RUINED MANUSCRIPTS! The Very Real Dangers of Hiring a Cheap Editor for Your Book

RUINED MANUSCRIPTS! The Very Real Dangers of Hiring a Cheap Editor for Your Book

I can’t even count the number of authors who have told me they hired an editor who actually screwed up their book. At BookLocker, we have published more than 16,000 print and electronic titles over the past 26 years. So, we’ve worked with a LOT of authors. We do not offer in-house editing services but we do have a list of professional editors we refer authors to.

TIP #1: If your publisher offers editing services, I recommend STRONGLY getting your own editor. First, there are tons of complaints about those types of publishers. They’re editors aren’t always good (i.e. they are like the ones I describe below). Second, most of those so-called publishers then claim ownership of the edited manuscript! YOUR MANUSCRIPT!!

I always recommend all authors hire a professional editor. Why? Once you’ve written a book, and gone over it dozens or even hundreds of times, you’re not going to see the errors anymore. Confusing text, plot errors, and, of course, misspellings, punctuation, and grammatical errors can slip right past your eyeballs. Why? After you’ve read your own words that many times, it turns into a rote activity (“proceeding mechanically and repetitiously” –

It may be tempting to get on a website that offers cheap service providers. However, if they screw up your manuscript, you’re never getting your money back.

There is no licensing agency for editors. Anybody who can half-way read can put up a virtual shingle on the Internet, and call themselves a professional editor. If you ask for references, they can simply make them up. If you ask for titles of books they’ve published, they can simply send you to Amazon to review an excerpt from a book they’ve never worked on. Worse, they can speak very little English, make up an English-sounding name, and trick you that way, too. I’ve heard these types of horror stories many times over the years.

A few years ago, we launched WritersWeekly Marketplace. We then put out a call for professional editors, illustrators, book publicists, and much more. We rejected the vast majority of folks who contacted us. We have very stringent guidelines, and we required proof that their testimonials were real. We also reviewed manuscripts we had proven they edited. No “fake” service providers made it past the vetting process.

To this day, we’ve never received any complaints about any of the professionals we have featured there. Authors can read about each editor to see which one(s) they’d like to receive quotes from. Those editors then contact the author directly. The author works directly with the editor every step of the way to ensure his/her book is edited exactly the way he/she wants. The same thing goes with the illustrators (authors can see tons of samples) and everyone else featured there.

If you’re looking for an editor, I highly recommend you check them out! Again, the quotes are always free.

TIP #2: After your book is edited, it’s going to be tempting to go in and make “just a few more changes and/or additions.” I would advise you to NOT do that. Only send your final manuscript to the editor. Why? Whatever editorial mistakes you typically make when writing will more than likely show up once again after you start making changes/additions to the edited file. The editors’ services do not include editing a manuscript twice. So, please remember that tip! 🙂


Angela is not only the publisher of She is President & CEO of,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.


Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of, the President and CEO of and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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One Response to "RUINED MANUSCRIPTS! The Very Real Dangers of Hiring a Cheap Editor for Your Book"

  1. Richard McHenry  April 13, 2024 at 10:57 pm

    I have a very small niche book, so it was hard to find anyone interested in publishing it. Then, finally one fellow did. I was overjoyed. I signed a book contract with him, and he proceeded to edit my 480,000 word rms. within 30 days time, which I thought was remarkable. I had already done it on my own about ten times, and had had a college English professor got through it twice. Nonetheless, I had the shock of my life when 1/3 of the ms. was literally cut. Not only that, but this guy also had my characters saying and doing things I never did, and literally ruined who they were!! I was in shock and told him this was impossible: not the book I wrote. Finally, thank God, he allowed me to get out of the contract, and NOT pay the $1,000 fee to do so. I am super poor and could never pay the high fees most editors charge. I went through it again, two more times, and finally came to Booklocker.