Last spring, I received an email from a writer who was looking for an editor for his novel. He’d read my blog post, How to (Almost) Instantly Improve Your Writing, and wrote,
I have to agree with what you said about how writers can’t afford to NOT use a professional editor. Which is why I’d like to know about your services, procedures and prices for editing a full-length novel. . . . My book, The Man of Nightstone, clocks in at over 110,000 words. I really want to make my novel the best that it can be . . . hopefully at a reasonable price.”
After a few email exchanges, we decided to have a telephone conversation. Like most first-time authors who seek professional editing, Devon had many questions about what an editor can and cannot do as well as what an author should and should not expect. Devon had many concerns because he’d previously hired an “editor” and had been burned by broken promises, poor results, and money out the window.
Understandably, he was not in a hurry to repeat that mistake with another editor, yet he realized that he still needed professional help—he just wasn’t sure what type of help. After discussing various options, we decided on a sample edit followed by a full manuscript evaluation.Writers can't afford to NOT use a professional editor. #IARTG #writetip #indieauthors #selfpub Click To Tweet
I loved Devon’s story, but as I pointed out in his written report, I felt the manuscript needed structural work before he spent more money on line editing. When an author is willing to do the heavy lifting, he or she can save a substantial amount of money by working with an editor instead of merely handing over a manuscript with the instructions to “fix it.” Devon took my advice and spent the next several months working through the manuscript to fix all the issues I’d brought to his attention, and when I read the manuscript again to do the line edit, all I could say was “Wow, what a difference!”
I completed the line editing. Devon worked through my changes, comments, and queries, and then he contacted me with questions (which I always encourage authors to do—editing should be a collaborative venture, and your editor should be your partner, not your parent 😉 ).
During the time we worked together, I sent Devon several articles I’d read about the benefits of blogging to grow your author platform; he seemed resistant to blogging but offered no explanation as to why.
Last weekend, I got my answer. Devon wrote to let me know that he’d mentioned me in the second vlog post he’d just recorded. Imagine my surprise (and thrill) when I watched this video (which is worth a six-minute investment of your time, but if you just can’t spare that, start at the three-minute mark):
Devon Drake is doing something every author should do: he is embracing the need to market his book in a way that works for him. Blogging isn’t his thing, so he’s figured out a way to connect with his fans using a visual platform and devoting his writing time to working on his next novel.
I encourage you to watch Devon’s first VlogRant, where he discusses Why I Hate Blogging.
And if you’d like to read a free sample of his work, check out Devon Drake’s page on the Independent Author Network, where you can download his free short story, “The Doctor Next Door.” If you’re a fan of urban fantasy and sorcery, you can read an excerpt of The Man of Nightstone here (and after your read that, you’re going to want to keep reading, trust me).
By the way, in case you didn’t watch the vlog post above, here’s a line from the email Devon sent to me when he published The Man of Nightstone that pretty much sums it up:
You’ve taught me a lot about writing and editing, Candace. Thank you.”
What more could an editor ask for?
Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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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.
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