Delighting in the Unexpected

ID-10053750Every so often, we all need to “mix it up a bit” to keep our creativity flowing. For writers that often means writing in a different genre or voice. For an editor like me, that means focusing on more than one type of editing, and I stepped out of my editing routine a few months ago when I proofread RIBUS 7, the first book of a sci-fi/romance series by author Shae Mills.

My first job in publishing was as a proofreader, and it’s something I love to do. Most of the editorial inquiries I get, though, come in earlier in the writer’s process. I’m usually contacted for either developmental/content editing or copyediting/line editing. I don’t often get straight proofreading jobs.

Many writers who think they’re ready for proofreading haven’t worked with a professional editor or even beta readers, so they actually need more editing help before they’re ready for the proofreading phase.

(If you’re unsure about what type of editing to ask for, check out my post, Copyediting or Proofreading: 5 Steps to Determine What You Need.)

But every so often, a proofreading project comes along that is just perfect—a compelling story that has been revised and professionally edited, revised again, edited again, and is now ready for proofreading before publication. That perfect project was RIBUS 7 by Shae Mills, and when I began to read it, well, let me just say that the author’s commitment to her craft really showed.

In her first email to me, Shae explained that she’d been working on her story for many years, and after first working with a developmental editor and then hiring a copyeditor, she was ready to hire a proofreader.

I love working on series, and Shae’s description of the book sold me. Okay, I’m not gonna lie, this is what really caught my attention: “[My novel] contains some of ‘the most sensuous romance ever written,’ according to my previous editors, their words not mine.” How could I say no to that? I wanted this job!

Imagine my delight when I was selected as the lucky editor to proofread this 210,000-word manuscript! We’re talking epic sci-fi romance here, and as one reviewer put it, “The characters and world-building [are] both strong and the storyline [is] excellent.”

A bit about RIBUS 7:

Chelan is a brilliant young woman, an aeronautics engineer who dreams of one day soaring toward the stars in a craft of her own design. But while on vacation, she is badly injured during a bizarre encounter with menacing strangers. Awakening, she finds herself held captive aboard the alien battleship RIBUS 7. Convinced at first that she is the victim of an elaborate hoax, the nightmare soon becomes all too real.

Before her stands the Iceanean Overlord, Korba, an ebony-clad god of war, a cunning predator, and a finely honed killer. As Commander of RIBUS 7, his mission is to eradicate all aliens, Chelan included. Yet one look at the exotic beauty smuggled aboard his ship stays his hand.RIBUS 7 Final cover, low res

Struggling against her growing attraction to her captor, Chelan clings to her Earthly values like a shield. But in a culture where the men and women pursue the pleasures of the flesh with a passion and a skill equal to that of the kill, Chelan finds herself awash in a sea of temptation at every turn. Korba himself yearns for her, but their love is forbidden by all that governs his culture. To claim her as his own is to risk all . . . but it’s a risk he hungers to take.

Sci-fi romance fans have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic about RIBUS 7, which as of this post has thirty-three 5-star reviews, which include:

  • An incredible escape into another reality.
  • The research that had to go into this book related to topography and aeronautics alone is astounding.
  • The characters were more complex than in a lot of sci-fi romances.
  • Once I started reading I was hooked and had to get to the next page!
  • It’s nice to read a sci-fi romance that has plenty of plot to go along with the sexy parts.
  • The militaristic society was well thought out and read true—for this alone it is a must read.

And my personal favorite: “It is hundreds of pages long and I did not see one error.”

The job was a pure delight, and I can’t wait to begin on the sequel!

I enjoyed working with Shae and her novel so much that I asked her to share some details about her journey from concept to publication. It’s a fascinating peek behind the curtain, and I can’t wait to share the details with you in my next post. In the meantime, I encourage you to pick up a copy of RIBUS 7 (available only for Kindle*) and prepare to immerse yourself in an imaginary world of deep and powerful characters who happen to be easy on the eyes and very sexy to boot!

Happy Writing,

Candace

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*No Kindle? No problem— a FREE Kindle reading app is available for most major smartphones, tables, and computers.

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If you enjoyed reading this, please subscribe to my blog and never miss a post! It’s easy: Just enter your email address on the right side of this page. And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help, and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here.

For more great writing and publishing information, check out Change It Up Editing and Writing Services on Facebook, where I share interesting articles and links about writing and publishing.

 

 

Hiring an English Major to Edit Your Book Is Cheating Yourself

I belong to a listserve of freelance editors, and I find the topics of conversation interesting and often thought-provoking. One recent  hiring an english major to edit your booktopic that elicited many comments was about pricing the work we do.

The initial post was by an established and well-respected editor who wrote, “I recently was asked about my rates by someone at a local company who was looking for writing and editing help. She balked at my quote . . . Her response: < … we can find English majors for $10 to $15 [per hour] and many of them are quite good. >”

I get it; no one wants to spend more than necessary for anything—goods or services. I mean, if I can buy a knock-off designer widget that looks just like the brand-name widget, isn’t that a better value than buying the real thing just for the brand name? If I can get my next-door neighbor’s artistic son to design my book cover, isn’t that a better value than hiring an expensive professional cover artist?

And if I can get an English major to edit my book for a few hundred dollars, isn’t that a better value than hiring a professional editor? Continue reading “Hiring an English Major to Edit Your Book Is Cheating Yourself”

Happy One Year Blogging Anniversary to Me!

I received official notification from WordPress that my blog is now a year old:

Wordpress

Thank you to friends, followers, and everyone in this wonderful writing community for your friendship and support. I love working with writers, and my goal for my blog posts is to provide useful content that will help you whether you write for publication or “just because.” In honor of this auspicious occasion, I’m listing links to some of my most popular articles and guest posts from the last 12 months, and I hope I’ve grouped these in a way that makes searching topics a bit easier for you. Feel free to add a comment on any of them—your comments are always welcome.

Self-Editing

Struggling with Revisions? Try Playing with Paper Dolls

Self-Editing Checklist for Fiction Writers Part I: Macro Issues Continue reading “Happy One Year Blogging Anniversary to Me!”

Everyone Needs an Editor

Would you be surprised to know that my guilty pleasure is reading other editing blogs? I have several favorites, but for a quick fix, I know I can always depend on Laura at Terribly Write for funny/sad/pathetic/amazing mistakes. Laura has an eagle eye for this stuff, and if you aren’t already a fan, I urge you to visit her blog and check out the pages filled with common mistakes. Today’s post is a doozy that I just have to share: Everyone needs an editor.

Proof that everyone needs an editor, even professionals. #editing #writing Click To Tweet

Happy Editing!

Candace

 

If you enjoyed reading this, please subscribe to my blog and never miss a post! It’s easy: Just enter your email address on the right side of this page. And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

And if you want more great writing and publishing information, check out my Facebook page at Change It Up Editing and Writing Services, where I share all kinds of interesting articles and links.

10 Reasons You Need an Editor for Indie Publishing

There are many reasons why you should invest in professional editing when you are self-publishing; here are ten of them:copyedit photo

When Michael Jordan was asked how he became the best basketball player in the world, his answer was “I had great coaches.” And in the same way, great writers have good editors behind them. A good editor can help make the difference between a book that should be used as fireplace kindling and one that rivals any traditionally published bestseller.

Editing is a specialized skill set; just because someone can find typos doesn’t mean he or she is a good editor. When you are considering independent publishing, it’s important to gather a professional team that helps you raise the bar on your work and create a final product that is something you can be proud of.

Great writers have good editors behind them. #editingtip #writers #selfpub Click To Tweet

Here are 10 reasons why you need an editor if you plan to self-publish:

1. You are new to the publishing business.
The publishing world is in a transition, and whether you hope to self-publish and catch the eye of a literary agent or publisher or you just want to maintain more control over your product and your income, you should partner with professionals who know the publishing world and can guide you through unfamiliar details, such as the legalities of using song lyrics or how many words are “standard” in your genre.

2. You have a great idea but don’t know how to organize it into a book.
Experts in psychology or medicine, food, local history, and other unique fields often use a professional editor to help them shape their ideas into a salable manuscript that will appeal to lay readers. Memoirists often struggle to move their work past the point of sounding like diary entries; a professional editor can help focus your writing to create a compelling memoir that readers will devour like a novel. Fiction writers can partner with an editor to flesh out details and elements such as plot, characterization, dialogue, and setting.

3. You’ve self-edited your work and are ready to move forward.
Your friends, your relatives, and your former English teacher will all give you wonderful support and advice, but they’re not going to approach your manuscript with the eye for detail that an editor brings to your work. A professional editor’s primary connection to the book is through the manuscript itself, not through you personally. A good editor represents the eye and ear of the reader and brings a viewpoint that is often more nuanced than that of your supportive friends and family. Each time you return to your manuscript, you see it a little differently. Self-editing multiple drafts is something every writer should do, but returning to a work with notes from a professional is a way to maximize your efforts.

4. You have poured your heart and soul into your work, and it is difficult to be objective about it.
Even after you’ve self-edited, there may be issues you haven’t addressed because you aren’t aware of them. Are there holes in your arguments? Are your introduction and conclusion as strong as they can be? Are your characters three dimensional or flat? Is your story slow to start, or does it move too quickly? You want your book to be strong, clean, professional, appealing, and affect your readers, and an editor can point out the strengths and weaknesses in your manuscript.

5. Your mind sees what it wants to see.
Your brain has a hard time realizing that “weak” is wrong when you meant “week,” or that you’ve received a “compliment,” not a “complement.” An editor will catch these details and find errors that go beyond spelling and word choices. Every writer has a personal pattern of error, such as using the same word too frequently or misusing semicolons, and those are errors you won’t even notice—but an editor will.

6. Grammar isn’t everyone’s strong suit . . . and even if you’re good at it, grammar isn’t the only thing that can trip you up.
If you unknowingly overuse pet words, or if your writing is wordy or repetitive, an editor will point out those errors. Spell-check and grammar-check software can actually make things worse instead of better. While these features are a good place to start, they are not nearly as accurate or as skillful as a good editor. And editing goes beyond grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. You want to be sure that no questions go unanswered, all necessary information is included, and, of course, that no libelous or inaccurate material is published.

7. You want to create a final product that is something you can really be proud of.
An editor can help you raise the bar on your work by giving you critical feedback that often will improve your work beyond what you might have been able to do on your own. This can lead to more positive reviews and help you gain credibility as a professional writer and expert in your field.

8. You’ll become a better writer through the learning opportunity of working with a professional editor.
Self-editing is an essential part of a writer’s craft. Working with an editor is a chance to hone and improve your own self-editing skills. Even when your friends point out mistakes, it’s not unusual to add additional errors when making corrections. An editor will point out inconsistencies, fallacies, prose that is too flowery, or areas of text that could be rewritten to improve flow, all of which help you become a better writer.

9. A professional editor will respect your style and voice while guiding you toward a final manuscript that’s even more “you.”
Authors are often worried that editing will destroy their unique voice; a professional editor not only respects your voice while improving the flow, syntax, and narrative of your work, but suggests ways to make small changes that will help you create an even more polished version of your work.

10. Your book and your professional reputation ride on the professionalism of your editing team.
An author who relies only on self-editing is like a physician who tries to operate on himself. And you wouldn’t dream of interviewing for a job without taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and making sure your socks match; how could you contemplate creating your legacy as a writing professional without hiring someone to edit your manuscript for errors, omissions, and weak writing? A professional editor has an objective viewpoint and will be honest with you about the many ways you can improve your manuscript—yes, even when you think it’s perfect, you’ll be surprised at the things an editor will find.

One of the best investments you can make in your career as a writer is to pay for at least one level of professional editing. Whether you choose to work with a developmental editor, a copy editor, a proofreader, or any combination of the three, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do this on your own. Skipping the step of working with a professional editor will compromise the quality of your work.

Originally published on Share Your Articles.

 

If you enjoyed reading this, please subscribe to my blog and never miss a post! It’s easy: Just enter your email address on the right side of this page. And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

And if you want more great writing and publishing information, check out my Facebook page at Change It Up Editing and Writing Services, where I share all kinds of interesting articles and links.

 

Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help, and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be.

Why Writing Well Matters, Even When Your Product Is Free

Writing WellI came across a blog post the other day that I want to share with you precisely because the author is not a novelist, but she is a consumer–the type of consumer who might one day download your e-book.

In this post, Jill P. Viers writes about the overabundance of typos in a free e-book she downloadeda nonfiction book filled with information she says “is valid and fairly useful”yet the book is loaded with errors.

“Why Writing Well Matters, Even When Your Product Is Free” is a post every author should read. Remember: Your book is your resumé; you never get a second chance to make a first impression; save yourself time, money, and anxiety by making sure your book is the best it can be before you publish.

Remember: Your book is your resumé; you never get a second chance to make a first impression. #amediting #editingtip… Click To Tweet

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I am reading an ebook that I picked up for free when I signed up for someone’s mailing list. The information in the free ebook is valid and fairly useful; however, the free ebook is full of typos and misuses of words. I’m not talking about one or two minor errors. I could get over that. We’re all human. I make mistakes, too.

Notice I keep pointing out that this was a free ebook? There’s a reason, and it’s not an attempt to keyword stuff this post. Some people would ask me, “Why are you complaining about the typos when you got the book for free?”

Here’s the answer: Because I’m still investing my time into reading this ebook. If the author didn’t care enough to proofread, yet this is the author’s “sales pitch” or “can’t miss giveaway” that’s supposed to make me want to hire the author in the future, it’s ultimately a fail for me.”

Read more here.

Happy Writing!

Candace

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my blog and you’ll never miss a post! It’s easy: Just enter your email address on the right side of this page. And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

And if you want more great writing and publishing information, check out my Facebook page, where I share all kinds of interesting articles and links.

Reminder: Your Chance to Win FREE EDITING

Who can't use FREE editing?
Who can’t use FREE editing?

In case you were busy testing chocolates earlier this week and missed the announcement, here’s a reminder about the drawing I’m holding tomorrow for FREE EDITINGContinue reading “Reminder: Your Chance to Win FREE EDITING”