And I don’t want to have any typos in my story either! I paid the first part before I sent my manuscript off and I’ll pay the rest of it when all the quality checks are done.
Now, I’m just waiting for a second check, then a final check over and the manuscript will be ready for publishing. The thought of getting my polished story back with me is going to be very surreal and exciting, as it brings me one step closer to the final hurdle of distributing the story. It’s coming around so quickly I don’t know if I can keep up!
So that was my experience with working with a professional editor! I hope this was insightful to some of you and if you are considering having an editor look at your work, I highly recommend it. In fact, I’ll go one step further – pop on over to Rowanvale Books as they are by far the most professional and amazing team I’ve had the pleasure to share my story with.