You want to pay them WHAT?

Indie writers aren’t rich. They don’t have money to spend frivolously. When someone online tells them they shouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars (or more!) to have their writing professionally edited, they want that to be true: Who do those people think they are, anyway, expecting me to spend as much on editing for my novel as I make in a week at my day job?

It’s not as if developmental editing, spotting plot holes and having a really good idea how to fix them, is a skill, after all. Anybody can do that. And line/copy editing? Pffft! Losers, the lot of them… Editors can work at home in their pajamas — most of them probably do — so their job is too easy to merit even minimum wage. Besides, how long can it take to read a book? These bozos want to be paid for that?

I have a weekly sarcasm quota, remember? Didn’t you see the warning label in the side bar? Enough sarcasm, though. Let me tell you what I really think…

If you’re going to be an idjit, at least don’t be a hypocritical idjit. Do not bitch and whine about how much freelance editors (or book designers, cover artists, etc.) charge, and then turn around and bitch and whine about readers who don’t want to pay you for your novel.

Readers aren’t rich, you know.

(This rant, by the way, was inspired by a blog post I saw several weeks ago. The blogger complained at great length about book designers who actually want to be paid a fair wage for what they do. It’s easy for them, the blogger said, since they’re experts in those skills, and less difficulty means they haven’t earned payment… It’s insane, but not something I haven’t heard before in regard to other skills.)

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About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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5 Responses to You want to pay them WHAT?

  1. I appreciate the use of the word idjit. The proper word “idiot” is nott enough to describe the ignorance and stupidity of the kinds of people you speak of!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah you money grabbing editors … wait, what? Currently I self edit and it’s such hard work (I’d be embarrassed to give my scratchings to an editor in their raw state)!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. LOL, I love it!!!! And for the record… I think my editor might WISH I hadn’t hired him!! 😛 Poor guy has killed a dozen red ink pens.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s odd how many blog posts I’ve read where people trash editors. It’s even more disconcerting when I read they have never actually hired one. The beginning of these posts usually talk about how editors think they know everything, then a few paragraphs in, they state something along the lines of: that’s why I’ll never hire one.

    For every indie writer that says they aren’t rich, there’s a beleaguered editor who can say the same thing. I don’t think I know a single editor who has “found their fortune” through editing alone. Yes, many of them make ends meet and can survive, but few are writing in gold ink and laughing their way to the bank.

    More so, most editors I know aren’t really motivated by money. Sure, they want fair compensation, but that isn’t their primary motivation (if it is, they likely will burn out in this market). For me, the little money I make is slight in comparison to the joy I get of working with writers and sinking into their manuscripts.

    My personal rantings aside, I feel you on this post. May your red pen of doom (or is it a scalpel now?) always strike fear into the hearts of all who see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’VE written blog posts about editors behaving badly. If a writer hires someone to edit their manuscript, and that someone is, shall we say, less than professional (rude, bossy, incompetent, whatever), the writer may end up thinking that’s how ALL editors are. Get one who charges a couple hundred dollars to “fix” your writing by replacing all semicolons with commas, for example, and changing the spelling of your protagonist’s name “just because,” and you’re probably going to think editors aren’t worth the hassle, much less the money.

      On the other hand, indie authors, of all people, ought to know better than to make assumptions about a whole group based on one or two examples. How often do we, as our writer-selves, hear, ‘ALL indie books are crap because ALL indie authors are incompetent and never even have their writing edited’?

      (I’d like to offer a bit of advice, though, to authors who list the name(s) of their editor(s) in the front of their books as proof of professional editing: Don’t do this unless you are CERTAIN the editor did a good job. I read one novel that had not one or two but FIVE editors named in the front. How sad that not one of those five had a frakkin’ clue about how to punctuate correctly, much less cut extraneous words or avoid plot holes. Naming the idjits who made a mess of your manuscript — or at least didn’t clean up the mess that was already there — doesn’t make you look good as an author, although it does tell other authors which freelance editors to avoid.)

      Liked by 1 person

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