1. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Active Member

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    Paying For Edits

    Discussion in 'Editing' started by Bakkerbaard, Jan 2, 2021.

    Alright, I can keep putting it off, but at some point somebody is gonna have to start editing and I've exhausted my skills.
    Now, I've been looking around and there's enough editing services available, but this raises a few questions I would like your help with.

    1. How do I sniff out a real editing business? I'm probably just being an idiot, but there's a part of me that fears possibly sending my draft to sneaky story-stealing goblins and giving them money to boot.
    2. I'll probably need a comma-killer as well as a pace-editor and someone who does whatever's between that. Does that mean three different editors?
    3. I'm Dutch, located in the Netherlands, writing in English (so I don't have to translate when I have to resort to just slinging it online for free). Is this something that has a significant effect on the process?
    4. Bonus question: What are the chances an editor is going to try and cram my story into a prefab genre box? Whether my notion that I've written something off-beat is true or not, some paid editor is probably expecting 'ugh, another wannabe writer'.

    Just in case I might be coming off as stereotypically Dutch: I'm not looking for, or expecting, free work to be done. I may be an idiot, but I'm not unreasonable. ;o)
     
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  2. More

    More Active Member

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  3. GraceLikePain

    GraceLikePain Senior Member

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    Uh, they have beta readers on fiverr. Can get kinda expensive, though.
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    You can get beta readers for free here once you have 90 days membership and 100 posts... however beta reading isn't editing.

    i'd suggest beta reads first, then it depends on how rough your writing is, and also whether you are going for a trad deal or self publishing.. if its trad submission and the manuscript is clean of errors and well written then you may not need extra editing since a trad publisher would provide that... however if its your first book you may want to pay for a structural edit and/or a proofread for spag to help get it into submittable shape.

    if you are self publishing you almost certainly need the full suite of editing from structural down to spag., since the responsibility for creating a reader ready manuscript lies soley with you
     
  5. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Active Member

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    While that is good to know, I have a strong feeling that for sitting through a first-timer's full length fantasy of being a writer, people should be paid at least enough to drink away the memory of it afterwards. ;o)

    But it's becoming ever clearer that I have a lot of work to o myself first.
     
  6. Reece

    Reece Senior Member

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    I agree with beta readers. You can always do a swap if you feel they need recompense. Goodreads has a beta readers group, and there's a beta reader subreddit as well. A lot of people are willing to swap. Not all beta readers do, but I do beta reading and can't stop myself from editing. It certainly won't be expected of you if you do decide to swap with someone. If it's a fantasy, send me a PM with a bit of a summary and I'll likely read it for you. I'm down to only 4 books I need to review on NetGalley, and I start to get itchy if I don't have things lined up to read. Fair warning, this can be a soul-crushing process if your book hasn't already been revamped umpteen times. Beta readers will give honest opinions, and honest opinions can often be harsh.
     
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  7. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Active Member

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    I'm not sure what it is, actually, but I'll keep it in mind. I'm currently going over the whole thing with Grammarly and it's still a ways off from a readable format. After that, I'll probably find several more excuses to not have it read yet, so don't wait up for me. ;o)
    However, I will send you that PM in a minute, just to see what you make of the summary.

    There's a saying which I don't know how to translate properly because I think it's a colluqi-- colocia-- typically Dutch thing. It boils down to: Soft healers leave stinking wounds.
    So yeah, harsh would be the way to go.
     
  8. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    There're different types of editing, and often one editor can do all of them. Payment is different. You'll have to discuss it with the individual editor.

    - Developmental edit (or story edit). This looks at pacing, structure, characterisation. Big picture stuff. Does the story work and what needs fleshing out?
    - Line or Copy edit. This looks at awkward sentences, linking of paragraphs. You're looking at word choice, flow, awkward constructions etc to smooth things out.
    - Proofreading. This looks at SPAG. That is spelling and grammar. Any typos, misuse of grammar (punctuation, tenses etc).

    A truly professional editor should help you develop and flesh out your voice and your vision. She shouldn't be trying to cram her vision of the book onto you. That wouldn't be a good editor.

    If you're self-publishing, you need an editor for sure.

    If you're going trad publishing, I've actually heard you should NOT get it edited. The logic goes like this: While a more polished MS can give you higher chances of success with agents, if you're not of the skill level to implement the changes and edits requested of you by your agent and/or editor down the road, they will be less than impressed and it wouldn't work out. You do need to have a certain baseline in your skill level, though it's hard for anyone to say what that baseline might be sometimes.

    Since you're a non-native speaker, I'd say for you, line editing and/or proofreading could be worthwhile, just to ensure your prose sounds "native". It depends on your level of proficiency. I have a Finnish friend (a former mod on here) who writes to such a high standard, I would certainly not encourage her to go for copy editing. And the SPAG errors she makes are so few and far between that the average beta reader, who usually reads for free, would be able to pick them out for her. But I'm not sure how common it is to write in a second language to such a high level. Basically, just because you're non-native does not automatically mean you'll need an editor or proofreader, but it may be likely you would need it. It would be easy to probe whether it is necessary based on beta feedback.

    My preferred course of action goes as follows:

    1. Edit it yourself, of course, till you don't think you would be able to see anything else by yourself that needs changing.

    2. Send it to a few trusted beta readers. I say trusted not because I think everyone's out to steal your work. I say trusted because I really see almost zero value in asking people who are worse writers than yourself to critique your work. The headache and heartache of sifting through bad advice just to get a few nuggets of truth just isn't worth it, and those nuggets are nothing a better writer couldn't have given you, and much more on top. While learning what not to do has its value, ultimately to improve, you must learn what to do - and you can only do that by learning from people who are better than you. If you know anything who's published and knowledgeable, approach them for beta-reading.

    3. Edit it again according to beta feedback. I have found the best feedback isn't what's in the comments per se, but in the passing comments people make, in the wistful thinking, the random thoughts when discussing your story. Writing culture advises never to discuss feedback with the critic. I disagree. Discuss it with them - just watch you don't get defensive. Some people are better at discussing their feedback than others.

    4. Query it. Send it out to agents. See if you get any hits. Because your work doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be good enough, at least on the line-by-line level. The story has to be WOW. But in terms of the execution - just look at people like Dan Brown, Stephanie Meyer, Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling). Honestly, spectacular writing has never been necessary to get published. You do have to be decent. I'm not saying you can be an atrocious writer and still get published. But I think us writers - or at least myself anyway - have a habit of focusing too much in the wordsmithing and the big picture stuff is left to too many emotional impulses rather than the theories and structure of story and what makes one work. Anyway, query it, see if it gets any requests. Anyway, what I mean is, if it's good enough, you don't really need an editor to go over it beforehand at all.

    5. If your queries aren't getting any hits and the problem is not in the query letter itself, but in your opening pages or maybe your entire book if there'd been full requests, now is the time to think about an editor. If you're getting full requests, then the book has potential and your writing is probably at least decent, probably quite good, yet the book isn't selling. You've edited it yourself and beta readers have given you feedback. You're at the point of knowing for certain this book has potential and you have the skills, but probably nobody unprofessional is gonna catch anything more. So to me, this is a good point to bring in an editor if you wish. Personally I'd consider it a learning experience - a tad expensive, but it would be useful if you had the cash to spare.

    I'm at somewhere between steps 4-5 right now. However, there is also something called AMM - Author Mentor Match - where published writers and literary agents offer to work on a completed manuscript with you for free. So, there's that as well. If you're interested in that, look it up because applications are opening in 2 days.
     
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  9. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Active Member

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    I always preferred to read in the original language, since a lot of jokes or wordplay don't translate well. So, when I still frequently read books (a habit I should really pick up again, I know), a lot of them were in English, so that helps. And I've got relatives in the UK, but I've opted to write my story in American.
    I forget my point, but I manage. Grammarly helps too, if it works.

    What's most likely to happen is I'll disagree with everything they say because "they don't understand the story!" and then send an apology a week later, just before I start edits based on their comments.

    I've saved up a few euros over time because at some point I would need to buy a midlife crisis car. I've got some wiggle room to smooth out my stuff before offering it to publishers. You said writing doesn't have to be spectacular, but it probably wouldn't hurt to give my first try a few legs up. Leg ups?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  10. TheEndOfMrsY

    TheEndOfMrsY Active Member

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    I'm considering hiring a proof reader.
    But! I'm going to look into it after I have feed back from beta readers as I don't want to pay for something then have to change parts anyway.

    But I only want one for SPaG issues, when I looked into it a bit, I think you can get someone that just highlights these things for you with out changing much.
     
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  11. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Active Member

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    @More left a very helpful link in the second post from the top.
    Haven't actually done anything with it yet because I found out I'm hardly as close to a "final" product as I thought I was, but it was at least informative.
    https://www.thecreativepenn.com/editors/
     
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  12. somemorningrain

    somemorningrain Member

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    I thought to try https://literaryconsultancy.co.uk/

    From what I can gauge, you submit your first 8,000 words then they will allocate you to an editor. So much depends on which editor you happen to get, so it might be better to trust this process rather than committing oneself to one at random (if not used before).

    https://www.writingforums.org/find-new/80101642/posts
    Now you can send your work (first 8,000 words, ‘Dear Agent’ letter, and one-page synopsis) via this submission portal. If you would like to include a note with some further information about yourself, for instance outlining any submissions or feedback so far, please simply upload as an additional document through the portal.

    Has anyone tried The Literary Consultancy before?
     
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  13. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Active Member

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    Thanks for the tip.

    I was gathering the links for later use and I came across my files with possible titles, which raised a question I don't think I need to open a new thread for.
    Is it common to send in a manuscript without a title, or no more than a working title?

    Turns out the title I was happy with is already a book, several songs, and a movie. Then the alternative title netted nothing but complaints, so I'm between titles right now.
     
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  14. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Staff Contributor

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    The editor won't care but... as for choosing the title, that depends on if you want to self-publish or go for trad.

    In self-publishing you get to choose your own title, which means it's a good idea to make it memorable and marketable, which kind of precludes stucking a title that's used by several different works. Disregarding questions of copyright, they've been out longer and consequently their links will come up prior to yours in a search. And if you go for trad, the publisher will have the final say on the title (I think).
     
  15. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    That really doesnt matter that much... nearly all self pub sales are through advertising or promotion and that involves following links straight to the product so hardly anyone is searching for a self published book by title anyway... certainly adam croft had no problem with his book "Rough Justice" despite their being both Stephen Leather and Colin Faulkner books of the same title out in the same genre (and innumerable others).
     
  16. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Staff Contributor

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    Do you maybe have read a double-blind study on this topic? I believe that yes, advertising/promotion is important, but word-of-mouth is too, especially for authors who're just starting out. If peope don't find your book using its title, they won't find it with less specific keywords. And I believe the place in google searches would play into amazon's algorithms as well, or that's what I assume. I'm not a pro, but I wouldn't like to disregard any advantage (or disadvantage).
     
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    nah word of mouth is dead... organic reach is negligible... the only effective way to sell is via promotion..... i don't have a double blind study, but i do have extensive conversations with people like dawson and croft who specialise both in selling and helping new authors sell
     
  18. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Staff Contributor

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    I think we should take this discussion into self-pub else we're derailing this thread ;).
     
  19. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Active Member

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    Oh good. I have a big fight to look forward to for my first published book.

    If we're talking psychology behind effective titles, I wouldn't go for this. It's sound like the bargain bin version of Raw Deal (which, admittedly, is deep in the bargain bin as well by now). That said, if I knew psychology I probably wouldn't be half-assing my way to getting published.

    To be fair, I kinda steered the train here myself. ;o)
     
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  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Given that stephen leather had a massive multi best selling hit with his "Rough Justice"... probably not so much ... there are also 9 books called Raw Deal which goes to what i was originally saying about duplicating titles not being an issue

    The psycology of titles is fairly straight forward - pick whatever you want so long as it fits with the genre in which your book sits... ie thrillers (with some exceptions) tend towards short titles with punchy language... cosy women's contemporary fiction not so much (although steamy romance also goes the short and punchy route)... so you wouldnt call your hard boilled thriller "Christmas at the Cosy Cafe" or your WCF "Bad Blood"

    the same goes for cover design, and blurbs... its more important to engender reader expectations by hitting genre norms than it is to be unique and different
     
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