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Anyone willing to do proofread?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Kate just gave me a great review of my novel, and I'm so grateful that she pointed out that I have a few grammatical errors and typos in my book. English is my second language, so I didn't notice them, and I take it as a great compliment finding only a few mistakes. I am in a financial slump at the moment, I cannot afford the outrageous prices of professional editing and proofreading. If there is anyone in the group who feels confident enough in their knowledge of the English language and would do proofreading and correcting for me for an affordable price, please message me with your offer.


message 2: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Johns | 8 comments Hi Erika--I'm sorry, I just have to object to your statement that the pay for professional copyediting and proofreading is outrageous. At $35/hour for a freelance editor, which has been the going rate for at least the last 15 years that I've been doing it, it's a steal. Remember freelance editors don't get benefits--they have to pay for their own health insurance, their own retirement, their own computers and programs and electricity. $70/hour is closer to standard if you use an editing service, but that's because the service and the editor split the fee--the service has to pay the cost of advertising and finding new clients, billing, and managing the office, and the editor gets the other half for her work. At those rates, it's barely enough to pay the rent, much less put food on the table or pay taxes.

Editing a manuscript is intensely time-consuming and requires extreme mental concentration for long periods of time. A typical 300-page mss. may take an editor an entire 40-hour week to edit, and that's if it's in relatively decent shape, grammatically speaking. Editing also requires an intimate understanding of not just the English language but multiple stylebooks, such as Chicago Manual, Associated Press, APA, etc. A good copyeditor will also find inconsistencies in your storyline, check facts like dates and locations, and otherwise save your behind as an author.

If you want it done right, hire a professional. Otherwise you'll get what you pay for.

Just my two cents--which is about all the profit I made from copyeditiing.


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 18, 2011 10:03AM) (new)

Oh my Gosh Rebecca, I didn't know all that. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to offended you or other copyeditors out there, I just didn't know this much about what you really do. Thank you for letting me know. Let me tell you about my experience, and what prompted me to use the 'outrageous price'. I'm a new author, and when I finished the first book of my novel, I looked into getting it edited. This book is 280 pages, and the cheapest offer I got was $5000. I had one chapter edited, just to see what they're going to do with it. Well, first of all, she put words into the housekeeper's mouth in my story that even a college professor would have to look up in the dictionary, and secondly, she suggested to turn my naive and shy main character into a trash mouth slut. She tried to explain to me that if I write for adults, most people want to read about steamy love scenes and some dirty talk. I didn't want my story changed into a Jerry Springer type of thing, so I abandoned the idea of getting my book edited. Then I decided to have it checked for grammar and typos, so I looked into proofreading, and I couldn't get an exact answer other than $70 an hour, and they couldn't tell how many hours it would involve. I contacted many online listed copyeditors and proofreaders, and I got similar answers from all of them. One proofreader checked a chapter for me for free, and he did exactly the same changes that I did later with the open office spell and grammar checker in total of 3 minutes. I guess in my search I didn't find the honest ones like yourself. You sound like you really work together with the author to bring the best out of the book. The truth is that in my search I didn't look for a freelance editor, I just typed in book editing. Perhaps if I did, I could have found more honest people like you. Thank you so much for letting us know how it is done honestly. This was my reason for creating the group, to bring people together with different interests, so we can learn from each other and help each other.


message 4: by Nora (new)

Nora Black (nora_black) | 1 comments Erika wrote: "Oh my Gosh Rebecca, I didn't know all that. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to offended you or other copyeditors out there, I just didn't know this much about what you really do. Thank you for letting ..."
Amazon.com charges $280 for proof reading and editing check it out


message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Johns | 8 comments Oh, I know you didn't mean to offend, and I wasn't offended, I'm just trying to give you a perspective on the business and how it works, so you know what you're getting for your money. $5000 sounds high, but that seems to be for a "macro-edit," with plot and character development, etc., rather than simply a copyedit, and that too will be split with the editing service, so the editor may spend several weeks with your mss. coming up with solutions and writing recommendations. Simply writing the pages of recommendations may take all day, not even including the time the editor spends reading.

Getting a sample chapter done before proceeding is exactly the right thing to do, and if you didn't like what you're getting for your money then you were right to put a halt to the work.

I haven't seen the mss., so I couldn't say what kind of shape it's in, but a good copyeditor will give you a sense, based on a sample of the mss., how long it should take, and then agree on a set price based on that figure. The fastest I could ever manage was 10 pages an hour, and that's if the mss. is in good shape. A difficult mss. will maybe take 4-5 pages an hour, sometimes even less. A good editor knows (in general) how long it will take and should be able to give you a contract for a set price. Keep looking--they're out there!

I'm a writing teacher now, but the process is essentially the same--you have to work with what a story is, and what it's trying to be, and not impose yourself on the work, but bring it out to what it's trying to be, rather than what you want it to be.

Have you tried The Editorial Department? I used to work with them and found them very professional and fair. But maybe that was the service you used?


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Susan wrote: "Erika wrote: "Oh my Gosh Rebecca, I didn't know all that. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to offended you or other copyeditors out there, I just didn't know this much about what you really do. Thank yo..."

Thank you Susan
wow, that's a huge difference. I wonder about the quality though. Rebecca explained so clearly what is included in good editing, could they possibly do a good job for only $280 compared to the price that companies or freelance editors charge?


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Rebecca wrote: "Oh, I know you didn't mean to offend, and I wasn't offended, I'm just trying to give you a perspective on the business and how it works, so you know what you're getting for your money. $5000 sound..."
Wow, that's one business I never knew much about, now thanks to you, I had a glance into it. You know, I would love to hear what you think about my book. If you like fantasy stories, I'd love to send you an ebook copy for free. No, not trying to take advantage of you in any way, but if you would be kind enough to reply with one sentence such as 'your book really needs editing' or 'your book is okay without editing', I'd really appreciate it. I'm just really curious about how a professional sees my story, because I didn't follow any formula or plot setting, I just wrote as I imagined my main character's world. And most of all, because I don't speak English that long, and I wonder if my vocabulary is good enough to write an engaging and enjoyable story. I'm getting nice reviews from my readers so far, but a professional looks at it differently. If you would like to read it, let me know and I'll message you the code for the download.


message 8: by Gladys (new)

Gladys Quintal | 26 comments Rebecca wrote: "Hi Erika--I'm sorry, I just have to object to your statement that the pay for professional copyediting and proofreading is outrageous. At $35/hour for a freelance editor, which has been the going ..."

Hi Rebecca, I appreciate what you do with trying to edit my own books and getting crosseyed and untold headaches! I am by no means a trained writer and probably need an editor desperately! I think by "outrageous" Erika is speaking for us struggling Indie authors who don't have the backing of Publishers. I just could not afford to pay an editor as much as I would love to have my book edited :) Most of us offer our book for free to get reviews etc for free advertising to try and help get our book out there - but then you sometimes get those reviewers that hated your book and want to tell the world how bad it was. Which in the end kind of defeats the purpose!


message 9: by Gladys (new)

Gladys Quintal | 26 comments Erika wrote: "Rebecca wrote: "Oh, I know you didn't mean to offend, and I wasn't offended, I'm just trying to give you a perspective on the business and how it works, so you know what you're getting for your mon..."

I write exactly the same way Erika - it is how the story comes out of my head, I don't make it up it seems to make it self up!


message 10: by Gladys (new)

Gladys Quintal | 26 comments I decided to bite the bullet and let this wonderful lady have a look at my book and give me a quote on editing - she informs that I should indeed keep writing as I am very talented!!!!! Anyone looking at getting an editor? She is lovely and reasonably priced - especially for what editors do!!!
https://www.facebook.com/pages/melani...


message 11: by D. (new)

D. Quarles | 3 comments When the time came for me to independently publish my first book I was fortunate to find and amazing woman to professionally edit the manuscript. She asked me the page count, I gave her my budget and we worked together beautifully. Rebecca, I have to agree with you, it requires time and much effort, but is very important. On behalf of all Indie Authors, please accept my thanks for what you do.


message 12: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Johns | 8 comments Erika wrote: "Susan wrote: "Erika wrote: "Oh my Gosh Rebecca, I didn't know all that. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to offended you or other copyeditors out there, I just didn't know this much about what you reall..."

I wonder the same thing. But maybe they just have someone go through it with Word or somesuch and make sure it's accurate? Or maybe they hire full-time editors on salary and pay them out of their profits from other aspects of the business?


message 13: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Johns | 8 comments Oh, I do realize that self-published authors have an uphill battle when it comes to paying for editing services--that's part of the problem (in my opinion, which may not be worth much) with self-publishing. I'm just sharing the editor/copyeditor perspective--it's a ton of work, and the money is really *not* great. You do it because you enjoy it, and because you really want to help people get their work in shape and be appreciated by the larger public. Most editors I know will not accept work they deem unfixable. If they're taking you on, it's because they see something there they like and want to improve.

Erika, I will look at it, briefly, and give you my honest opinion about how much editing it needs. I no longer work as a copyeditor myself, but I can put you in touch with honest people who will work hard to make your story the best it can be.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Rebecca wrote: "Oh, I do realize that self-published authors have an uphill battle when it comes to paying for editing services--that's part of the problem (in my opinion, which may not be worth much) with self-pu..."

Great, thanks Rebecca. I'll message you the code.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Rebecca wrote: "Erika wrote: "Susan wrote: "Erika wrote: "Oh my Gosh Rebecca, I didn't know all that. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to offended you or other copyeditors out there, I just didn't know this much about ..."

yeah, that's very well be possible, and the person who actually does the work gets very little money.


message 16: by Gladys (new)

Gladys Quintal | 26 comments Rebecca wrote: "Oh, I do realize that self-published authors have an uphill battle when it comes to paying for editing services--that's part of the problem (in my opinion, which may not be worth much) with self-pu..."

I honestly could not be an editor - I admire anyone who can:) I actually have an editor looking over my book now and she informs me that I definitely should be a writer which made me feel a hell of a lot better! It is hard for us to afford as we haven't sold a huge amount of books to pay for it but I am going to work it into the budget somehow and then hopefully get some sales to cover it - then I will give her the one I am writing now:)


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