December 17, 2003

Where can I find a good editor?; Should I pay an agent?; Selling essays now hurt future book?

Where can I find an editor?
I am currently writing a book and need to find someone to edit it. Do you have any suggestions? Should I attempt to edit it myself or hire a professional? I have an extensive English background; however, I know I'm not 100% perfect when it comes to grammar.

I would appreciate any information you could provide. Thank you!

Debby O.

Please see below freelance editors who you can contact for a quote:

Danny Glover - kdkjglover(at)

Linda Davis Kyle - daviskyle(at) (specializes in non-fiction; only proofreads fiction)

Rickey Pittman -

We do not earn any referral fees or anything whatsoever for referring you to these editors. While we do have experience with these editors and recommend them, we, of course, can't be held responsible for any problems you may experience in your dealings with them. However, we can tell you that they did a good job for us, are friendly, honest and a pleasure to work with.

ATTN: Freelance Editors
Please don't email us asking us to add your name to this list. We can only recommend freelance editors that we have personally worked with.

Should I pay an agent?

Hi Angela,
I have a question. A literary agent is interested in representing my books, but charges a fee. Is this a normal practice? They have a listing on editors and
predators as a bad agency. Thank you for whatever information you can provide.


You should never pay an agent a fee (reputable ones don't charge a fee) and editors and preditors is a good service. And, I would never trust my manuscript with someone who had a bad listing on Editors and Preditors. Good pblishers know which agents have bad reputations and won't touch the books they represent. And, if an agent is charging authors a fee, what's their incentive to get a book to market? If they con enough authors into paying their fee, they'll have a pretty fat purse.

Will selling my essays as a column hurt future book possibility?
I hate to bug you like this, but you really are the only person in the world who seems to have answers to some of the thornier questions we blossoming freelancers sometimes face! I have a teensy weensy question: I have written a book (a comic look at life in France), but now have a magazine which would like to spin this into a monthly column. But if I run this as a monthly column, will I still be able to run as a book, or will I have blown it?

Your fan till the end of time,

If the magazine is buying all rights (or non-exclusive rights - meaning they can keep running the pieces or sell them to another), yes, this could hurt you in the future.

On the other hand, if you have a popular column (and haven't sold all rights), and then publish a book of columns, perhaps the mag will allow you to advertise that to readers in your byline. In fact you should go ahead and negotiate in your pending contract that they will allow you to advertise your books in the column.


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