My Editor Screwed Up My Book!

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I am working on a nonfiction book manuscript. I hired an editor to do line editing for $500.00 and book doctoring (critiquing) for an additional $500.00 – for a total of $1,000.00. I sent some sample paragraphs from my manuscript to the editor, which she edited and returned to me. There weren’t any problems with the sample so I sent a check for $500.00 as a deposit for the job. The editor did do the job and return the edited manuscript back to be on time. The quality of the book doctoring was worth the money. The editing was not. The editor made improvements in areas like sentence construction, and eliminating unnecessary words to make the manuscript flow better. However, there were so many typos and issues with grammar in the edited copy that now I feel compelled to hire a professional proofreader to catch any mistakes I didn’t catch myself. Hiring a reputable proofreader to fix the editor’s mistakes is going to cost me hundreds of dollars. I haven’t sent the remaining $500.00 to the editor yet. Frankly I am having a hard time bringing myself to write that check. My feeling is that the edited copy should have fewer flaws than my original, unedited copy. I don’t know what to do. I can’t insist the editor go back and proofread it herself because I don’t trust the quality of her work. I have thought of emailing the editor and asking for a discount on the remainder of my bill to compensate me for the cost of hiring a proofreader. What would you do in my position?

Unfortunately, we see this complaint a lot. A person doesn’t need any type of editor license so anybody can call themselves an editor and go into business.

She quoted you $500 to edit your manuscript. She did not edit your manuscript. She, instead, ruined it.

If I were you, I’d send her a list of 25 or 30 of the errors she introduced, letting her know you must now hire a completely different person to clean up her mess. You should also do a service to other authors by exposing this editor so others won’t fall into her web.