A New Editing Year Starts…

And so does the Chinese New Year. Happy Year of the Horse! I found some beautiful and diverse horse images today on the CBC’s blog and thought I would share them. Looks like we are in for a dynamic and creative year, doesn’t it?

So, what has Edit for Indies been up to? I am currently editing two full-length vampire novels (both over 90K words!) by novelists Donna Flynn (Blood-Red Tear) and Melinda Killen (Tangled in Blood)—quite a change from the last few months, when clients have typically brought me shorter works. (I did just edit Aditi Chopra‘s latest short romance novel, House of Love, though.)

On that note, I will now be charging a flat rate, starting at $99 (my new minimum rate) and going up to $279, for books under 50,000 words (see the Rates page for more detail). I know that my rates are still on the affordable side, and I strive to keep them that way.

ExceptionI wanted to share a nice testimonial that Erika Trevathan, author of several new adult contemporary romances, sent me last year. (I never got a chance to put it on my Testimonials page.) The points Erika highlights are exactly the ways in which I hope my copyediting work helps clients and offers value. I hope and intend to continue doing good work in 2014 for both new clients and old friends.

Gabriella,

Thank you again for working me in on such a short notice. You did a fabulous job and I am so pleased with your work!! It’s amazing how many mistakes I missed when reading through the manuscript on my own. I will definitely be getting with you for my next book. Also, thank you for the suggestions you made in your email. They were very helpful and very much appreciated.

Thanks so much,

Erika T., April 2013

2013 in review

Thanks for checking out Edit for Indies in 2013. Happy New Year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

 (That’s actually more than double the blog views in 2012!)

With a new year comes new rates… Please check out my changing rate structure for shorter jobs, and feel free to contact me with any questions or to discuss a quote!

Giving thanks for author resources

Reblogged from my author site… and Happy Thanksgiving to my clients and readers.

Gabriella West

PenpaperIt’s that time of year, and I wanted to give thanks for the lists of author resources that are out there!

I wanted to mention a few of them that feature Edit for Indies. First and foremost, I was particularly impressed by a blog called “This College Dropout: Resources for Indie Writers.” There are 150 organizations on the list. They offer promotional services or cover design or editing or publishing assistance. You name it, it’s there. All I know is that it’s compiled by a guy called Charles Franklin, and he obviously spent a long time putting together this exhaustive list!

It would be remiss not to mention World Literary Cafe, which has a listing of editors in its Author Forums. I put my name and info up there when the list was quite small. It’s now rather large, and it’s a great place to browse…

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Happy Halloween!

undyingIt’s been a busy season for Edit for Indies. In the last month or so, I copyedited a paranormal title that has become a best-seller, Valerie Grosjean’s Undying. Subtitled “a tale of love…and zombies,” this crisply written, fast-paced YA book has plenty of gore, suspense, and heart, as freshman Christian races home from college to save his beloved Iris after the zombie apocalypse. Based on how the book ended, I’m sure this is the start of a very successful series for the Bay Area author.

It was my pleasure this year to work on a series of werewolf/shifter titles (Donna Flynn’s Pack series) and also to edit author Lillian Francken‘s set of books, which have action, suspense, and dark elements to them, and are set in the Wisconsin area. I’m always grateful for return clients who ask me to work on multiple books; it’s really a vote of confidence in me as an editor, and I appreciate it.

Other books I’ve worked on recently include Aditi Chopra’s Mystical Desi Girl, the third book in her current series about Mahi, a young Indian-American woman in San Jose who is balancing a career and the ups and downs of a traditional marriage, and a delightful children’s book by writer-actor Byron Marc Newsome called Take That, You Scaredy-Cat! on the subject of bullying…

dickinsteinFinally, I also edited Shannon Yarbrough’s Emily Dickinson/Frankenstein mashup Dickinstein, out now from Rocking Horse Publishing. The novel has one of the most striking covers I’ve seen, designed by the author himself—and it’s beautifully written.

As we go into the chilly season things always die down a bit, in my experience, and so I’m happy to offer a winter discount of $25 off to new clients that will run through January 2014. (This applies to full-length books, of course.) Just let me know when you contact me that you’re interested in the discount.

Book Descriptions Matter

As a writer, I have often gone back and revised my Amazon book descriptions. It’s not always easy to give an accurate sense of your own work. Sometimes it seems like boasting, or more often the description becomes too long and rambling or too short and terse.

A client recently asked me for help with his book description. He’s the author of the fine memoir Diary of a Bipolar, which has always had steady sales, but had a rather short and basic blurb. (The author is also a non-native English speaker.) Since I’d edited the book recently and had emotionally connected with the material, I was happy to assist. Here’s what I wrote for him:

In 2001, George Ison was a young, well-educated, middle-class entrepreneur with a lovely girlfriend and a great life. But then, out of the blue, bipolar disorder hit. In honest, intimate, sometimes agonized diary entries over the course of several years, Ison charts the beginnings of his illness, from choosing doctors and med regimens through times when his close relationships foundered and family pulled away, and he was close to suicide.

Immensely relatable, Diary of a Bipolar is a fascinating read told from a male perspective. It will educate both those with the disease and their loved ones, as well as readers who are curious about what having bipolar disease is like—day in, day out.

When I asked the author for feedback on whether the improved book description had improved sales, he confirmed happily that it had: “Sales are up around 15 percent since we improved the description.”

I am glad to be able to offer this as an additional service for clients whose books I work on. After all, when you edit or proofread a book, you become quite intimate with its subject matter and of course you want to see the book do well! You can find more info about book descriptions in the Rates section.