What's the difference between an editor and a critique partner? I mean, really?
Critique partners give critiques.
And we, as writers, have the option to hire editors to give us feedback on our work.
And many of us are holding out for this dream of traditional publishing because an experienced editor will be working with us to make our books sparkle.
So, what is an editor?
Can our critique partners stick a sign on their blogs proclaiming themselves "editors" and start charging for critiques? Is that what an editor is? A paid critique partner?
Or are editors those who are invested in the project because they know the success of the book will reflect on them and their publishing houses? Are these editors driven to do a more thorough job because the success of the book matters to them financially?
When a writer signs a traditional contract in a book deal, he or she is agreeing to go along with the editor's suggestions. (Of course, a writer can always say no to editing suggestions, but from what I've heard, he or she had better have a darn good reason.)
When you're reading a critique partner's suggestions, that's all they are--suggestions, meant to make you think about your book, meant to give another perspective. You can ignore everything they say if you want and it doesn't matter at all. I love all my critique partners dearly, but as much as I value their opinion, I don't consider them "editors."
I took my agent's feedback on my book very seriously, so does that mean a book that has been critiqued by an agent has been "edited?"
Then we have to consider all the different types of editors out there ... Maybe our book has been edited by a freelancer, but did that freelancer copy edit? Did someone line edit? Is that even important any more in this publishing climate?
What's your experience? If you've self-pubbed, did you hire a freelance editor and did you take all their suggestions very seriously? How did you choose that editor? Or did you trust your critique partners enough to go for it without an editor?
And if you're traditionally published, how was your experience with your editor? Did you feel like that person helped you? I've heard editors have less and less time to devote to each individual project. Is this true, in your experience?
And if you're as yet unpublished, what are your plans? Are you holding out for a Big-House editor with years of experience under her belt, or do you think slogging your way through the process is overrated?
There are no wrong answers here, folks. Times are changing, and with so many options out there, I'm curious how others are making their publishing decisions.
On to the comments!