I have to admit that when a publishing company recommended I use a professional editing company to polish off my manuscript, I balked a little at the thought. Part of my manuscript had been through a writer’s critique group, several editors had read it and made suggestions and I’d listened and incorporated them all.
What further value could an editing company offer me?
With a little bit of reluctance, I sent my manuscript off to the editing company and waited several weeks for them to complete a complete their work. They were to give me line-item and content editing suggestions.
I opened up my inbox and found my edited manuscript there last Friday. Eager to find out what else was wrong with my manuscript (hoping secretly to find that nothing was wrong), I scanned through their comments. A half hour later, I was a little depressed. They’d mentioned some deep character flaws, mainly in their motivations-what made them tick. Did that mean I needed to re-create my characters? Should I just re-write the entire thing?
After taking the weekend to ponder the comments, I tackled my manuscript again, adding in some depth to my two main characters. It didn’t turn out to be as hard as I thought and the story began shaping up better than I’d ever imagined it could.
So back to the original question-is a professional editing company worth the money?
In my opinion, absolutely. If I would have submitted my manuscript in its current form (incorporating edits from the editing company) in my query letters, I have no doubt that I would have gotten a much better response. In particular, I believe the agents that requested partials would have given the entire manuscript a chance.
I do believe in the value of a good conference, but the money I’ve spent on the professional edit is one of the best investments I’ve made in my writing career.
Posted by Tiffany Dominguez, freelance writer.