The Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with an Editor 

Chantel Hamilton is an editor and guest writer on Jane Hamilton’s blog. Her post is a comprehensive discussion about book editing that I would recommend reading if you have any questions about editing. The only thing I disagree with is she says that other writers can not help you with your writing. I think maybe what she meant was other writers shouldn’t be asked to edit your manuscript.

Other writers can definitely help you with your writing. That called a critique group and critique groups can be very beneficial. But in a critique group, your fellow writers aren’t editing, per se. They may catch punctuation and grammar items but they are looking at your piece for the more obvious things: “This sentence confused me.”  “Above you have him in the hallway, now he appears in the bathroom. How did he get there?”  “Who is saying this?” “You changed POV here.” And they help keep you writing and praise you when you do something they enjoy – which is always nice :).

Granted, these are all things an editor may tell you, but an editor will go through your piece in more detail than a fellow writer. Editors also have a view of your whole piece in their mind. When they are reading chapter 10, they may think “Didn’t the author say this in chapter 2?” They may have to go back and confirm that, but even copyediting is not looking at just what is in the page in front of them; it’s keeping the whole piece in their mind to some degree.

And a writer might be able to edit your book, but most would not want to, even if you paid them. It takes a lot of time and effort to do that and most writers want to spend that time and effort editing (revision) their own stuff. Editors may also be writers (as I am), but an editor wants to edit. It’s their job, and if they are good, they enjoy it. And as Chantel mentions, editors have had training in the “rules” and are very familiar with the standard style guides (Chicago Manual of Style – CMS – and the Associated Press style guide – AP – are the two most common, though there are others).

Note: Even though Chantel defines 4 different types of editing, make sure you understand your editor’s definition of the type of edit they think (or you think) you need. There is some variation out there for these definitions. As long as you both understand what is going to happen, then you should be good to go.

p.s. I think most editors will do a sample copyedit for you for free. It won’t be a long edit, but enough to allow you to compare different editor’s styles. I recommend it when trying to whittle down your editor prospects.

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This post explains four critical types of book editing, why you need an editor, how to choose one, and what your editor can and cannot do.

Source: The Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with an Editor | Jane Friedman

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Pricing your ebook at a discount: Why do it, when, and how to promote 

By Flash Alexander via Pixabay

Here are some suggestions about how to price your ebook and why it might be a good idea to have an occasional sale!

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There are a number of benefits to pricing your ebook at a discount or for free. If you’re aiming to attract new readers and ultimately increase sales, here’s what to do…

Source: Pricing your ebook at a discount: Why do it, when, and how to promote | For Authors | The Fussy Librarian

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12 Ways to Be an Invisible Writer 

Are you an “invisible writer”?

What does it mean to be invisible as you write? Or more accurately, as the post notes, what does it mean to be invisible as you edit. Don’t worry about these 12 things as your creating your story. It is something to look at once you’re done with your first draft, during the rewrite process. Actually, farther in on the rewrite process.

When I’m editing a client’s manuscript, this is something I see fairly often and a surefire thing to diminish the reader experience. I get push-back sometimes when I make suggests to change some of these things, and I can’t make someone make a manuscript change that they don’t want to make. I know sometimes it feels like you have to explain everything to the reader – to make sure they understand – but most times being less obvious is better. (Like, less is more.) Readers like to figure things out on their own. I know I do.

Of course, It’s easier to see when I haven’t written the piece myself. Harder for me to see in my own writing – which is another reason to always have someone else edit your story, someone who knows what to look for such as an editor or another writer.

Take a look at Tim Storms 12 things…

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Once the author becomes visible, the enchantment of the story dissolves. These 12 things can ruin the illusion for the reader. Become an invisible writer.

Source: 12 Ways to Be an Invisible Writer | Craft Articles

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How and Why to Write Your Back-Cover Synopsis Early 

Tim Storm gives some good examples of the ever-difficult back cover blurb for fiction and deconstructs them.

I heard someone say once, write 5-10 different version of the same blurb, then narrow down from there. I agree. Narrow down to 3-4 and share with people you know who read. Ask them, “Which one would make you want to pick up this book?”

I have never done this step early, but I do agree that, just like writing your elevator pitch early, it will help you focus as you write. Or when you’re editing, it will help you know what you can cut.

Thanks Tim!

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The back-cover synopsis lays out the book’s premise and piques reader interest. Here’s how and why you should write one early and often.

Source: How and Why to Write Your Back-Cover Synopsis Early | Craft Articles

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Your Writing Community 

from mythic scribes

In Jane Friedman’s blog, Susan DeFreitas writes a guest post on the advantages of a writing community to spur your writing and support you when you need it most. I think even more so, a writing community makes you a better writer, especially if you’re able to connect with a critique group of good writers. Remember, you’ll only be as good as the best writer in your group, so choose your group wisely.

Do your critique members have a published book(s)? How well does that book(s) do in the reviews? Of course, your critique mates don’t all have to be published authors, but someone who has made it through the whole process (traditional or self-publishing, it matters not) will know more about the craft than someone who hasn’t.

And you’ll always learn something by reading and commenting on someone else’s work, in addition to reading the comments of other on that same piece.

And if you join a group that doesn’t seem to be working for you, politely bow out. You’ll be doing everyone a favor. No one does good work if they don’t want to be somewhere.

But where to find a critique group?

Ask around, of course. Look on facebook in your area. Join online writing groups and ask if anyone has an opening in their critique group. Ask on Linkedin writers groups. Ask at writing conferences (when those are a thing again – Ug!). I’m sure there are Instagram writers groups too, though I’m not on Instagram so I have no clue. I know you can find writers on twitter. Most of my writing friends are on twitter. I would suggest looking for a group that is writing in your genre, but maybe that is obvious.

Take a look at Susan’s post and she what wisdom she has to share.

Hang in there, everyone!

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Don’t feel like you have to go it alone—others are on the same journey, ready to offer encouragement and applaud your hard-earned victories.

Source: Developing a Writing Practice, Part 2: Community | Jane Friedman 

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The Pros and Cons of Independent Publishing: Part One | Valerie Biel

Valerie Biel of Lost Lake Press, lays out the good and the bad of both traditional and indie publishing in a clear, easy to understand way. If you’ve ever questioned why to do one or the other, take a look at this post.

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Welcome to a three-part series on the pros and cons of independent or self publishing. This is going to be an honest discussion about what you need to consider before deciding which route is best for your publishing goals and skill set. First, we’ll look at overall concerns within the positives and negatives of each type of publishing. Part two will dive into potential earnings and royalties along with the business concerns you must address for successful independent publishing.

Source: The Pros and Cons of Independent Publishing: Part One | Valerie Biel

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Peer Critique Versus Professional Editing: When, Why and How to Use Both | Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman has answered some typical questions about who and when to have people read your manuscript before publishing.

I always encourage a writer, before they hand a manuscript off to anyone, to print out the piece on paper (or look at it on a different device e.g. a tablet vs a computer screen – it’s not quite a good as looking at it on paper but it does help make it appear different to your brain). Once you’ve got it on paper, read it out loud. These two things can greatly help you self-edit before you ask others to take their time to read your piece.

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Developmental editors, critique partners, sensitivity readers, friends—feedback comes from different people, for different reasons, at different times.

Source: Peer Critique Versus Professional Editing: When, Why and How to Use Both | Jane Friedman

What Amazon’s Slowing of Book Deliveries Means For Authors 

The current, though admittedly, very abnormal situation illustrates how having your book as an ebook, as well as print, is a good idea.

Let’s be honest. No one ever HAD to have that book they ordered next day delivered. Frankly, even before this pandemic, I thought Amazon should give the Prime buyer the option of not shipping something next day. It would help all those overworked delivery services. And those who have the ability (car, health, money), once this thing is over, shouldn’t we be going to stores and buying our books if we can? You know, support your local bookstore, maybe even a local author!

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Amazon has announced via Seller Central that they will be slowing book delivery to prioritize medical and food delivery in the US and EU. What does that mean for authors and book sales during the COVID-19 crisis?

Source: What Amazon’s Slowing of Book Deliveries Means For Authors | Self-Publishing Review