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What to look for in a editor or proofreader?

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message 1: by TJ (new)

TJ | 3 comments What should inspiring writers or authors look for in editors or proofreaders? Does anyone have any tips that may be helpful in a search to find someone that is a good match to your writing personality?

What are the proper rates for an freelancing editor or proofreader when self publishing there is no large printing press to fall back to?

How to protect yourself from fraud or a bad editor?

message 2: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Poulter | 19 comments Check out http://pred-ed.com/ to protect yourself from fraud or a bad editor.

I ALWAYS edit three to five pages free of charge to make sure the author and I are compatible as editor/author. I believe any good editor will do the same.

Proper rates are going to vary from editor to editor. Since I do freelance mostly for self-published authors and since I'm also a self-published author, I understand there are times money is tight. I try to work with authors on payment plans and/or a swap of services.

Good luck with your search. You can find details about my editing business at http://www.rainbow-tales.com/editing.....


message 3: by Heather (last edited Mar 16, 2013 07:47PM) (new)

Heather | 20 comments TJ wrote: "What should inspiring writers or authors look for in editors or proofreaders? Does anyone have any tips that may be helpful in a search to find someone that is a good match to your writing personal..."

You've already begun the process of finding an editor by asking such vigilant questions. Good job. I don't envy your position of finding a suitable editor because, like any contracted work, you never really know how the job will be executed until the job is done. I'm sure it must feel like being blindfolded and pinning the tail on the donkey, hoping you hit the mark.

However, I agree with Glenda's comments and I would add that trusting your intuition is also paramount. Certain people/companies feel more professional, approachable, competent, intelligent, and connected. Preditors and Editors endorses editors who provide a sample edit, an editing plan (including cost and time), and a written contract prior to editing.

Good luck. Please feel free to add me to your pool of possibilities. I do all of the above, as any reputable editor does. :)


message 4: by Naiya (new)

Naiya | 13 comments To add to the comments above, it can also be very helpful to clarify your expectations and goals. With proofreading, the expectations are usually very straightforward - something is either correct, or it isn't, and the editor should know the difference. :)

But with more substantive editing, where the editor is commenting on story, pacing, characters, development, etc, there is more ambiguity and there needs to be very clear communication between the writer and editor.

In my experience as an editor, I've found there is a huge difference between one writer and another. Are you looking to make the piece the best it can be with minimal changes? Is the idea of revamping entire sections and removing entire characters on the table? Do you expect an editing job to guarantee that the book will sell well (oh dear, I hope not!)? And so forth.

To reiterate something said above, it's invaluable to get a sample edit from your prospective editor. Another thing you could do (and something another author did before settling on our editing services) was send out short stories to several editors whose services seem both well-priced and competent before making a decision and committing oneself to an entire project and a single editor.

I hope this helps some, and good luck!

message 5: by glenda (last edited Mar 17, 2013 11:36AM) (new)

glenda (ayngelwing) | 3 comments I hope I don't make this confusing, being a 'glenda' as well, but I agree totally with Glenda.

( I think I'll go with using all lower case for my name so everyone can tell us apart. - ~glenda~ -)

I too, do a free sample edit of several pages, and do so for several reasons.

Both the author and the editor need to get a sense of each other, the author for the editing style of the editor, and the editor for the writing style and necessary editing level of the work.

It's important to note that their is a wide range of writing skill among authors, and it pays to do as much editing on your own as you can before you turn it over. Ask the most language savvy person you know to help you out; it could save you money.

Its a good idea to converse a bit as well, either by email or phone, to get a sense of each other. When I take on a new client, I try to get to know a bit about them. Editing is a very personal thing for an author, and I want my clients to feel as comfortable with me as possible from the outset.

I hope this helps!


message 6: by Naiya (new)

Naiya | 13 comments Carole wrote: "Glenda wrote: "Check out http://pred-ed.com/ to protect yourself from fraud or a bad editor.

I ALWAYS edit three to five pages free of charge to make sure the author and I are compatible as editor..."

Not Glenda, but if you're editing, I would suggest you do a combination of both. Do the sample on a consecutive set, but also ask for an excerpt from somewhere in the middle for your own reference and to get a sense of the story and writing. I've found that prologues and first chapters are not always representative in either style or writing.

message 7: by Grammar*Kitten (new)

Grammar*Kitten (GrammarKitten) I agree with Naiya - I do a sample of proportionate length to your work (eg. if you come to me with a 14k word short story I will only sample a page or two, but will happily do a sample of 3-5k words on a bigger project). I like to edit a sample from where the author would like me to - wherever they feel they will be able to assess my skills and suitability best.

As far as bad editors and fraud goes, perhaps check out the testimonials about their work and send some of the other authors who have worked with them a message to see how they found working with the editor.

I'd advise never to pay a full fee up front, though some editors (like myself) might require a retainer fee. I'm not sure how other editors work, but I always like to run through a work once and return it to the author and then discuss if they feel there is any further work needed before final payment - the idea is that you should be happy with what you have in front of you before you pay - personally I'd hate to think that someone might pay and be left with a manuscript that they're not 100% happy with!

message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan Z. Miller (szmiller) | 12 comments I think one of the really cool things about Goodreads is that it allows authors such as you, TJ, to network with other authors who have decided to self publish and are making the same decisions as you in terms of hiring contractors, promoting, etc.

I very much agree with Andrea that it is a good idea to touch base with other authors, preferably in the same genre as you, about their recommendations for editors. Hiring any independent contractor, whether it is a freelance professional, such as a writer or graphic designer, or a remodeling contractor, such as a plumber or carpenter, is a really big decision. I think it is a great idea to look for testimonials and references, which any reputable and established editor should have.

I also agree with Andrea that I would be wary of any contractor who asks you to pay the entire fee upfront. I typically will work with the writer to arrange a payment plan that works for both individuals. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the editor's process. A well-experienced editor will be able to answer all of your inquiries about his/her editing process, typical turnaround time, etc.

message 9: by TJ (new)

TJ | 3 comments Thank you all ladies for responding you all have given me more to think about and look into!

message 10: by Grammar*Kitten (new)

Grammar*Kitten (GrammarKitten) Good luck TJ :) I hope you find someone who works well with you!

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