My new thang—editing

So, you’ve got to this point with your novel


and don’t know what to do next. You have just written The End. You want to get a publisher interested, or you want to publish it yourself, but it needs another pair of eyes casting over it first.

What you need is an editor, and that is exactly what I’m thinking of becoming. I can write, I’m pernickety about everything, and I can spot a plot hole a mile off. I’m still thinking this through, setting up a new web site and working out where to advertise. Competitive is the new cheap, so my rates will be competitive—we’re all broke and not many of us are going to make millions out of our books.

I’m offering to edit the first few pages to give you an idea of what you can expect, but bear in mind that I write fantasy, YA, and historical fiction. I’m not your best bet for spy thrillers or erotica. If you think you might be interested, please get in touch through the contact form. If I get a positive response, I’m launched!











Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “My new thang—editing”

  1. Advantages:

    1) you can work from home reading books


    1) you may get sick of reading the same book five or more times in a short period of time

    2) authors may give you one timescale and then change it (even after part payment) and you could have booked in something else in that downtime

    3) unless you can command the going rate, you are not just competing with people charging a few hundred for a full-length novel, there are students ‘editing’ for less than $100. I. Joke. Not. Put it this way, editing is not lucrative. Pretty much like writing. Oh and then there are students/grads offering free edits in return for a testimonial

    4) you may get asked to look at dross that isn’t ready for a beta read, let alone an edit

    5) what sort of editing are you doing? Are you including proofreading? Or everything? Etc etc

    Tbh, I don’t advertise very often; I have other commitments and I don’t want to take on MSS and then not be able to complete. I’ve turned something down this week 😦 because I’ve got two edits on and I don’t want to be faced with three pieces of fiction, corporate work, and Me!Me!Me!First.

    But anyways good luck.

    1. I’m not going into it for the fun. We need the money, even if it’s peanuts and I can’t do much else. Husband is a translator and I’ve done my fair share too. I know all about the cut price students, the author has a niece who went on an exchange to UK when she was at lycée so speaks fluent English, she’ll do the translation for half the price etc etc. I know I’ll be asked (if I’m lucky) to edit stuff that should never have seen the light of day. But unless things really pick up on the book sales front, I have to do something else. I’ll give it a whirl if I get any takers.

      1. Who works for fun? OK maybe in youth it has a different appeal. Trouble is trying to get a job in your fifties with experience and lack of youthful looks is a different ball game. Then there is the ever-increasing pension age. Um if you can’t get a job because you are old and past it, and you can’t get a pension because you aren’t old enough what the hell are you supposed to do?

        My worst interview, possibly ever, was a few years ago. Govt press officer job. My CV detailed my press office work. Really disinterested interviewer: “Have you ever worked in a press office?” Just. Ugh. I was out of there in ten minutes. He could have asked, “Can you tell us about your press office work?”

        It would have paid better, but could I have bitten my tongue working with people like that?

      2. When I was forty two I applied to teach English in the local college (north of France). I have a PGCT from Goldsmiths’. Not good enough. It doesn’t count in France. I’d have to take the two year course again. Okay, I said wearily, I’ll do it. No you won’t, said the man at the rectorat, you’re too old. They wouldn’t even give me the job of English assistante, gave it to an American student instead. She lasted exactly one month then went back to the US. They still wouldn’t have me, preferred to wait until the following April for a US replacement. How to make a person feel useless.

      3. I see a series of posts here about getting, not getting, jobs past 40.

        I was offered a proofreading job in Spain. Except, the part time terms, and the hours and any actual work suddenly changed when I was offered the job. It was weird. I lay in the bath and my partner told the on my behalf to stick it because I was getting bored by then. There was nothing concrete. Don’t tell me it’s three months part-time and then say, well actually, it could be anything and we have no definite start date and it could involve shifts. And so went an unpromising job down the plughole. Of my bath.

        Anglo French hate affair? American accent preferred? But 42? Too old? Jeez. So the EU has anti-discrimination laws yes? ha ha ha.

      4. I found out later that this bloke was talking out of his arse, that there was no reason why I wouldn’t have been accepted on the course. It’s true that the French think they can teach English simply by giving French primary school teachers a crash course in do-you-speak-English. But it’s the same for translation. They don’t understand the thing about translating into your mother tongue. They think they can do it just as well.

      5. Who knows what his agenda was, but he certainly wasn’t in the business of giving a local girl a break. My French is pretty good too, but I’d never dare translate into it. You can be sent to the guillotine for messing about with the French language 🙂

  2. I guess my erotic supernatural spy book is off the table. But seriously, good on you. Lots of people want and need a good editor. Keep us posted.

      1. You have a skill, others need it, and you’re good at it. Not advertising, informing, and perfectly reasonable and I think that someone will say, great! I need this and I am glad this person can offer it. More than one someone.

  3. As I’m reading through your series of stories, and of course, through what you post here, even if some of the posts aren’t as time consuming as let’s say, one of your collections etc. – I know you will be more than an excellent editor. You have the skill – it shows in the quality of your writing. So definitely Good luck – and well, nothing ventured nothing gained.

      1. I hope that you do – anyone who starts with a solid or at least a semi-solid base and asks for your paid help would benefit for your gifts and experience. 🙂

      2. I actually enjoy fiddling with text, but as you say, a solid text is a bonus. I’m not sure that I’d want to take on something that read like utter drivel. Re-writing is a different ball game altogether!

      3. you’re right – having to ghost write is another thing altogether – and I’ve been in university workshops where “writers” offer up the most basic pieces that wouldn’t pass a grade 8 grammar class, so whatever “spark” of an idea, no matter how brilliant, is totally lost in all the “red.”
        Hopefully you get work that is solid to begin with and just needs the “critical eye” to help polish it up to its “finished place.”

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