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Other "Serious" Stuff > Let's talk about editing!

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message 1: by Emma (new)

Emma Hamm (emma_hamm) | 22 comments (I haven't posted here in a very long time, I feel like shouting "It's allliiiivvveee)

I had a very interesting conversation with another group of authors about editing/editors. There were a couple clear splits between what people did, mostly due to money or how much they're making off of books.

There was a group of people who had a team of beta readers and that was it. Most seemed to have 5+ people who looked over the book, found any glaring editing errors, and then they hit publish.

The other half of the group hires editors. Most spend somewhere around $1800 a book (extensive editing and assistance in writing better/smarter), but even those seemed to be dwindling down since the money just isn't there to afford that expensive of an editor.

Personally, my editor is $900 a book although there are many out there. I've heard great things about Victory Editing, but most editors I find seem to be one person who finds new customers based off word of mouth.


Thanks all!

message 2: by Ember-Raine, The Lady (new)

Ember-Raine Winters (ember-raine_winters) | 688 comments Mod
Hi Emma! So glad you're back!! I know some authors who do all of their own editing. But, I have a severe dislike for commas lol! They are the Bain of my existence! So, I have to have an editor. My editor is somewhat of an enigma because not only does she help me with plot holes and structure but she fixes my punctuation problems lol! I found her here on GR. She works for an editing house but also does editing on the side (which is what she does for me) so she is really inexpensive I can't bring myself to spend large sums of money on editing!

message 3: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 120 comments I really need an editor for proofreading. I don't have a problem with structure or plot holes etc because I have two people who work closely with me but catching grammatical errors or punctuation issues is the bane of my existence. I'm working with an editor now for the first time and her prices are insanely low. I don't have the manuscript back yet but I'm hopeful. If so I will use her going forward. She's costing me less than $200 for a 55K word novel. Sweet.

message 4: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 120 comments Indie Editor Nancy wrote: "I am an independent editor who had just be hired as Chief Editor for Southern Owl Publications. I have neen offering free editing and betareading for the past two years but I am now doing this full..."

Hi Nancy, just sent you a friend request. Also, just some friendly advice - if you add a picture to your profile I think it would add more credibility/trust etc. I am a Goodreads mod and lack of a profile photo is the first thing we look at when we are on spam alert. If you don't want to use your actual photo you could use a picture of a stack of books etc. I see that you've been on GR since 2012 and you've reviewed nearly 800 books so I know you're legit but you know, someone else may make a snap judgement and not take the extra time to find that out. Anyhoo, best of luck to you!

message 5: by Annie, The Mistress (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 2365 comments Mod
I'm super ghetto and loosely edit all by myself. I do have readers, though, who always email/text errors and typos to me, bless their fantabulous hearts! Given, that's typically post-publish so I'm not sure I'd count that as an edit.

Anyhoo, does your editor do everything (copy, line, developmental, etc.) cuz if so $900 ain't bad at all. Annnd...

Welcome back, Miss Emma!


message 6: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 120 comments Did you guys know that Fussy Librarian now offers editing services? They are one of the leading book promo sites so they are trustworthy and their prices are really great. I sent a sample to them and their estimate for a 40K proof edit was $275-300. Their content edit was only slightly higher.

message 7: by Ember-Raine, The Lady (new)

Ember-Raine Winters (ember-raine_winters) | 688 comments Mod
My editor is super awesome and super cheap! While she isn't infallible and people have found a few errors in my books she does it all even some formatting, for that low price and gets stuff done in a timely manner! She is also super nice and I love her! I honestly don't know what I would do without her! I don't want to tell prices because she is giving me a KILLER deal on editing and it may not be the same for everyone! Lol! I somehow always find deals I don't know why! Hahaha! Most of the time I'm not even looking for them lol!

Mistress Ann you are not ghetto! Lol!

message 8: by Annie, The Mistress (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 2365 comments Mod
Okay, I keep waffling with this cuz I'm a p*ssy but we're gonna keep this bugger self-promo-free just to be fair. My apologies for the delete, Miss Nancy! Forgives me!!!

@Lady Ember: I'm a bit ghetto and you know it ^_~

message 9: by Ember-Raine, The Lady (new)

Ember-Raine Winters (ember-raine_winters) | 688 comments Mod
Hahaha I'm a bit ghetto too! Hahaha! You know we can be ghetto together lol!!

message 10: by Sara (new)

Sara Claridge (saraclaridge) I was a publish and be damned kinda girl, but typos are my downfall. I can spot other people's a mile away, but never my own. So now I scrape together my pennies for a proofread from an editor who I love and is fortunately not expensive. She's even got me using the oxford comma something I swore I'd never do ;-)
But it's amazing how people are so keen to trash an indie book for a couple of typos (I admit mine had more than a few in the beginning) but seem to totally ignore it in traditional published book. I've read recently an HQN, an Entangled and a Random House imprint that all had several glaring typos, wrong character names etc. I bet those publishing houses don't spend $1800 on one book....

message 11: by Jane (new)

Jane Blythe Welcome back, Emma!

I adore my editor, she's awesome! She just does copyediting and proofreading for me, I don't get an extensive content edit done. My first series isn't professionally edited, and it never really gets reviewers complaining about grammar/typo problems, although they're in there, but I will continue to use my editor for all my books in the future!

message 12: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (abigailsharpe) | 118 comments My trad published books have a handful of typos. When I indie publish, my fear will be more toward content and copy edits. My editor had some great suggestions that really improved the story. I have some beta readers who can proof.

message 13: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 527 comments I'm fairly anal about spelling and grammar, so self-edit. But then have lovely friends who are excellent proof readers to spot anything I missed.
This time I also recruited a beta reader who was a fan of my genre to check content. Vampires aren't my usual writing subject matter, so wanted reassurance it wasn't too 'light'. Thanks to that beta reader my stand alone is now a duology!! :-O

I haven't even made the cost of all my covers back yet, let alone the high price tag of an editor!! :-/

message 14: by Mary Ellen (last edited May 31, 2017 07:26AM) (new)

Mary Ellen Woods (maryellen_woods) | 163 comments With my first book (contemporary romance at 90,000 words), I did a $1000 edit with someone I found online. She made some good suggestions but I feel like a serious beta reader could have done about as good, so I don't think it was worth it. I paid a proofreader $300 and still had a ton of errors, so definitely not worth it. My brother-in-law who is an English teacher and author did a free proofread for me and caught so many errors the paid proofreader didn't, I told him he should offer his services for a fee. If he does, I'll let you know because he was great. Afterward, I ran it through ProWriting Aid and that was way better than any of the humans for just general improvement of the manuscript.

My next contemporary romance ( at 120,000 words) has already had an in person developmental/copy edit that cost $1500. But I actually did this before the above book and it was more like having a writing coach. Despite the expense, I feel like I learned a lot from the experience. But I don't think I would learn that much more so I wouldn't repeat it at that price. I plan to go over her suggestions, run it through PWA, give it to my brother-in-law, then send it to Avon Romance since I'm not in a hurry to publish and just see what they say.

My historical romance is my real baby. I'm planning on having several beta readers, using PWA, and the brother-in-law. Editor depends on the finances. I would love to hire one but... I'm in the same situation as TL.

I've only made about $100 on my first novel and it cost me around $1500 to publish plus I've spent about another $1000 on other expenses to establish my business (business cards, taxes, fees, supplies...) so my budget of $5000 for getting the business going is pretty close to shot. So from here on, I can't afford an editor no matter how much I'd like to hire one, unless there is divine intervention which results in my making the best seller list (when monkey's fly out of my butt).

message 15: by Sara (new)

Sara Claridge (saraclaridge) Looking back I was lucky. I joined the Romance Novelists Association's new writers scheme for about £100 (tip if you're a new writer and want to get in your really do have to stay up and email your form just after midnight on the day they open for entries). For that I not only got an awful lot of insight from the online group about writing and publishing, I got an amazing critique of my WIP by a published author. Most of my book she trashed ;-) but I learnt so much.

message 16: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (abigailsharpe) | 118 comments I wouldn't hire an editor if I'm submitting to a publishing house. They have their own, and the styles may clash. If they like the voice/story, a few typos and strange scenes aren't going to matter.

message 17: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 68 comments Editing a book is a must. Multiple errors in a published book, be it from a publishing house or self-published, will turn people off and prevent further sales. A typo here and there or the occasional punctuation error, I'll over look as a reader. What I won't overlook is major, frequent errors in word choice (their/there/they're type things), sentences that are incomplete or mixed up and things like Jane is in the basement talking to Al in one sentence and the next one has her in the bedroom having sex with George. Ya gotta wonder what happened between those two sentences. Also, run on paragraphs...those that go for three pages without a break, show poor basic writing skills. You can have a great story, but if it is told is a very bad manner, you lose interest in that great story.

Yes, an editor will catch those things (or several really good beta readers or an English teacher if you can't afford an editor.) If you want to be considered a professional, then you need to turn out professional work. When I'm reading for pleasure or reviewing a book, if the editing is non-existent, I'll note that on any review I do of the book. Those types of things pull me out of the story. and I'm sure I'm not the only one either.

If you are submitting to a publishing house, you need a very clean manuscript. A typo or two and that strange scene may not matter a huge amount, but one filled with multiple errors will not get beyond the agent who has to pitch the work to the board. That was stated more than once during a conference I attended with reps from multiple publishing houses. So don't think you can turn in a draft style manuscript and it get off the desk of the person you sent it to unless it's a super fantastic story with a powerful voice and they believe you are the next JK Rowling or Nora Roberts or maybe a Steven King or James Patterson..

message 18: by Ju (last edited Jun 01, 2017 09:35AM) (new)

Ju Ephraime (juephraime) | 39 comments Sara wrote: "I was a publish and be damned kinda girl, but typos are my downfall. I can spot other people's a mile away, but never my own. So now I scrape together my pennies for a proofread from an editor who ..."

I totally agree with you, Sara, about how people are hard on the indie author but seem to conveniently over look the big publisher. After doing this for six years, I came to the conclusion that the people who trash the indie books are not readers, they are all indie authors, or wanna be authors. The unfortunately thing is, these are the people with the most errors in their books, but they go at the indie author like bull-dogs. If they find no typos to complain about, they use their very limited knowledge and attack things they really know nothing about, POV, repeated words, author's voice, petty things. They write it all in their reviews. I've not read one negative review from an established author on a fellow author... It's all indie all the time.

message 19: by Annie, The Mistress (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 2365 comments Mod
Ehhh, okay, I'm lurving the discussion here but since my spidey-senses are tingling (not really, just being melodramatic haha)...

Could we do our bestest to keep it on the positive side of constructive, pretty please?

I mean, at the end of the day, there are no right or wrong answers and there sure as heck are no "must-do's" cuz, well, I ain't doing em LOL Seriously, though, let's refrain from labeling authors stuff like "wannabe" and keep this discussion more helping, less bashing, pretty please?

Thanks a bunch, everyone! Really, reeeally appreciated!! x

(Sorry for pooping on the party *sighs*)

message 20: by Ju (new)

Ju Ephraime (juephraime) | 39 comments I get what you're saying, Ms. Anne. But if you never allow anyone to voice his/her opinion, you're not being fair. If we keep remaining quiet about this sort of behavior the previous person mentioned and I commented on, it's not being none-helpful, it's stating a fact. I said 'wanna be, because an "author" wrote in a review of one of my books that I repeat words. When I read her bio on amazon, she had three repeated words in a two sentence bio; what am I supposed to think. If she could pick up my repeated words in a 65K book, how comes she couldn't pick up her repeated word in her two sentence bio? And pardon me, but I see regular published authors writing accolades for each other. I have not seen a negative, not once! And trust me, I know some of them are not that great, but they don't comment on it. It pump up the positive.

To your success, Ms. Annie

message 21: by Ember-Raine, The Lady (new)

Ember-Raine Winters (ember-raine_winters) | 688 comments Mod
I have to agree with Mistress Ann. We are here to help each other not hurt each other's feelings or name call other indies. Constructive criticism only! The rules clearly state no negativity and I think we need to continue with that. Bashing other authors is not allowed whether they are in the group or not.

I'm sorry that happened to you Ms Ju but it might just be better to take the moral high ground on this one. So sorry to post this but we only want positive vibes here! Thanks so much!

message 22: by Ju (new)

Ju Ephraime (juephraime) | 39 comments This was not directed at any one individual. It was not meant to be negative. It was meant to let indies know it's better to support each other. If neither of you got it, then we still have a long way to go. This individual didn't do a thing to me, my books are still selling and her one is not. I let this roll off my back because I could have retaliated, but I didn't. :)

message 23: by Annie, The Mistress (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 2365 comments Mod

About that editing, eh? LOL

message 24: by Alyne (last edited Jun 06, 2017 05:57AM) (new)

Alyne Hart | 109 comments I do my own editing, with a program called Grammarly - it catches everything. EVERYTHING. Then I give out some copies to trusted friends that I know will be honest with me if certain things don't jive, or there are holes in the story or whatever.
My mom was my best proof-reader!
BUT, I would love a good (inexpensive - is that an oxymoron?) editor so I didn't have to do that part. I re-read and edited my book so many times I got sick of it.

message 25: by Nat (last edited Jun 06, 2017 03:49PM) (new)

Nat Kennedy | 25 comments I can't do my own editing. I miss too much. I do give it many passes. I change the font and stuff too and find out on that pass I find a few more errors. I haven't tried Grammarly. I shall do so next time.

I have free/friend betas who do catch some stuff. My line editors for my last two books did let some things through that I fixed as they were found, but it's still frustrating. I know not every editor can find everything, though.

I did a 'beta' test on some short stories and found a paid beta I really like. I might have her do one of my novels. That being said, I do write gay erotica as well, so she might not be open to that.

However, I must say, if I'm reading a book and find a lot of errors, I'm turned off/soured and often won't continue. This is content error/consistency/grammar. Some very popular stuff out there has made me flip to the next book because to me it's not very good. Which goes to show, many readers don't care.

message 26: by Madi (new)

Madi (madiw) | 4 comments This is such a great post! I just downloaded Grammarly and it's fantastic. I loved reading about your experiences with editing. I am currently working on my first full-length novel, and I read and reread my stuff over and over, its hardddd. I will definitely want some form of editing. When I'm done I will probably know better what type of editing I am looking for. but for now - thank you so much for sharing.

message 27: by Alyne (new)

Alyne Hart | 109 comments Hemda wrote: "This is such a great post! I just downloaded Grammarly and it's fantastic. I loved reading about your experiences with editing. I am currently working on my first full-length novel, and I read and ..." Grammarly is my best friend

message 28: by Mary Ellen (new)

Mary Ellen Woods (maryellen_woods) | 163 comments If you like Grammarly, try Pro Writing Aid. It does many things Grammarly doesn't. I use both. There is a free version.

message 29: by J. (new)

J. Saman | 320 comments I'd be lost without them!! I am the worst with editing myself. I do pay someone to help me though. I won't lie. I feel like I still need the eye of a professional.

message 30: by Alyne (new)

Alyne Hart | 109 comments Mary Ellen wrote: "If you like Grammarly, try Pro Writing Aid. It does many things Grammarly doesn't. I use both. There is a free version."

awesome, thanks!

message 31: by Marina (new)

Marina Lovechild | 124 comments We've spoken a bit about Beta Readers, so has anyone taken help from those? Having troubles with leaks in the past, I was wondering if anyone could tell me of the process with beta readers. Do you have helpers sign a non-disclosure agreement or the like to make sure that they do not post your stuff? What does one of those look like in that case?

Loving the discussion btw! This community is the best!

message 32: by J. (new)

J. Saman | 320 comments I have a few author friends that I sometimes do beta reading with. I don't always use them. Mostly if I feel like I'm having trouble with something and it needs help. I only use people I know and trust. Never a random stranger, but I do know some who do.

I know some people who post on a specific website, chapters at a time, and people can comment. I think it's the sort of system where you have to do the same on other books so that you can post your own. If you're interested, I can ask my friend for the name of that website.

I also know an author who offers her beta services in another group. She is trustworthy and writes erotica, but she might charge. I don't think I can mention it here, but if you're interested, PM me and I can give you more details.

message 33: by Marina (new)

Marina Lovechild | 124 comments I'd love to hear that website, J.! Is it Wattpad? I'm not near Beta yet, but when I am, I'd also love to hear about your friend :)

Having people you can trust with these type of things seems ideal. Hard to know :/

message 34: by Amber (new)

Amber Laura | 24 comments Mary Ellen wrote: "If you like Grammarly, try Pro Writing Aid. It does many things Grammarly doesn't. I use both. There is a free version."

Ooohhh...I'll have to check out Pro Writing Aid. I've never heard of it before. Thanks for the information! :)

message 35: by Alyne (new)

Alyne Hart | 109 comments Marina wrote: "We've spoken a bit about Beta Readers, so has anyone taken help from those? Having troubles with leaks in the past, I was wondering if anyone could tell me of the process with beta readers. Do you ..."

I used four Beta readers for my upcoming release, but none were strangers. They were people I know and trust. I got some great feedback that I was able to put into use, so I found the process helpful.

message 36: by J. (new)

J. Saman | 320 comments Marina, I just send you a PM about this. I too only use Beta's I know and trust. It's tricky to find that and it's not something that always comes overnight. I hope you find the help you're looking for!

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