Fee: Around £20 per 1,000 words (although the website tells you it’s around £15 per 1000 words);
Editing language: English (UK).
A few days ago, I finally reached a stage in my children’s book where I could send my script off for proofreading. After extensive searching on Google, I came across TrueEditors.
When I was first taken to the TrueEditors’ site, a live chat screen popped up on the bottom right hand corner of my screen. A message appeared, greeting me and asking if I required assistance. I took the lazy way out and asked the person for all the information that I could easily find myself. After asking a few more questions, the person on the other end informed me that I could also submit 300 words from my story for a sample proof read – and that I did. Less than a day later, I received the edited 300 words and I was pleased to see the thorough edit. Although, at this stage, I was still sceptical as to whether the sample edit really meant anything. What I mean is, this sample edit is their form of advertisement to get me to buy their service, so they’re hardly going to send me a dodgy job. Further, as though to support this thought, the editor had left a comment in my document stating that:
“It was great to proof read and edit a sample for you. The primary qualities of a good children book are vivid imagery, exciting story and strong characters. Seemingly your plot has all three. … Also a suitable children book, should make their imagination run wild and help them explore the unknown – a sea kingdom promises just that.”
A very positive message indeed; but notice how the comment leans towards implying, if not directly stating, that I’ve got a decent story here worth editing (albeit, she did state “seemingly” in the first bold part; a very clever addition that an excited person might miss to notice the five words following it instead) ? Maybe others will disagree, but the comment and its implication reminds me of those poor souls who make it onto the X-Factor stage, only to bomb fatally. Their excuse to Simon Cowell’s harsh words – my singing teacher tells me I have a great voice. … Yes, because we’ve never heard of people lying to sell their own service!
It could be that I’m being overly harsh here, but it’s just the impression I got. Anyhow, later on, I did submit my script for proofreading. For those who are interested, my word count was 3310 and I paid £73.
I submitted my story around 8pm and I received the edited version back at around 1pm the next day. Not only was the service super fast; but the editing was incredibly thorough. Firstly, the editor had picked up on where my sentences could be shortened, or where sentences could be added for clarity. That’s just what I would expect. What I found impressive though is that the editor had also helped clarify the special terminology that I use relating to the magical world I had created. Although I can’t give examples of what I mean by that, as that would give the story away, I will say that in order for her to do this, she would have had to check the content of the story to make sure it flowed well and made sense, and not just simply check for spelling, punctuation and grammar. My awe may be misplaced as this could very easily be what an editor is supposed to do, but I wouldn’t know, because this was my first time using an editor.
Regardless of how happy I am with the service, I will say that the editor did make a mistake – and a pretty big one at that. In my story, the princess was about to be attacked by a creature, but her male friend, instead, jumped in front to take the hit. He then lay unconscious from the blow. The point behind this scene was for the princess to realise that the boy was genuinely not trying to harm her (as she mistakenly thought). The editor, however, changed the story so that the princess actually got hit, but then the boy jumped in front to take the hit (??!!). Clearly, a very incorrect change. For one, under this version the princess would hardly know that the boy would risk his life for her. As big a mistake as this edit was, though, I’m willing to look past it. After all, one mistake hardly devalues all the corrections made in the work. This is, however, a very important lesson in editing your editor’s work!
Another reason why I would highly recommend scouring the changes made by the editor is because, you may not like the changes at all. I’ll give you an example. In my story, I mentioned snakes. The editor then added the adjective “grisly” before the word snake. I love the fact that an adjective was added here (thanks for making me aware that I should add one); but, unfortunately, that descriptor reminds me of bears … yep – grizzly bears! Naturally, I had to change that word.
Aside from the incorrect change in my story, and adjectives that I didn’t think fit well, the edited work I received back was just flawless. I am truly happy with the way my story reads and I cannot wait until I can make my fairy tale available to you all. … Unfortunately, I now have a month (possibly more) ahead of me for illustrating the book. 🙂
Drawing this blog to a close, I will say that I definitely recommend these editors. Although, don’t be surprised when a live chat screen pops up every, and I mean every time you enter the website. … They know – they always know when you’re online :-\.