I have spent so ridiculously long on The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation that I feel like I’m starting to lose my mind. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read the damn thing; every single read-through reveals further plot holes, continuity errors and typing mistakes. I’m starting to doubt my characters’ motivations; suddenly their behaviors don’t make any sense. Distances don’t add up to the time it takes to travel them. All these things that I didn’t pick up the last time I read it. And all of this has left me with one gut feeling:
I hate my book.
Sure there are some parts that are well-written, and Chapter 20 still makes me cry, but damn what an awful book! I ought to drag the whole thing to Trash!
And of course, that’s exactly how it should be. After all, I can’t claim to have done all I can if I don’t hate what I’ve written by the end of it. What it leaves me with is the knowledge that I’m going to need to hire an editor. A real one. Someone who will not only go over the manuscript line by line, but point out the redundancies, the plot holes and the little inconsistencies that I just keep missing. Someone I can just give it to, and forget about it for a while. Because frankly, I just can’t take it anymore.
Now, the funny thing is that this leaves me in a bit of a quandary, as there are several options open to me and I don’t know which to choose. Maybe you can help – I’ll lay them out for you here.
- Submit the manuscript to my publisher as-is. It’s had an editorial review from the publisher letting me know the strengths and weaknesses of the book; it’s been through a dozen or so revisions by me, and passed through the hands of a ‘friend’ editor. I’m still not 100% happy with it, but people who read it seem pleased.
- Have it edited by someone whom I don’t know for $xxx. This person is someone I’ve met via my Satis Facebook page and who has an Editing Services page of their own. She’s offered to edit it for the above price; her previous works are not in my genre, and mainly are for a single person.
- Have it edited by a friend’s wife’s editor. Yes, you read that right. The wife of an acquaintance from work is a professional writer (i.e. has four novels already published). He’s offered to ask her to ask her editor about editing my book. The cost may be more than Option 2, but significantly less than option 4:
- Have my publishing company edit it for a further $3,500. Yep – you read that right, too.
One of the problems I have is that I don’t know the market. I don’t know what editing services ought to cost, and what you should expect for how much. Another of my problems is my inherent lack of people skills. I don’t know how to choose one option without offending the others! I feel edgy about sending money to an unknown party that I’ve met over Facebook, though Option 2 seems very nice. I’m an exceptionally trusting (and gullible) person, and whilst I have a good feeling about this person I also am aware of the dangers of the interwebs. Option 3 might be more expensive, but it’s someone who (presumably) I can trust. Option 3 equally doesn’t typically edit my genre.
Option 4 isn’t really an option.
So what do you think? What should I do to make sure my awful, wonderful book is as good as it can be?