Monday, February 17, 2014

Editors - Good vs Evil

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! I realize you were all probably looking forward to meeting Ms. Allison Pensy today, but I made a last minute decision to push everyone back to the dates they were originally given for their interviews. Ms. Pensy will be here in 2 weeks. I'm super duper busy this week and want to give Allison's interview the attention all my other guests' have gotten. So, today I'm going to talk about editors instead. Grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Over at IBGW, we do a lot for our authors. Not only do we take a book and help it be all that it can be; we also throw a team of editors at it while we're working it and into the promotional stuff once the book goes live. Our authors become like our family members. When the books we work on go live, we watch them like hawks. One thing can be said about every IBGW book: There are no technical flaws in the writing (unless the author rejects some of the changes that are suggested). While people may not love the story between the covers, they can't complain about the grammar.

Our mission: To have the IBGW mark/name represent quality. We want to make it known that if you pick up a book, flip to the copyright page, and see our name there, you can buy the book with confidence.

When you're looking for an editor for your novel, be sure you're in sync with your editor and that they have a proven track record of turning out quality work. How can you be sure? Here are a few tips:
  • Be sure you know which style guide your editor uses and you agree with the rules between the pages (your edit will turn into a headache if you don't). Also, be sure your editor has a style guide they reference and has it listed on their about me page. Anyone who doesn't follow a style guide is going to have trouble giving your book the proper consistency.
  • Ask your editor what books they've edited in the past. Check those books out on Amazon and Goodreads. See what reviewers are saying.
  • Make sure your editor isn't the proofreader on your work. Once you've been through two rounds of edits (or three) your editor is as close to the work as you are and begins to miss things.
  • Is your editor an author? Read their work. Read the reviews on their work. Yeah, it matters.
  • Perhaps most importantly, be sure your editor has a contract and they let you read over it and ask questions before you're expected to sign.
I give you these tips because I'm a reader and Indie author as well as an editor. I can't even begin to say how angry I get when I know a fellow author paid someone a lot of money to have an edit done, and I still find a book full of errors. No, no, no! One or two are common (even in traditionally published books). Those I can ignore.

A good editor will be available to answer your questions about the changes after the work is done. They'll be able to explain any changes made to your novel and why those were done.

Please, for the love of all that's good, vet your editor like you would your child's date. Don't hand over your money willy-nilly.

A good editor won't be cheap. Understand that and be okay with it. Remember the old adage: You get what you pay for. It's as true today as it was when it was coined.

Oh, and don't hire more than one editor to work on your book at once. It shows a lack of confidence in your choice. While you may think it's a good idea, if the person finds out, they may refuse to work with you in the future. Too many chefs in the kitchen makes for an unstable soup.

I hope this post saves someone from a headache.

Tomorrow, we're gonna talk about contracts and what you should be looking for.

Questions? Comment? Epitaphs? Post them below!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

4 comments:

  1. Very good advice. When I first started looking, I didn't have a grasp of a the different types of editors. Developmental, copy editing, and proofreading were new to me. I didn't understand that a developmental editor might not be a copy editor. I thought if an editor did one, they did all. Tough lesson to learn when on a budget.

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    1. I wrote a post just for you today, L. K. I hope it helps you and others. That IS a tough lesson to learn on a budget. :( So sorry I didn't have a post on that for you already. Thanks for the comment, hon!

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  2. Good advice. When it's your first foray into publishing, you may not know what to expect from your editor. I worked with an editor a while back who was super nice and sweet but it didn't translate into creating good clean copy.

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    1. Thanks, Heather! I try to give good advice. Sometimes I feel like I'm screaming into a void, you know? I wish every Indie would read these posts and be hyper-aware when dealing with their hard earned money. Thanks for the comment!

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