I get there are a lot of reasons why erotica is considered unmentionable. There's huge religious pressure against expressing sexuality. But not only that, erotica is not considered a professional breadth of writing. In some regards, we do this to ourselves.
In the time I've spent reviewing erotica, I've seen that a chronic issue within this genre is that it is not well edited. I can see why this happens: erotica is mostly self-published, editors are expensive, and an erotic author may not personally know a good editor who they would feel comfortable asking to review their works, given the nature of the content. It seems like many erotic authors start by writing for their significant others, and then eventually publish these "night-time stories" they've created. With such informal beginnings, it's not terribly surprising that some authors may not feel the need to bring their works to a professional standard.
A further motivator that prevents erotic authors from editing their works is the idea that "sex sells" regardless of the quality of the writing. While this may be true, what I've found after reading so much erotica is that grammatical errors start getting really annoying really fast. Sometimes the grammar prevents me from reading a book smoothly because I have to start thinking too hard to figure out what the author is trying to say. As an author, you want your writing to suck the readers in so that they get immersed in your story, rather than getting distanced from your writing while decoding what you've written.. You don't want your readers to become your potential editors.
With this being said, I think it's important for erotic authors to have their works professionally edited. Not only will it improve sales (never underestimate word of mouth for quality work), but it will also raise the caliber of the erotic genre. While it may be hard to combat our unmentionable status with regards to religious pressure, at least we can address it with regards to the professional quality of our work.
I've had a few people ask me to refer them to editors in the past. So, on reddit I found a thread with a list of editors who are willing to edit erotica, and I wanted to share their info with you. Also, be sure to look in the comments of this post to see more editors listed. Please note that I have not worked with these editors, and so I cannot vouch for the quality of their work.
Here are the erotica editors who I found from the Reddit thread in question (copy/pasted from reddit):
♥ ♥ ♥Heather Coman. She's a pro and will edit erotica. Her prices are competitive, but not what I'd consider "cheap" (you get what you pay for, IMO). She is also very detail oriented and excellent to work with.
♥ ♥ ♥Josh Huff is AWESOME. I really enjoy working with him on my current project and I plan to force my next manuscript on him too!
♥ ♥ ♥I'd strongly recommend Anya Vossand at Rearing Horse Editing, she does all of my stuff and is professional, helpful, kink/erotica friendly and has a pretty good turn-around speed.
♥ ♥ ♥Hello! I'm a full time freelance editor currently accepting new clients. I've been working in the erotica and erotic-romance genres since 2010.
A brief resume:
- I've done content editing for Silver Publishing, Featherweight Press, Musa Publishing, and more.
- I've done line editing for MLR Press, Featherweight Press, and Musa Publishing.
- I've done proofreading for MLR Press and Featherweight Press.
- I've done acquisitions for Liquid Silver Books and Featherweight Press.
In addition to my work with publishers, I've done freelance editing for a number of clients including Karenna Colcroft, Mark A. Cooper, and J.P. Barnaby. Under pseudonyms, I've published over a dozen books in the erotica and erotic romance genres, mainly in M/M.
Here are my rates:
- Proofreading: I charge $5 per 2,000 words. A 50,000 word manuscript would be $125. Proofreading includes correcting typos, misspellings, and grammar problems. It's the most basic surface editing.
- Line Editing: I charge $0.005 per word. A 50,000 word manuscript would be $250. Line editing includes sentence structure, repetitive word usage, plus Proofreading.
- Content Editing: I charge $30 per hour. A 50,000 word manuscript can take anywhere between 12-15 hours, though sometimes less depending on the manuscript. This includes multiple rounds of edits with the author, just like you’d receive from a publishing house. Content editing includes storyline, character development, pacing, as well as Line Editing and Proofreading.
For new clients, I offer a test edit of up to 2,000 words. You can email me at AuthorAssistants@gmail if you have questions or would like a quote/test edit.
♥ ♥ ♥If you are an editor and would like to be included on this post, please write a comment below.