I did my research – had a list of editors, book bloggers, publishers, cover artists, etc. that I wanted to talk to when I was done writing my book. What they don’t tell you is that so many of these people won’t have anything to do with you if you haven’t published already. The two that said they would take me on as a client also told me that they charged people who hadn’t published yet an extra fee that was almost half of what they were charging for the edit. I’m convinced that THIS is why so many authors self-publish books that are less than perfect. Instead of being motivated and excited about taking the next step with the novel I had finished, I was disheartened and ready to quit before I even got started. It was as if the people who are supposed to be helping authors were telling me to just give up. I joined a couple of author groups on Facebook and finally had the nerve to reach out and ask the question that I needed to ask – who out there was willing to help the newbies? Meghan was one of the editors suggested to me, and from the beginning, I knew that she was the one I wanted working on my book. She was very detailed about the work that she puts into each manuscript and has made a very scary situation (I mean, she’s reading my work before even my loved ones have read my book) so simple and easy. She took the time to read my manuscript before we even discussed editing specifics so she could see where I was at and what editing was going to help me the most. The whole process revolves around what me and my book need, and she includes where I want my career to go. Everything is a discussion, and I love that she firmly believes in the author-editor relationship. I am so happy that I didn’t give up, and because of her, my writing is just getting better and better. She doesn’t fix the mistakes you make. She turns those mistakes into teachable moments.
I am a new writer. It’s something I dreamt about as a child, but honestly, something I never had the nerve to try. A few months ago, when I was told by my job that we were not essential workers, I found myself (like so many others) with a lot of time on my hands. One night, when I couldn’t sleep, I just had this need to start writing, and before I knew it, it was after noon the next day and I had handwritten over 100 pages of words. It was almost like being in a trance. I just couldn’t stop. My husband had to force me to go get some sleep, and when I woke up later, he told me that he had read what I had written and really enjoyed the story so far. (My husband is not a reader, so the fact that he read it AND enjoyed it was shocking.) He had questions, and encouraged me to keep writing, eager to find out how the story ended. Over the next couple of evenings, I worked more on my story, the words just flowing out of me. But when I was done, I had no idea what to do with it. I mean, in theory I knew what to do with it, but how did I know if it was even good enough to go through those steps? I did some research online and joined a couple of Facebook groups where authors could get feedback from other authors, but I felt really silly, me not being an author at all, while others had several books published, so I read what they said and kept quiet. One day, someone asked the question that I had been wanting to – who do I go to for help? He had contacted a few editors, but was told that they weren’t taking on unpublished writers at this time. An author who is very vocal in the group told him to contact Meghan, told him that she was amazing. I took the advice myself and am so glad that I did. Before she would discuss editing with me, she said that she wanted to read the manuscript first. Read it. For free. She then discussed her first impressions of the book (she reads manuscripts several times before writing up her notes) and asked me what my goal with the book and my writing career were. During the editing process, she has been so encouraging, so brutally wonderfully fantastically honest about what she read. I can text her at any time and she responds within minutes. She cares, I mean really cares, about the people she edits for. I plan to keep writing and I plan to hire her every time.