Companies can have a big name, reputation, and a pool of editors at their disposal. They can also have access to or provide more useful services a writer might need such as help with websites, marketing, etc. None of this is free; money has to come from somewhere and one source might be from the writer. Do you want to pay the salary of the person answering the phone / your email? In my admittedly limited experience many of these people are programmed to work to a set script and are unable to think outside the box. Nor do they appreciate that anyone’s life – not simply that of a writer’s – can be in a state of flux including where they might live, what currency they earn, and which currency they’re likely to pay for editorial services and which could be different to the one of their own home country. And perhaps a percentage of your money goes towards the marketing person’s salary too. Companies in any industry can have poor staff training (or complete lack of) and can carry garbage (and low wages).
Then there’s the sole trader who does everything themselves replies to emails / answers the phone, sends invoices, and also edits, copy edits etc. They’re usually pressed for time so you might have to wait a while for them to edit your manuscript but at least you know all your money is going to them for their work. And they can keep track of your book(s) during the different stages and you don’t need to go through an admin worker who can’t even remember that you’ve already paid for one service and you’re asking for the next. (It would be much easier if companies assigned case numbers to clients). The sole trader might even be flexible with fees – it just depends. And you’re more likely to establish a better working relationship with them.
It seems to be very difficult to establish a good relationship with an editor. I’ve had two female editors but I’m wondering if a male editor would somehow be different. There shouldn’t really be a difference. I suppose it’s a case of trial and error but I know I would rather all my money goes to the person editing – that is what you’re supposed to be paying for.
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