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Looking for An Editor

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 I have completed my first picture book and realize the next step is finding a professional editor to review my manuscript.  I attended the winter SCBWI conference and the workshop with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. I have downloaded the SCBWI The Book, and use it as a reference.    I have read and researched possible agents and publishers who might be interested in my book.  I have edited my draft several times, reducing  my word count and yet keeping my voice.  I am hoping for suggestions for my  search for an editor. 
I am so excited to have my book read.  Thank You for your help!   :parrot
#1 - May 11, 2021, 02:38 PM

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The next step is usually finding critique partners. This is a free way to get edits done. You can try posting on the Critique board or look for someone in Critique  Groups or through your local SCBWI chapter. Critique partners can show you flaws in your work that you may be blind to. We all have blind spots. Only pay someone once you can go no further for free. (If you've already worked with partners, ignore this paragraph.)

We have a few members, including myself, who critique for a price. Also The Book has a listing. Many authors do this work as do former editors and agents. I haven't worked with anyone, so I won't make a rec.
#2 - May 11, 2021, 06:16 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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I agree with Debbie. I work as a freelance editor and publishing consultant, but I always recommend that writers get involved with a critique group BEFORE coming to me. You'll learn a lot from the process--from critiquing others' work as well as getting their feedback--and when/if you do decide to hire an editor, your manuscript will be at a point where they can really help you.
#3 - May 14, 2021, 09:03 AM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

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Not only will an editor be better able to help you once you've had critiques, but also you won't have to go back to the editor again and again because your work will be closer to done. (Repeated edits are not a reflection on the editor but on the level of completeness of the manuscript.)
#4 - May 14, 2021, 06:04 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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Congrats, Mari!

You've received fantastic advice. Paid professional critiques are great...but only get them after you've had free peer critiques that have helped you take a manuscript as far as possible. For picture books, I find that having two great groups, or at least one awesome group and critique partners help so you can take the feedback, revise as much as possible, and have fresh (or semi-fresh) eyes on the revision. Then repeat, repeat, repeat until it's as strong as you can get it.

Debbie shared some great ways to find a critique group and/or receive peer feedback. 

If you're interested, I run a monthly PBParty New Draft Challenge & Critique Train. The next one is May 20 EST. You can plan ahead, but don't start writing until challenge day. When you finish, add your name to the Critique Train doc. The person above critiques your manuscript and you critique the person below you. You can revise your new PB and send it, or send an existing one. Whichever PB you want fresh eyes on the most. Here's a link: https://mindyalyseweiss.com/pbparty-new-draft-challenge-critique-train-faq/

Also--if you'd like to find an agent, you should have at least 3 - 5 really strong picture book manuscripts before querying. If they like the first one you send, they'll ask for at least two more to make sure you're a great match.

#5 - May 14, 2021, 09:08 PM

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Congrats, Mari!

You've received fantastic advice. Paid professional critiques are great...but only get them after you've had free peer critiques that have helped you take a manuscript as far as possible. For picture books, I find that having two great groups, or at least one awesome group and critique partners help so you can take the feedback, revise as much as possible, and have fresh (or semi-fresh) eyes on the revision. Then repeat, repeat, repeat until it's as strong as you can get it.

Debbie shared some great ways to find a critique group and/or receive peer feedback. 

If you're interested, I run a monthly PBParty New Draft Challenge & Critique Train. The next one is May 20 EST. You can plan ahead, but don't start writing until challenge day. When you finish, add your name to the Critique Train doc. The person above critiques your manuscript and you critique the person below you. You can revise your new PB and send it, or send an existing one. Whichever PB you want fresh eyes on the most. Here's a link: https://mindyalyseweiss.com/pbparty-new-draft-challenge-critique-train-faq/

Also--if you'd like to find an agent, you should have at least 3 - 5 really strong picture book manuscripts before querying. If they like the first one you send, they'll ask for at least two more to make sure you're a great match.



This is a totally fun idea. I may have to join one in a few months. (I have deadlines for other stuff now.)
#6 - May 15, 2021, 06:02 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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Thanks, Debbie! It's kept me on track with writing at least 12 new picture books each year. It's fun cheering on other writers...and getting to meet new ones on Twitter and through critiques each month.

I keep the newest date at the top of the link I shared.

Good luck with your deadlines. :)
#7 - May 16, 2021, 12:55 AM

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 :bewildered Thank you Debbie and Mindy.  I appreciate your  great advise.  I have so much to learn.   I am going to try to jump on the PB Party New Draft Challenge & Critique Challenge!  Thanks again. 
#8 - May 18, 2021, 07:39 PM

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