#SaystheEditor: It’s about Quality, not Price


I often feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall, yes.

“I am a professional editor! Look at the affect my work will have on your sales!”

I can’t believe this person gets business. But then you read the next line: “Editing doesn’t need to be expensive! I will edit your book for cheap!”

Umm… yeah, okay. I’m sure you will. And a glance at your rates shows that yes, you charge less than I do.

But are you really an editor? REALLY?

Then why can’t you see the problematic word choice in your own promotional material? I’m not talking about a typo; we all make those. I’ve caught some in my own posts, which I’ve proofed a bunch of times. I’m talking about word choice. I’m talking about usage errors.

I’m talking about things you need to know inherently, the way you know two plus two equals four.

Affect/effect is one of them. Because when you use the wrong one in your promotional materials, you make the rest of us cringe. Good editing is expensive — maybe not as expensive as it should be, in my case (I STILL get harangued for my own rates being too low and devaluing the rest of my friends who edit. I keep telling them we are going for different audiences and to chill. Ninety percent of my clients, one hundred percent of whom I like, stretch to afford me now.)

Good editing is expensive. Good editing can make or break a book.

Look at it this way: when I was reviewing for The World’s Toughest Book Critics, I read a few books that were so good, they would have gotten the coveted star from me. But for one thing…

They’d have been better off if they’d taken the $400 or more they spent on a review and paid it to me directly to proofread their books.

Every. Single. One.

Think about that. Those authors undermined their own success and their own chance at getting their book tagged with a superlative because of poor proofreading.

Yeah. Pay that editor’s low prices. Let her have an AFFECT on your book.

I’ll be here when you wise up.



  1. Dana Griffin

    June 15, 2015 10:16 am

    “Look at the affect my work will have on your sales!” This is one of the MANY reason I’ll continue to use you is here is one of my weaknesses as a writer. Words that sound alike I don’t catch while proof reading my own work, even if I read it aloud. You must shake your head when editing my stories as I know it’s laced with words that have no affect 🙂 on the story.

    I think I’m one of those who feels your prices are a bargain. You don’t have to worry about me shopping for someone cheaper.

    • Susan Helene Gottfried

      June 15, 2015 10:18 am

      Nah, I only shake my head at the people NOT smart enough to hire me. I smile fondly at the rest of you ’cause I know I’ve got job security. Just keep sending your friends my way and life will be extra grand.

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