There isn’t much of a trick to finding an editor to help you prepare your book for marketing or publication. Ask around. Ask your friends and acquaintances and colleagues. The way to find a good editor is the same way you find a good plumber or chiropractor.
It may be a good fit or it may not, but when you ask, you have a place to start. Some editors belong to associations. That can lend credibility, but it’s not the only criterion. The editor you choose should also have experience with your type of project and you should get some sense of how they work so the relationship can work. For instance I use free edit samples so both author and editor get a sense of what needs to be done and how much it may cost.
Personally, I was a member of EAC (the Editor’s Association of Canada) way back when it was FEAC (the Freelance Editors Association of Canada.) I’m not currently a member. I don’t have anything against them, but I don’t feel they are active enough in my city to justify the membership fee. I had a lovely experience and I’m very proud of representing FEAC to the joint Freedom of Expression Committee. If I still lived in Toronto, I would definitely still be a member of EAC.
Here’s the thing about playing with others: I’ve been a member on the executive or on committees in various capacities in a couple of associations over the years. They say membership has its privileges. I’ve found that the more responsibility I took on, the less privileged I felt.
What I felt was the weight of obligation, time pressure and ultimately harangued by members. (For instance, as a chapter exec for the Ontario Massage Therapist Association, it was like trying to herd cats. When a few members were rude to me (after I did a lot of work on their behalf for free) that did it for me. As a volunteer, I wasn’t even being paid for the hassles that accrued. So I opted out.
I haven’t been much of a joiner ever since. So, the point of today’s post is, there are all kinds of associations for writers and editors out there. They are often run by a small board of volunteers who are a harried, unappreciated bunch. If you want to join, great. If you want to help, fantastic. But make sure you’re getting benefits and not just giving.
If you join a critique group, a writers’ union, an authors’ union, are you getting good information and useful connections and most important, is participation cutting into your writing time?
- Book Information Centre Blues (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Opportunity knocks? Self-published writers could unionize (plus association links for writers) (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Here’s a good one on editors, authors & the dance we do (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)