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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Friday, November 01, 2013

DAY 1 - Editing

Click to read workshop 

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth

Leave a question or comment for the panel.


1. Dyanne Davis
2. Alice Wootson
3. Rose Jackson-Be​avers
4. Cindy Matthews

5. Rae Lori

6. Sherelle Green

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LaShaunda said...

I'm looking at hiring an editor. How do I know what is a fair price?

Rae Lori said...

Rae here!

There are so many prices out there in the land of editing. I've seen some charge by the page and some by the word count with others charging by the word. I personally like editors who charge a tier (a certain price for 1-50 pages, another price for 50-100 and so on) and can offer the editing I need for something in my budget.

Some charge a different range of prices for line editing, proofreading, critiquing story content or all three. My latest editor offered this for a reasonable tier price and she helped me with any questions I had regarding feedback for my story. Some editors make you feel like a number in a line to edit. If you're paying a high price, you want an editor who will work with you to make your story the best it can be and not just tear down your work then shuffle you out the room for the next paying writer in line (I had one of those, too).

To zip back to the original question, make an editing budget based on how much you can afford, how much you want to get out of the editor and how much your book will return on its investment. You don't want to pay a high price right out the gate if you plan on releasing a series because you'll be paying much more than you'll be receiving as you build your name and brand with each book.

DO check around and compare prices on different editors before making a final choice.

DO ask for a sample page edit or (preferably) a chapter edit to check out their editing style.

DO ask as many questions as you can for each editor. That way you get to know their style of editing and how they work and if you will gel together.

DO ask your fellow writers for any referrals or suggestions on editors to check out and others to avoid and why.

DON'T go with the first editor you encounter. You want to enter this investment with a sound mind and make sure you get what you pay for! :-)

Rae Lori

F. D. Davis said...

Good morning everyone,


Since Rae has covered this, I'll add this, more than the price being charged, you should also consider if the editor has done work in the genre you're writing in.

There's not a shortage of "editors" and most are charging about $1.00 per page. Talking with someone who has used them is always a must.

Cindy A. Matthews said...

As I've been editing genre fiction for a number of years, I'd have to take some exceptions to what's been posted here so far. Editing isn't like paying someone to paint your bathroom, so cheaper doesn't mean better or even adequate for your project's need. I say this because I've seen this to be the case when I had to re-edit a piece by a self-published author who couldn't figure out why she was receiving so many criticisms about her work. Obviously, the editorial help she received was inadequate and not worth the money she thought she was saving. It's not just grammar and spelling alone that need to be addressed. Those of us who have published our own genre fiction and non-fiction works can give valuable insights into the content and execution of the idea itself. This is invaluable information and can save you many tears later on. And I hate to say it, it's not something you can generally get for a buck a page from a former high school English teacher... In fact, those would be the editors I would shy away from since they do not sound like they have much experience in the either the publishing or genre editing field and your work is likely to suffer from that lack of true experience and industry knowledge. There are many good agencies out there where you can find editors of a professional level, Authorlink being one of them, and my suggestion is that you go with a reputable firm.

Ana'Gia Wright said...

What are the different typed of editing and editors?

Barbarajoe said...

How many rounds of editing do you normally go through before you feel like your manuscript is ready for publishing?

Cindy A. Matthews said...

What are the different types of editing and editors?

Good question! There are many different types of editing. A simple line edit is usually a pass through a manuscript checking for typos, misspellings, grammatical errors, etc. that pop out easily. If the author needs feedback on plot holes, weak characterization, logic gaps, tension-building, general structuring of the narrative, etc., that is what is sometimes called substantiative editing. It's the editing that authors should get from their publisher's editors. With the onslaught of self-published authors, this is the editorial input that is needed most, IMO.

Many "editors" online advertise what is just simple line editing. While often necessary, a good critique group or partner can help you find and fix these gaffes. When you are paying for editorial help, you want a professional who has experience and insights into the industry.

Rae Lori said...

How many rounds of editing do you normally go through before you feel like your manuscript is ready for publishing?

For me, it varies. After my first draft, I usually put my story away, out of sight and out of mind. That way I can forget it the next time I pick it up and look at it with fresh eyes. I focus on the mechanics of the manuscript and see if the story grabs me as it would a reader. If it needs clarification, I give it the rewrites it needs until it polishes. Sadly the story is never done in a writer's eyes but I get it as close to perfection as I can story wise and technical wise before someone else sees it. I either let one of my editor friends and/or my editor herself go through it before I let it sit again to look over once more. The number of editing rounds may vary per manuscript but the feeling of completion and confidence needs to be there each time.

Author Sherelle Green said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherelle Green said...

In response to the following question: How many rounds of editing do you normally go through before you feel like your manuscript is ready for publishing?

Hello Barbarajoe!

This may differ depending on the author. However, since there are different types of edits (line edit, proofreading, content, substantive/developmental, etc.) it's best to have your work edited by more than one editor. Sometimes, one editor will catch what another editor may have missed or they may each have different specialties. Of course, this is sometimes difficult if your budget doesn't allow for another editor. If that's the case, using an editor who specializes in more than one area would be beneficial or using a friend who has an English/Journalism background to do a quick proof would help as well.

I recommend having your work edited at least twice by someone who specializes in editing and edit your work yourself before and after each edit. I go through my work myself on average three complete times and numerous times in-between edits. I have a degree in English and Journalism so I find it more helpful to reach out to my critique partner for content input if I'm facing a deadline and want another pair of eyes on my work before it goes to my publisher who will then edit the manuscript. If your critique partner is familiar with the genre you write, this could be really helpful. It seems like a lot of editing, but the final product is well worth it...a clean and crisp manuscript!

Sherelle Green

Barbara said...

Do you recommend proofreader after getting book edit?

Alice Wootson said...

I agree with what's been said.I think you should get references as you would when hiring anybody. Talk to authors who write in the same genre that you do who have used this editor and are satisfied.

Alice Wootson said...

I agree with what's been said.I think you should get references as you would when hiring anybody. Talk to authors who write in the same genre that you do who have used this editor and are satisfied.

Rose said...

To find out what is a fair price, seek out at least 4 or more editors and discuss their prices and what services they will provide. Depending on the type of editing your book will need determines the price. For instance, developmental editing may be more expensive than copy editing because it involves rewriting, giving ideas on how to move the story forward, or handling character’s issues. While copy writing is more specific to grammar, punctuation, making sure the story is consistent and fact checking. Before deciding, prepare a budget because it is best to hire two editors, one for developmental and one for copy editing. This way the author will know what he can afford or if it is a good idea to wait until they have the money. So please research editors, talk to authors, read books they have edited and even reviews of the books. Also be leery of those who do not ask for a sample of your work. Think about this, if an author wants their book to be the best; it is essential to have the best people working on it. Finally, make sure the editor you select enjoy working with your genre. This is really important to me. If the editor hates science fiction and the author is writing a story in this genre, keep looking.

Rose said...

I refuse to publish a book without an editors’ input. Without a good editor, this is the fastest way to sink a book as well as the company who published it. People will look at the publisher and say no way will I work with them, “they publish anything.” I have three editors, and two readers. It’s important to research and seek out the best for your work. Remember if you put out a poorly edited book, you’re putting your reputation on the line. Believe me, I know. You're not going to always find every single thing, but putting in the work will help to eliminate 98 percent or more of the problems. Ambitious? I have to be!

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