Aug 01

Freelance Editors and Publishing Houses

Recently, I joined the ranks of Etopia Press – an up and coming publisher in romance and YA – as an acquisitions editor. I am loving them already, and I really think they are going places.

But here’s the thing, and I have put a warning in a couple of places on my website about it and I think it is worth reiterating here. It is very important to realize that many freelance editors also work with publishing houses. This does not mean that by paying for services from such an editor your work will automatically be accepted by a publisher that the editor is associated with. It won’t. In some cases it won’t even be considered, because of the possible perceived conflict of interest.

No publisher wants people to believe that they can pay to get published, unless they are a vanity publisher.  Don’t know what that is?  Here’s a good description.

Vanity publishing is okay if you want to publish something you think a small select group of people would be interested in, for instance a family history and you are happy to pay to publish it. There are lots of companies doing this, make sure you do your research and find out exactly how much you are going to need to pay, and what you are going to get from it. Publishing a novel to tell a story and present it to the world for sale as an author is a different thing, and there are different ways to do it, all of which pay you, rather than you paying them. See my post on publishing channels.

So if you want to sell to Etopia Press, query me, don’t hire me. However, if your work needs a professional edit before you feel it will be ready for a publisher to consider, and you want that publisher to be Etopia, please check in with a place like the Editors Association of Canada for another freelance editor. It you want to offer it to someone other than Etopia Press, I’m your gal. Please make sure that any editor you work with is as open regarding this issue.



  1. Lidia

    OK, as a writer, how long does it take to reejct something, when as an editor I know from the first paragraph if the person can write and from the synopsis if I like the story. It isn’t rocket science, all you editorial people out there. You just want it to look that way.And, if you ask to see something, why do you then turn it down on the grounds you don’t handle that particular genre? If you don’t, why ask to see it in the first place?As an editor, if someone sent me chapters 5-7 it would go back unread. That would say to me that the writer has only got the story going in chapter 5 and there are 4 boring ones to plough through.As an editor, why do writers expect you to read to the end of something you very obviously do not want, because it is not right for your list? I was once accused of not reading what he admitted was a 26 chapter love letter, not a book. I read ten pages, which was enough for anyone!As a writer, why ignore the query letters, saes, emails and everything else you receive? Would YOU like it?

    1. Nancy Cassidy

      Hi Lidia,

      I am not certain what your point is here, other than it is difficult to understand why people do not follow submission guidelines. Every reputable publisher and agent, has guidelines to demonstrate what they would like to see from submissions. Sometimes this is length of submission, sometimes it is genre specification. Please check with your desired publisher/agent as to what their guidelines are. You seem to be saying you are both a writer and an editor, yet you are complaining that people are not reading your submissions? This is unfortunate but many editors receive dozens of submissions a day. It can be hard to get them all read in a short period of time. Have patience. This is the one lesson I have learned as both editor and author.


Comments have been disabled.