Enlisting a Professional Editor, & Late Night Icecream Shopping

Emergency Icecream

I think I read or heard somewhere once that some men have a hard time when their wife is pregnant.

I’m having an awesome time of it. I can go to the supermarket, late at night, get one tub of icecream, beep, swipe, back in the car. And suddenly I’m being hailed as some kind of hero. I can even squeeze in a stop at liquorland on the way. It’s a win-win.

I should start whistling green sleeves…


Today I’ve been plugging away at my story, and it occurred to me that I need professional help.

Oh, and on an entirely unrelated note, I’m hiring an editor! Kind of… They’re not the line-by-line kind of editor, but more of an expert in refining fiction. I’m not naming any names, because I don’t know how things will go yet, but suffice to say that I’m almost as excited about this as I was when I lined up the cover artist (who is working on it at the moment. I got the concept sketch back a few weeks ago. It’s good!).

So what did I do to find this person, and what did I look for?

  1. Well, I watched the twitter feeds of some authors that I love. No kidding, this person was one of their twitter friends. I saw a tweet about openings for editing, and stuck my hand up.
  2. I checked out some of their writing (it’s good!).
  3. I checked out their mini-CV (it’s good!).
  4. I gave an idea of the kind of feedback that I’m hoping to get. This matched the kind of feedback they typically give to authors.

So far so good then. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

In the meantime, here are things I’ve learned so far:

  1. I need to get my word-count down into the 80-100k words range. They’ve offered to help with eliminating the last 10k words or so, which I’ve politely declined (No! My chainsaw! *vrrn vrrrrrrrn*)
  2. Payment is half upon sending my book, and half upon receiving the completed notes back.
  3. The editor will examine the book in two ways. First: a narrative discussing the book, how it all fits together, and suggestions for how it can be improved. Second: notes in the margin with suggestions for individual sections.
  4. The book needs to be finished. There can be the odd scene missing, and it doesn’t have to be polished, but by and large it all needs to be there before they can look at it.

So that means getting the re-write finished ASAP. Getting the second re-write finished could take until the start of September. Doing all the editing after that could take weeks, and then cutting things down could easily take until the end of September. Sending the manuscript, waiting for feedback and then going through all the notes and suggestions might take even longer.

So, a revelation: I probably don’t have enough time to publish by October…

And on that bombshell, goodnight!

Best regards,


About D.R.Sylvester

A Clinical Research Associate by day (google it), writer by night, D.R.Sylvester lives in Sydney, Australia with his patissiere wife and Siberian Wolf. His interests include travel, music (predominantly Metal), reading, & archery.
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