Tag Archive | book editing

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

my imageCKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Forging Sentence Ties That Bind – Editing Fun (?)

This is one of the books that I use when I have a grammar or punctuation questions. You’d think grammar and punctuation are straightforward, but they are not.

Another great book I would recommend is “Woe Is I” by Patricia T. O’Conner. It’s easy to use and has great information.

If you want a good laugh (yes, grammar and punctuation can be funny), read “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” by Lynne Truss

And for good online assistance, the Purdue OWL is the best!

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Strong writing—writing that moves, directs, and connects people—conveys thoughts and ideas with clarity and efficiency. Badly placed words create vagueness and…

Source: Forging Sentence Ties That Bind – Grammar and Punctuation

Hints For Working With An Editor

eraser1Chelsey Clammer makes some good points about working with an editor. I especially like the “overcommunication” idea!

Works for me!

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/81-TheSubmission-WorkingWithEditors.html

What makes a good Beta Reader?

image from jmdeditorial.co.uk

image from jmdeditorial.co.uk

Belinda has some very good points about what to look for in a beta reader – I think the most important point is that they read – a lot. Someone who reads a lot knows what stories are supposed to “sound” like when they are read, even if they don’t know why. And they don’t have to know the why’s of a good book, that’s the authors job. But they can point out areas in the ms when the author isn’t hitting the mark, or when the author has strayed (“That part was a bit slow.” or “I found myself wanting to skip this part.”…)

I usually have different readers who are good a differenr things. I have one friend who is very good at picking up grammar and punctuation errors. This is helpful to me because if I can fix those things before I send the ms to the editor then that is less time the editor has to take with my manuscript, which then saves me money on my edit. I have another friend who is good at picking up on what’s good or not so good with the story itself – if I should have given more detail in some place or went over too long in another place.

What Belinda doesn’t mention is how many readers you should have for your book. I would recommend at least three and more if you can find them. I say this for two reason.

1. I am constantly amazed how people read the same material differently and find different things.

2. Not everyone you ask to read is going to give you what you’re looking for, so the more people you have reading, the better your chances of getting good feedback.

Another important thing to remember is to give your beta readers some instructions about what you want or don’t want them to do. If they have agreed to read your ms then they want to help you. Give them a heads up and let them know what kind of feedback you’re looking for. This helps them focus and not get totally lost in the story. And your instructions might not be the same for each reader, either.

And last but not least – thank them – profusely! A dinner, bottle of wine, chocolates… whatever suits their fancy, and be sure to give them a copy of the book, once it’s done (assuming they liked it :)) Hopefully they will be willing to help you again, and again.

What makes a good Beta Reader? | @Belinda_Pollard.

my image Christine Keleny of CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

10 Reasons Writers Should Learn Good Grammar

Melissa Donovan gives us 10 good reasons to learn a things or two about grammar (and I would add, punctuation). If writing is your thing, then this is something you should know about – you don’t have to be an expert – that’s what you rely on an editor for, but it will definitely save you money.

Because I base my fee on time, I do a test edit on all manuscripts I work with, so it will cost less to edit

 an already well written (grammar and punctuation wise) manuscript.

If you want to take a grammar and punctuation course, check online or at your local community collage. I have taken courses online through Mediabestro in New York and I would recommend them.

10 Reasons Writers Should Learn Good Grammar | Writing Forward.

Why are book editors so expensive?

Belinda Pollard has laid out the process and time commitment very well for an editor such as myself, along with the angst of having to pay for one myself, as a writer.

But it’s a very necessary part of the process if you’re serious about being taken seriously as a writer.

My daughter – an avid reader and very good student – recently agree to read a book for an author that contacted me for a review (I didn’t have time but my daughter did). My daughter has come up with a very long list of things this author missed including words misspelled and a error in a reference to the battle of Troy. This author said she did an edit swap with a fellow writer, which obviously didn’t cost her anything except her reputation as a writer. A pretty high cost in my book (pun intended). Unfortunately, she published the book before she asked for reviews. Hopefully not many people have seen it yet because it needs a lot of work, work an editor would have picked up on before potential readers had seen it.

I know it’s an expense, but it is one of those things that you get what you pay for.

Why are book editors so expensive?? | @Belinda_Pollard.

Ah. So THAT’S what revision means.

I really enjoy the revision process, too. I hope you do as well. It is very necessary in the whole book production process. Don’t forget, there will be more revisions once you give it to others to read.

A Desk In A Most Convergent Corner: The Writing Blog of B.C. Laybolt

Well, revision of the first draft of To Drown in Sand is properly underway. While my theme editor, the amazing Chad Horton, performs his surgery, I’m working through each scene with surprise and a sense of wonder.

After following Mr. King’s advice, and not touching or looking at the manuscript since about September (alright, I’m fibbing. I may have tweaked and toggled bits here and there, but nothing committed. I actually dug pretty deeply into the sequel), I pulled out my copy of the book and my red pen, took a deep breath, and flipped open the last scene. I like to rewrite backwards, apparently.

I admit to thinking that the manuscript actually wouldn’t need much.

Which is great. Because, in this case, I’m glad I was wrong.

I didn’t really know what revision was. But after researching it thoroughly, and discovering how critical it is to the process, I’m…

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