The Captain and the Lady Fair

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The process of hiring editors and illustrators has had a steep learning curve for me. First was locating where to hire, then was the writing the job description then selecting the editor/illustrator.
I wish someone had a page that I could have found that would have helped but alas no such luck. I decided to add a page in case it may help someone else.

Where to locate and hire editors and illustrators.

I found and used Elance.
It is pretty straight forward and sign up is free. It connects people with jobs with those that want them. The editors/illustrators do not work for Elance. Elance just allows clients and freelancers to connect. 1 click of a button and you can create a job. the choices are : What is the job. ( a text block to fill out to describe the work involved. How long is the job to be open for bids? What is the budget for the bid? Is the job to be paid hourly or a fixed sum?  You can even select special skills the bidder needs.
If you leave the how it's paid blank, you will get some bids as a fixed amount. You will also get some that are per hour how many hours per week and how many weeks they are bidding. You will also get some that list per hour but they put no time limit so the grand total is anyone's guess. Then you will get some that don't specify anything. ( big help that was )

Things that help and didn't help

When you start getting bids, you will get a text block for each bidder. Some will address your job in the bid. I like those as it means they took the time to read the job. You will also get bids with a canned offer they send everyone. Those pound their chest and tell you how great they are, that they walk on water and you're an idiot if you don't hire them. I like those. You will also get some that it is obvious they did not read the job. I guy went on and one how great he was and what a wonderful job he was going to do for me, but when I looked at his profile page he only does spread sheets for presentations. I must not forget those that kept saying how fast they type and that they do wonderful work. Too bad they spelled worse than I do in the bid. DUH! I dump those fast, Makes selection easier. Yes, Elance is world wide so you get bids from everywhere. There are buttons to select countries when you set up the job. Editing may make a big difference, but art or illustrations not so much. On the side of each bid is a row of buttons. You can rate the bid from 1 to 5. You are the only one to see the rating and it helps get things sorted.

The job description.

The more detailed the job description the better. I explained I was looking for editing and proofreading of a 91k word steampunk novel. I even gave a link to my web site so they could see the 10 chapters and know what they faced. I got over 100 hits on my site in 2 days. Only 5 made an offer that referenced my site. Some bids will be high and even ignore your budget, but many will work within your budget. If it is art you're looking for, again do your best description of what you want. In my case I asked for photo-realistic art for a cover only. You can get a cover jacket done which is the paper jacket that wraps around a hardback. You can even have art done made for ebooks. If you have seen something in the style you want you can add a link to it so they can see what you seek. Again bids from all over, some paid attention to what you asked for and some do not.

More info from the bidder

Every bid has a message link, You can ask questions even haggel price if you want. Every bidder has a profile page. It will show you what jobs they have done, In the case of art work, they often have a portfolio with examples. On profile pages there is a listing of all jobs in work and completed with rated reviews by the client.

Selecting a bidder

In the case of editors, I got 70 bids in 2 days. The job was supposed to be open for 1 week. I closed it early. From your list if rating you created, you can decline the job offers from those you did not select. this is a pain in the tush process. You hit the decline button and another panel opens to select way you are declining the offer. Bid too high was my most often used button. I wish there was a button that said " Bidder didn't read the job offer. " There is an option of other that will allow you to type in any reason.
I had a short list of 5 out of the 70. THAT was tough. Skills and bid may all be close and you may have exchanged mail with a few. I fought myself for hours and hours about it. In the end I went with the lowest bidder. Why? Because I didn't have a big budget and if the editor did a poor job then I could create a new job but make it by invite only and just invite the next on my list.
So far the editor is doing great.

Working the job.

Editing is in progress as I write this. I did break the job into milestones. Milestones can be created for fixed price jobs but not hourly ones. In my case, I created 3 milestones and broke the novel into 3 parts. They get the whole novel, but they edit and send it back as a whole with the milestone met. Once happy with that portion, you release the funds for that milestone. It is best if you fund, or prepay the milestones as that way the bidder knows the money is there.

If you create a job on Elance, I suggest you invite all the editors or artists I listed below, to bid on your job.

Editors short list and hired.

My editor is Rachael Price
Cover Art by Homer Manansala
Shortlisters are
Lindsey Coil
Mia Manns
Magie D