My lovely editor, Anne Victory of Victory Editing, has returned my copyedits!
You'd think I'd be less excited about getting my manuscript back all marked up, but I know Anne's going to have cleaned up all my hideous comma abuse and lack of ability to hyphenate to save my soul. Honestly, I can't wait to see what she's done.
When I decided to self-publish, I read all the advice about editors and the different types of editing (developmental, copyedit). Here is where my knowledge of the editorial process from my first book, Life, Liberty, and Pursuit, which went through multiple rounds of edits at Omnific Publishing, came into play.
Open Minds had been through many, many critique partners and drafts and had been seen by many agents. I was convinced the book was structurally sound (#GeekAlertTerm), which was part of why I was willing to consider self-publishing in the first place. But no matter how great the story, there is always a need for copy-editing - someone to catch the typos and the comma errors (the bane of my existence), as well as make sure everything was standard usage according to the Chicago Manual of Style.
I queried several free-lance editors, sending them five pages for a sample copy edit and asking for a quote. All had been personally recommended, but I also checked to their background, experience, and client base. Finally, I decided between them based on personal style, communication, and that amorphous "Will I enjoy working with this person?" gut check.
In the end, I selected Anne not because she was the cheapest (she wasn't) but because she did a great job on the sample pages and seemed like someone I would enjoy working with.
Not only has that been true, but I highly recommend her (see her badge on my sidebar). Of course, I want to be careful not to send too much business her way, because I want to make sure she has time to edit Closed Hearts and to-be-named Book Three! (note: she's already booked into Spring 2012)
And there were added benefits.
Me: "Wait, wait! I want to change mind-jacker to mindjacker! Is that ok?"
Anne: "Sounds fine to me."
Me (three emails later): "Oh, wait! That means mind-scent should be mindscent! But that looks weird."
Anne: "Better stick with mind-scent."
It's so awesome to have someone else in this process to check against your tendency to panic over typographical issues.
Not that I would ever do that.