1. Timben
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    Timben Member

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    Which is it, free or pay?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Timben, Jul 9, 2015.

    I have a new question, its concerning Editing. I have spent hours and hours looking for someone to edit my story. And of all those editors that claim to be editors, they all require some type of payment. Yes I am aware that their more to editing than just finding mistakes and correcting them. But I was told by off-line people, you do not need to pay for editing, then their are some that says you do have to pay for editing. I am confused. I have two nearly completed stories that I want to have published but they are not edited as I am on a fixed-income and can not accord outrageous prices just to get a book printed or whatever they do in the publishing world. One is completed its a Western and the second one that is nearly completed is a Western as well.
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Professional editors will typically require compensation as it is their job and how they make a livelihood.
    They generally have credentials and experience which makes it reasonable for them to charge.

    If you want free editing, you can find other writers, and at times successful authors, who are willing to edit for you and help.
    Their help can range from useless to professional quality.
    Typically, they ask the same of you or are doing it for practice/boredom.
     
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  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    If you have a publisher, the publisher will pay the editor. But as a rule you don't get editing for free. Your offline friends are very wrong about that.
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Jack is correct. If your book is accepted by a publisher they generally offer editing and cover art services as part of the deal.

    If you self publish, paying a good editor is probably worth the investment.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The only way to get free editing is to do it yourself.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As the others have said. Editors get paid. It's a job. If you find a publisher, they are the ones who pay the editors, either freelance editors or editors they have on staff. If you self-publish it comes out of your pocket, because in essence, you are the publisher.

    If you are on a fixed income and have no way to save up to pay for an experienced editor, then you will need to edit the stories on your own to the best of your ability and then submit them to markets and, if accepted, they'll get professionally edited and you'll get paid.

    Good luck whichever way you decide to move forward.
     
  7. Timben
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    Timben Member

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    Much oblige for answering my question.
     
  8. Timben
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    Timben Member

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    I know, its more like, if you don't have any money, then what in the devil are you writing a book for. I know that it takes money to write a book. I might not be the most educated guy in the world, but I do have common sense. Its all based on two things - money and knowing somebody in the publishing business. Its that simple.
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, no, not really. It's mostly based on being able to write something that someone in the publishing business thinks will sell.

    And I can't see why it would take money to write a book - I mean, time is a luxury, I guess, and you need access to a computer, but other than that, writing is free, and publishing is free as long as you go through a publisher. Self-publishing can be free, if you're either seriously multi-talented or not too worried about quality.
     
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  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't take money to write a book, or to get it published. But it does require skill and time.

    I suspect that "you shouldn't pay for editing" was a misunderstanding based on the facts (or opinions) that:

    - You should be doing your own editing, to get your manuscript good enough to submit. So that's free.
    - Once a publisher buys your book, the publisher will do more editing. That's also free to you, though not to them.

    So it's not that the editors work for free. It's that if the author is paying money for editing, something is nonstandard.
     
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  11. Timben
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    Timben Member

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    I disagree, and I am not trying to start any type of debate here. But for new writers ( I said writers, not authors), at least it is for me, find it most confusing. Because no publishing house want any new writers, they already knows what sells and what the public wants or expects from their already well-established author. Nobody wants to read a book that they have never heard of let alone, buy a book a person has never heard of. Its a catch -22 in some aspects. How many times have you seen books sent to GoodWill or some bookstore that has books to sell that you have never heard of, and those are the books that get left behind on the bookshelf.
     
  12. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    @Timben
    Depending on the publisher, many do seek to find new writers and have one or two spots dedicated to an emerging writer.
    Established writers get the 90% left over.
    I think there are statistics online that show that most publishers do accept new writers but the number is super low.
    It could be in part they reject due to lack of craft, improper formatting, or it's simply not what they publish and the number inflates.
    But basically, less than 10% of new authors get accepted in publication houses.

    If they think they can sell your work, it won't matter to them whether you're new.

    And, just to say, most people do read books they never heard of or have found through internet searches on subjects and styles they like.
    They don't care if it's Stephen King or David Lynch so long as the premise interests them.
    A reader reads, they don't follow.
     
  13. Timben
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    Timben Member

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    I must confess what you said, is something to look into. But I must ask, how do you search that on-line. I mean if I am wanting free editing. Anyone you know of that might be interested in doing that?
     
  14. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Usually you meet people, here on WF, or other forums who are willing to swap beta reads.
    There's also sections in most forums dedicated to such a thing.
     
  15. Timben
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    Timben Member

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    I reckon so. I'm still confused but then again, I'm ignorant not that bright. So there you go. I am taking your answers and everything each and everyone you guys say, serious and I know you guys are advising. Oh and by the way, I guess I am one of those people whose writing well, pretty much stinks I guess, because I like Westerns, but I also know that is a dead genre. But as opinions go, that is what I like. Anyways I don't know how to format, because I do not have Microsoft Word. Once I tried to install it, even the free trials of today, they do not work well for me. I screw them up somehow. Don't know how I do it, but I do. I use Open Office. Anyway.
     
  16. Timben
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    Timben Member

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    Much oblige for answering my question in this forum.
     
  17. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I use Open Office too, the software almost never matters so long as you know how to format to manuscript style ( http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html )

    And that's what the forum is here for, to help and advise.

    Also, western may not be a popular genre but that doesn't make the writing stink.
     
  18. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure I agree that books that get sent to Goodwill are more likely to be written by new authors, but if that is true, it still shows that those books exist. If publishers hadn't bought the books and printed them, there wouldn't be copies on the bookshelves to be left behind.

    I'm not saying the process isn't confusing, or difficult. But it honestly isn't impossible.
     
  19. Timben
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    Please do not confuse me as saying that I am arguing, I am just having a real hard time understand the process of editing and the whole process of writing. As for the Western genre stinking, I was referring to my own, not that people who writes the genre stinks. Let's clear that up.
     
  20. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Even if you were arguing, it would be okay!

    But if you're confused about editing and writing and publishing, it's probably best to not jump to horrible conclusions, you know? You can say, "I'm confused: I don't really understand this system yet," or you can say "I'm confused: the only way to get published is to have money and know people." The first one is accurate, and not a big deal - the second one is inaccurate, and could discourage you and discourage other people!
     
  21. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Timben
    I've sold a dozen short stories and many of them a second time and even a third as reprints. I didn't know any of the editors at the magazines/ezines/anthologies. I just researched what the magazines were looking for (what their readers read), examined their guidelines, followed them and submitted the stories. Did I make a ton of cash? No. I've earned $25 dollars, or a penny or 1/2 cent per word, or $0.25 per copy sold. Sure, they got rejected too. Plenty of times. That's part of the business.

    My publisher for my novels? The publisher (owner/editors) had no clue who I was when I submitted Flank Hawk to them. I didn't know who they were, except through research online. I've not made tons of money. Royalty checks sometimes only enough to take the family out to dinner, or were enough to make a truck payment, and sometimes better. I didn't have to shell out money. I earned through royalties and my publisher earned back their investment and more through sales. Sometimes my publisher will invest in promotions for my novels, or send out print copies to be reviewed, things like that. It's an investment, with the intention of earning it back through sales.

    That's the point others have made. If a publisher thinks a novel will sell, they'll offer you a contract. If a magazine thinks it will interest their readers, they'll offer you a contract.

    If you decide to self-publish, the editing and the cover art and the formatting/layout and more are on your shoulders, as you're the publisher--but for every copy of your work that sells, you earn all of the profits (since you're the publisher and the author).

    Yes, westerns are not overly popular now and the genre isn't selling that great, but I was presenting at a local library a couple months ago, and a librarian said she was very interested in obtaining more westerns as the readers are always asking for them to get more. Another option is to sell the western as another genre. If it's got romance in it, focus on that aspect when pitching the novel (or story). Maybe it could be historical fiction, depending on how it's written and its content.

    In any case, no matter how hard you work, there is no guarantee of success (however you might measure it). You may never sell a novel or a story. You may sell one and it flops, and never sell again. Or you might find a publisher and it takes off, and you (and the publisher) do very well. If you self-publish, it might catch fire, or sell slow but steady. Or it may languish and sell less than a dozen copies over its lifetime.

    If there was a magic formula for success as an author, I think it would've gotten out by now. There are elements, however. Actually completing a solid, compelling story, persistence in trying to find a publisher, a willingness to learn and study and improve, and not give up. It may take two, three or twelve novels (or stories) to break through.

    I think there is a little luck mixed in there too. Maybe the publisher just signed a contract with an author whose novel (or short story) is quite similar to yours two weeks before you submitted your novel. Bad luck. Or maybe it' happens the other way around.

    The only certainty is that if you don't write/complete the best novel (or story) you're capable and send it out to find a home (publisher) there is absolutely zero chance of success.
     
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  22. Timben
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    I had no intention of starting an argument, despite how everyone on this site may think. I go on-line and search for editing, and then I read how expensive they are, and then I get told, that you should have never pay for editing and so on. So I believe what they say. Then I get told by different people from different sites that you have to pay for editing, so I don't know who to believe. That was the whole purpose of this post to figure who was right and who was wrong. But no, I started a Writers War over statements that I make. Perhaps *sighs* I don't need to be a writer, and perhaps all I need to do is to learn to shut the H***up and stop posting questions. Its clear that no matter what question I post or idea I post, I start an argument when I don't even mean to. I am sorry that it looks like it. Despite what everybody thinks. That was never my intention.
     
  23. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dude, if you think anyone's at war with you, you should stick around a little longer and see some real arguments.

    I'm happy to spend some time explaining stuff to you, if you want, but not if you're just going to think I'm attacking your ideas, or whatever it is that's making you so mope-y about all this. If you want to learn, relax, and things can be explained. If you want to just stay confused, though, there's no point in any of us trying to change that.
     
  24. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I don't see any argument in this thread. I see two commercially published writers explaining how the system works. Apparently, that is conflicting with some things you have been told. That's normal - there are a number of preconceptions extant about the publishing industry that are either not true or only partly true. One is that publishers are not looking for new writers. While it's true that publishers do not nurture young writers through a few poorly selling books so that they can cash in when the writer hits his/her stride, they do still take on new writers' works...if they are convinced the book will sell. That's the variable.

    The competition for new writers getting the attention of the industry these days is fierce. When I met Rachel Simon, who wrote The Story of Beautiful Girl and Riding the Bus With My Sister, and told her I was finishing a novel that I hoped to have published, she said, "Make sure it's perfect before you start querying. Not 'very good'. Perfect." Then she recommended an editor that she herself used.

    There are all kinds of editors out there, and different levels of service they provide. I recently met one (who is also a published novelist - editing is a sideline that some writers get into so as to supplement the income from their writing) who charges $1,000 to read your manuscript and give you a five page evaluation of it. The one I used charged more - but she did more. She gave me an oral evaluation that addressed the structure, theme, characters and story line, discussed how it might best be positioned to be sold and then made numerous comments throughout the ms related to the issues we had discussed. In addition, I revamped the first two chapters and then we discussed how "on target" my changes were. I didn't take all of her suggestions, but I took most of them and I found all of them useful.

    As @A.M.P. said, you can arrange for beta-reads with other members of the forum. You can post a thread asking for anyone who is interested. A beta-reader is not a substitute for an editor, but some folks on WF come close. If you read through the various threads here, you will get a sense of who the most capable people are.

    Good luck.
     
  25. Timben
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    You see, that is exactly what I was talking about. How in the world, am I suppose to send my story to a publishing house (traditional or self-publish) if they aren't interested in wanting new writers. You see what I am saying, its not right. I mean, yes I am a wannabe writer and have no prior skills or experience in writing, but doesn't mean that, I shouldn't be allowed a chance at it. No I am not saying that my writing is the greatest in the world, far from it. Its probably the worst in the world. But that's not my point. I do not care one thing about werewolves, witches or vampires which is basically, all new writers wants to write about. This is only my opinion. You can't get a publisher without an agent, but you can't get an agent without some kind of writing experience in order to get you where you want. That is what I'm talking about. Writing a story or whatever is too complicated. I'm a nobody, always have been, but I was always told that if a publisher likes the story you send them, then you've made it, if not then you an't getting nothing. Am I Wrong?
     

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