I had another blog post ready for today, but since this is a hot topic on writing Twitter, I just belted this one out now.

So should you pay an editor or not for your manuscript? It depends on your goal.

If you’re going after traditional publishing, then I would recommend against it. Most agents I follow agree that if you cannot get your manuscript up to their standards with just you and your critique circle, then it’s not ready for the submission circuit. Not just that, but it will be edited by pros at no cost to you if picked up by a publisher.  If your writing is struggling that badly, then take a class at your community college. If you’re strapped for cash, pick up an English textbook at your local thrift store for a few bucks.

I also see that most agents who also professionally edit will not consider you after you use their editing services. This is to avoid conflicts of interest and accusations of being an EditInk style scam.

Onto self-publishing… If this is your goal, then I recommend paying a professional editor. Be careful who you hire and pay attention to their credentials. A self-published book will not be edited by the publisher like a traditional one will. You’re on the hook for everything. Many self-publishing companies will try to sell you editing services. Many times, all they’ll do is run your book through a high-end grammar and spelling check and rip you off. Publish America reportedly did this (and their dirty dealings will be the subject of a future post).

Hope this made sense and if you’re a pro in the industry who disagrees, let me know.