I edit for a living (journalism, very fast-paced), and I donít think I could edit a novel for $250-500. Maybe if I got practice in doing it super-fast and worked out a system, I donít know. But itís hard to imagine earning a living that way.

On the other side... I have a dirty little secret I donít tell my editor friends. If I self-published, I probably wouldnít hire an editor. Work with CPs? Hire a cover artist? Absolutely. I know I can ID a good cover, but I canít design one.

Editing, though? On the proofing/copyediting side, Iím good. Itís probably the only skill I feel genuinely confident of having: I can produce clean copy. I know I can benefit from developmental editing, because the editor of my trade published book transformed that book in a good way. It was a wonderful experience that Iím so very glad I had, and I will forever be in awe of her skill.

But if I were self-publishing (which I have thought about), I would be doing it for one of two reasons: (1) no trade editors liked this book enough to buy it or (2) the book is in a genre particularly suited to self-publishing. I wouldnít expect to make back my investment. I wouldnít have the time or the money to find the best top-level editor for me. Iíd probably work with betas or CPs, ones who are authors in my genre and do aggressive content editing, and take my chances.

So, yeah. If the average person asked me about self-publishing, Iíd say they should hire an editor. Because I have seen a lot of self-published books, and the vast majority needed more editing than they got. (Yes, thatís also true of many small press and even some Big Five books, but itís a larger problem with the random sample of self-pubbed books Iíve seen.) However, I probably would not take my own advice. (ďProbablyĒ because, well, never say never.) Cathleen and Polenth, I see where youíre coming from.