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Editorial & Beta Reading > Recruiting editors and beta readers

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message 1: by Andre Jute (last edited Nov 07, 2011 11:03AM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Books that I have reissued on the Kindle, both as a writer and as an editor, have attracted a good deal of praise for their design, formatting and the general punctilio of their preparation. The big secret is that I didn't do it myself. The good work was done by volunteers, readers, found on the net.

Everyone who started with me doing bits and pieces on the early projects and stayed are now fully-fledged editors who get a whole book of their own to work on. So now I have a need for many more volunteers to help on several projects. I'll describe the projects in a minute. This is especially for you lurkers: it's a way you can make a contribution.

You're not paid. You get an acknowledgement in the books you work on and a free copy of the finished book to feed your Kindle, and very likely more free books from CoolMain Press. If you like the experience, you'll be learning skills, and I always have more books; it can be very satisfying work.

What do you need? Actually, nothing you don't already have. The people I really want usually have nothing in their education to indicate that they make good editors; what distinguishes them is that they are constant, consistent, regular readers. (Voracious, if that doesn't make them sound like vampires!) And they are irritated by errors of spelling, typos and grammatical faults they find. Good. That's exactly what we don't want in the published book!

You need a couple of hours a day when you're asked. What happens really is that you give whichever project is current a part of the time you would otherwise spend reading anyway. What I do with copy-editors I haven't worked with before is to circulate the manuscript in pieces so that every section has at least two sets of eyes across it in addition to mine, and then as many further passes as seem necesssary.

Andrew McCoy: Several books, starting with the famous AFRICAN REVENGE. Been scanned and turned into MSWord files by optical character recognition. Claimed 99% accuracy of OCR leaves a pretty rough manuscript. The work consists of running the section you're given through a spellchecker, not because there are spelling errors in the original, but because it is the fastest way to find the OCR glitches; after that to read for sense. I've found that what concerns readers is that they don't want to be responsible for changing an author's work. Don't worry, the ethos of the editorial process is that nothing significant is changed without at least the editor's (my) approval, and if warranted the writer's approval too. (On THE MEYERSCO HELIX the seven of us had a lot of fun updating minor details to make the book sound current.)

Dakota Franklin: Several novels in the series RUTHLESS TO WIN are being launched. They have been edited by me and by at least one other party. After final formatting for the Kindle, each one needs to be read to ascertain that we didn't in the editing process introduce new glitches. This is late beta reading and very enjoyable.

Come to and talk to me. We'll make it a communal effort and have some fun.

Andre Jute

message 2: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
Can I post this on another Goodreads group I belong to? Mostly readers.

message 3: by Andre Jute (last edited Nov 06, 2011 01:38AM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Claudine wrote: "Can I post this on another Goodreads group I belong to? Mostly readers."


I've already posted it to UK Amazon Kindle Forum at

Thanks, Claudine.

message 4: by Claudine (new)

Claudine | 1110 comments Mod
Thanks Andre, will do. Have no idea if any of them would be interested. Some of them are bloggers, reviewing books all the time. I thought, as they are mostly living on the African continent, they might have a feel for the Lance Webber stuff more so than others.

message 5: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
That'll good, Claudine. We need all the help we can get.

message 6: by J.J. (last edited Nov 07, 2011 01:30AM) (new)

J.J. Toner (jjtoner) Andre said Claimed 99% accuracy of OCR leaves a pretty rough manuscript.

This made me laugh! I've read a few eBooks with "OCR syndrome" recently. One had the word "modem" all over the place that should have read "modern". Not surprising, as my eyes have difficulty deciding between lowercase RN and M in some fonts.

message 7: by Andre Jute (last edited Nov 07, 2011 11:28AM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Whole bunch of us over the Editorial Menagerie are not laughing.

OCR = Often Recognized Correctly

90% is probably a closer estimate of OCR accuracy.

message 8: by Tahlia (new)

Tahlia Newland (tahlian) | 52 comments Is anyone interested in helping me out with beta reading a rather out of the box YA magical realism project? I'd do the same for you of course.

message 9: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) What do you mean out of the box exactly?

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