My editor

Bernard Cornwell. Ben Kane. Jilly Cooper!

I don’t really know why, but I haven’t made much of the fact I hired an editor to work on Wolf’s Head who had previously worked on best-selling books by the above authors. Ben Kane helped me find her and I was overjoyed to find out she had worked on some of Cornwell’s King Arthur novels, not to mention so many other huge sellers by the likes of Jilly Cooper.

My original first draft of Wolf’s Head was quite different to how it ended up. There was a mystical old wise-woman (a nod to David Gemmell there) and it was only 80,000 words in length. That first draft ended up changing a lot after my editor, who I hired at my own expense, read it through. I added a LOT more historical detail (the sections with Sir Richard and the Earl of Lancaster were all new) and the word count went up by 17,000 to hit almost 100,000.

I paid a fair amount for her services, as you’d expect, but I was more than happy with the results. MORE than happy, as my reviews and sales have shown – Wolf’s Head is now a good read.

Lots of self-published books never see an editor, they’re just put out there. Like my cover designers, I wanted to hire an editor that would make the most of my manuscript. Hopefully I did that.

Bernard Cornwell? Ben Kane? Jilly Cooper!

I must note though, my editor only went over the original, first draft. The changes made afterwards were all my own so if there are mistakes or whatever in the finished book, they are all mine. Self-publishing has its limits.

Now, as we enter the festive season, and I haul out the Jethro Tull “Christmas Album” for another few weeks, Wolf’s Head has been available for five months and has sold almost 10,000 copies worldwide. I’m sure much of that success is down to my editor.
I hope she’ll look over The Wolf and the Raven once it’s finished in the next month or so.

 

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “My editor

  1. Congratulations on the sales, Steven. Inspiring indeed!

    I am just about to send the manuscript of my first novel, The Serpent Sword, out to agents and have had some of it reviewed by an professional novel editor, and all of it reviewed by a magazine editor I know (my dad!). I couldn’t afford to pay for the whole book to be reviewed professionally, but I agree with you, that it is a must (especially for self-publishing).

    I have only read the first couple of chapters of Wolf’s Head so far, but it is snappy and engaging, so I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

    By the way, you don’t mention your editor’s name… How does one contact this paragon of prose? ;-)

    • Good luck with the agents Matthew. Don’t let any rejections get you too down – I felt like I’d been kicked in the guts with each rejection, but I’ve managed to do just fine by publishing myself, so take heart! It’s not the end of the world if you have to do it yourself – far from it.

      I’ve been told Wolf’s Head get’s better as it goes along, so if you’re enjoying it already that’s very promising. :-) Thank you for buying it, and for commenting here, I really appreciate it.

      If you were interested in hiring the editor I used, let me know and I’ll ask if she’s free ;-)

  2. Hi Steve. Always a great idea to get a professional editor to look at your work. I’ve got so much out of editors in the past and wouldn’t feel comfortable without a second opinion nowadays.

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