KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Where to Find Experienced Editorial Professionals

A publishing-related e-mail list to which I subscribe is discussing where to find editorial professionals—copyeditors, proofreaders, book designers, book cover designers, indexers, and page layout professionals.

The person who brought up the subject has her own small publishing business, and as a businessperson, she's looking to save money. She recommended that those in need of editorial professionals seek out web sites such as Elance.com to find low prices. But can you, as an author who wants to self-publish, get great editorial help there? No. This is what I wrote to the list:

In general, you won't find the most professional or experienced editorial professionals on Elance.com [or on other sites like it, such as Guru.com], because the way Elance is set up encourages freelancers to outbid one another, to the point of lowballing. Those rates may seem reasonable to you, but they're starvation pay for freelancers. With the rates that most projects go for on Elance, you'll often wind up with the inexperienced newbies and the less-talented freelancers whom few other people will hire. You'll be paying Walmart prices and expecting to get Saks Fifth Avenue work, but guess what you'll often get instead.

To put it another way, would you want your brain surgeon to have graduated at the bottom of her class, or would you want the most competent brain surgeon you can find?

Places to find more experienced and better qualified editorial professionals include the following:

These are some common rates you should expect to pay for various kinds of editorial services:


editknit said...

Thanks for your mention of the San Diego Professional Editors Network directory. It's often hard to convince self-publishing authors that a good editor is worth the cost. You said it very well.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

My pleasure, EditKnit. I think that just about the only thing that editorial professionals don't do well is explain others' need for them, so anytime I get a chance to spread the word, I do.

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