Reedsy and Blurb–Problems with Editing Mills in General


With Reedsy and Blurb, the hits just keep on coming. Here’s another outfit bursting onto the scene to save the day for weary writers. Notice I didn’t say “wary,” but I’d rather have used that word. An outfit named “Reedsy” has launched a start-up. Much like Blurb’s “Dream Team” concept, the firm claims to have signed a pool of top editors from a scrum of more than 2,000 who applied. I noticed the phrase “Independent Publishing Professional” in their advertising. At least this gets closer to the necessary syntax for describing someone who self-publishes in a way that’s not condescending. There’s still more to do with this, but it’s moving in the right direction.
 
I want to mention one issue regarding selecting an editor from Reedsy, Blurb, or any “editing mill.” I’m assigning this phrase because of the sheer volume of affiliates and for no other reason. First, there’s no way to control which editor is right for what project. When I started writing seriously 20-plus years ago, I made the mistake of hiring an editor–whose work I hadn’t researched. I did this at the suggestion of a reputable agent (who never signed me, by the way). The editor possessed superb credentials for nonfiction but was horrible for my novel, which was a Mystery. 
 
This editor revised dialogue so the syntax depicted “perfect” diction. He had a terrible time understanding that the story was indeed not true, no matter how often I told him.  He also wanted every minuscule detail documented for the reader. Issues such as+ as how to enter a car; meaning, a character couldn’t just drive away without first opening a vehicle’s door and placing the key in the ignition, etc. As an early-stage writer, I didn’t know the value of having an editor line-edit a couple of pages of my work so I’d know beforehand if the person would be a good fit. 
 
The point is, Reedsy, Blurb, and any other outfit that signs a group of editors will have a percentage who will be adept with almost anything. But to accept the spiel that “the firm’s” editing services are provided for writers who want to spend a few thousand dollars to polish their work (that’s a quote and not a paraphrase) is, in my opinion, biting off too much. A writer must take the time to get to know a potential editor. If not, the results can be a step backward and not forward.  We all get antsy, but a few extra weeks up front can save a year on the back end. I’m speaking from broad personal experience on this.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *