You have written your story, had it critiqued to death, rewritten it in your sleep, and now it seems there is nothing else to do but get it published. Do you plunge forth and hope for the best or take one more step and search out a professional editor? I did the latter and I’m glad I did.
There is an increased number of published authors, present and former editors, and agents who, for a fee, will put your manuscript under the microscope. You can either have them look strictly at plot and characterization, or they can concentrate on line edits to get the grammar and punctuation perfect.
I started researching in hopes of finding an editor who met my criteria:
1. Has experience as an editor in the field. Hopefully with past experiences working with a publisher.
2. Be someone who was familiar with my genre as well as other both above and below my level.
3. Price. I was hoping to find someone who would look through my plotting and character development for $250 or less.
I found dozens of possibilities. Most of the time price kicked them off my list, as my 45,000 words tallied upwards to $1000 for a few of them. I finally settled on the wonderful Bev Katz Rosenbaum (she met all the criteria with flying colors) and it has been a process that is helping move my manuscript to the next level. Bev charged $200 for her BKR Critique. I sent her my manuscript in Word format and a copy of my query letter (She looks at it for free) and settled back to wait for her reply.
Within a week, I was sent three pages of detailed notes about plot and characters (What to cut, confusing elements, chapter length suggestions, and much more). I soaked up every piece of advice and implemented 95%. I enjoy rewriting, so it was not a chore. My manuscript became 40,000 words and is much better focused, moving the plot forward on each page.
Now what? Bev also offers a $100 re-look once you make your changes, and after one more read through, I plan on doing just that. Take a look… no matter what age level you are writing for. I’m sure you will be as pleased as I was.