About Gabriella West

Indie writer/editor and author of historical novel TIME OF GRACE and contemporary LGBT romance ELSIE STREET.

Time Marches Onward…

rosewater-raspberry-sponge-cakeThe birthday cake in the pic marks Edit for Indies‘ first five years in existence! I realized when I looked at my records just now that I did my first real freelance job under the Edit for Indies name in May 2012. I have also recently passed invoice #300, another milestone!

It is true that the self-publishing scene has changed a lot in the last five years. Some wonderful outfits have gone out of business (Self-Publishing Roundtable, for example), while small presses that once flourished have fallen by the wayside, most notably All Romance eBooks but also including Samhain.

To generalize, it seems as if most indie authors at this point are either doing quite well or are feeling discouraged about their prospects. There isn’t very much upward momentum except for people who carefully plan out their series and write to market in a small number of categories. There are also shady promoters out there…a recent lengthy thread on Kboards.com entitled “Box Set Scams” reinforces this point.

I want to thank the loyal clients who have stuck with me this far. Thanks for your trust in my work, and I look forward to working with some old AND new faces in 2017!

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Seasonal Check-in

EditorLoveGreetings! I tend to mostly post here in spring and fall, for some reason. This is my “fall” post and I have done some much-needed housekeeping on the site. Updates included minor tweaks to my rates (non-fiction editing is now one cent per word), though I have kept my rates stable, as I know this is a challenging time for my fellow independent authors. I’ve also added the option of a second proofreading pass for a flat fee of $200, when I’ve copyedited your manuscript, or another editor has worked on it.

I updated the Resources page. I had to remove a few dead links (sadly, Kate Genet is no longer doing blurbs), but I added Amy Martin’s manuscript critique service and the wonderful Self-Publishing Roundtable interview podcast, which I enjoy weekly. (Update: This podcast is sadly defunct…) The good news is that I have plenty of availability from now till the end of the year, so I encourage you to contact me for a quote. You can reach me at editforindies@gmail.com. Thanks!

PS. The results of my poll showed that Romance and Sci-fi are by far the top two genres that people who visit the site write. Mystery came third. I enjoy editing mysteries and would like to do more of it!

 

Happy Easter

Easter bunny visits FreudIt’s been a while since I posted here. I’ve been busy working on some great books, including Sarah Knipping’s Back to the Start, Christina Pilz’s Oliver and Jack: Out in the World), and Craig Robertson’s The Forever Life). These delightful novels run the gamut of genre from chick lit/women’s fiction to gay historical fiction to science fiction respectively. They are now all published on Amazon and “out in the world”!

I wanted to wish all my blog readers a Happy Easter. Enjoy the wonderful graphic, which I found on Twitter. While I’m fairly booked up with one particular client these days, feel free to drop me a line anytime.

Another Season, Another Share

poynter

Dan Poynter of ParaPublishing.

Hasn’t this year gone fast? We are definitely in late fall/early winter mode here in the Bay Area. And a long, rainy El Nino winter lies ahead for us.

Edit for Indies has been working on some interesting titles, most notably Croatian writer Goran Visic‘s fast-paced and sinister thriller Blood in Bellavar. This novel will hopefully find a wide audience.

I wanted to share a couple of items that may be of interest to independent authors. First of all, Mark Coker of Smashwords wrote a blog post about Dan Poynter‘s recent death. Poynter was a man who championed self-publishing (particularly nonfiction), back when it was considered odd and not very respectable, with his company ParaPublishing. I met him once, at a conference in the early ’90s, and he was kind in a brusque, no-nonsense sort of way to this young editorial assistant. He definitely had lots of know-how about print and marketing, and wanted to share it. Here’s Mark Coker’s post.

I also wanted to share the latest Fussy Librarian newsletter, which offers not only some hard-earned wisdom about why, and when, you should quit your job, but also contains info about the very intriguing Wishing Shelf Book Awards. I hadn’t heard of this UK-based book award, but it sounds hands-on and genuinely useful to indie writers.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Springtime Check-in with Cartoon

Hope everyone is enjoying spring! The San Francisco weather alternates between beautiful and summery and foggy and windy, so I’m getting a little of everything at the moment.

I came across a cartoon strip in the Fussy Librarian newsletter that cracked me up. Jefferson Smith is a renaissance man (not literally!) who cartoons, writes, and does software-related creative stuff. (Click here to view his strip archive: http://yourwordsworth.ca)

cartoonThe strip seemed to express beautifully what I’m sure a lot of my clients feel when I return their manuscripts with track changes… But since many folks have been appreciative of my catches, I don’t feel too bad.

I do still have some openings in May and beyond, so feel free to let me know if you need copyediting work and I’ll be happy to discuss rates and fit you in.

Cheers from Edit for Indies 🙂

Client spotlight: Christina Pilz’s ‘Fagin’s Boy’

Fagins-Boy-Web-3d-Book

A great read for a cold January night.

Back around November of last year, I was contacted by a writer called Christina Pilz, asking me if I was free to do a critique of her already published historical novel, Fagin’s Boy. The intriguing thing about her book was that it was a sequel to Oliver Twist with an M/M slant, where Oliver and the Artful Dodger meet again in London several years after Dickens’s novel ended and slowly become… quite intimate!

Since I love both the M/M genre and historical fiction in general, I gave Christina a quote and happily accepted the assignment. I let her know that I thought that the sexual relationship between the boys happened too suddenly in the later part of the book and that her audience would be eager to see more of the budding relationship sooner. Christina went off to do her revisions and then sent me the revised novel for proofing. The MS was over 170K, but I enjoyed Christina’s authentically Victorian writing style and the way she conveyed the harsh beauty of Dickensian London so much, I didn’t hesitate.

Flash forward to today, when the revised edition of the book is out with a new cover and, to my great surprise, Christina wrote glowingly about my editorial services on her site (http://www.christinaepilz.com/fagins-boy-revised-content/). It’s not often that clients take the time to acknowledge me in this way, and I’m extremely grateful.

Christina Pilz wrote:

“I’m somewhat loath to share her with the world as I want to keep her to myself. But I’m an indie writer who likes to pay it forward, so here you go. Her prices are reasonable, her turn-around time is excellent, and her attention to detail is top-notch.”

As I said to Ms. Pilz, there is plenty of me to go around! So please don’t hesitate to contact Edit for Indies for a quote for services such as proofreading, editing, or even a critique of your already published book…:)

Happy New Year

We’re almost at the point of seeing the old year out. I want to thank all my clients for a strong year in 2014! I feel lucky to have a varied and interesting bunch of writers who entrust their creative work to Edit for Indies.

In that spirit of gratitude, I finally went ahead and made that donation to Doctors Without Borders!:

Cheers! See you next year…

Ebola…Now a Global Crisis

Gabriella West

Nasty, isn't it? Nasty, isn’t it?

I’ve been following the course of the Ebola outbreak with increasing dread. The Ebola virus was discovered in 1976 but never spread outside remote African villages till the latest outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, where the disease is taking a devastating toll right now.

I found this recent interview with one of the scientists who first discovered Ebola back in the ’70s. It’s definitely worth a close read. Fascinating detail: they named the virus after a river near the remote village in Zaire where the first outbreak took place.

Clearly, despite reassuring statements by the CDC, we are not ready for Ebola here in the West, either. Just look at the shabby way the poor nurse’s aide, Teresa Ramos, has been treated in Spain…she had to practically beg for medical treatment and then found out she had Ebola though the media as she…

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Summer 2014 Wrap-up

TrackingaShadowThanks to everyone who participated in the writers’ poll! The results stayed fairly steady: Sci-Fi/Fantasy was number one and Romance came in at #2, followed by a tie between Literary Fiction and “Other.”

I realize that I didn’t set an option for nonfiction books, which probably make up a large chunk of the “other” responses. Due to several recent inquiries I received about working on nonfiction, self-help books particularly, I changed my rates to clarify that I charge .008 a word for these jobs. Nonfiction is very welcome—but it takes a bit more time and effort to edit, and I wanted to make sure my rates reflect that.

I hope everybody has been having a good summer! Several clients of mine released books this summer that I copyedited, including R Weir‘s first full-length mystery/thriller, “Tracking a Shadow” and Donna Flynn‘s action-packed sequel to “The Dragon’s Gem,” “Aurora’s Dragon.”

The fall should be quite busy (especially with the rollout of the new Kindle Unlimited program on Amazon), so I encourage you to contact me soon if you need editing work for fall or winter releases.