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…:)

From The Red Line: Top 7 Misused Expressions

Freelance copy editor Kate Hamill has a blog called The Red Line; her columns run on Freelancers Union, which is where I noticed them. One thing I like about her posts is that it is great to have an authoritative answer on grammar/word issues. Judging by the funny comments on her blog posts, many editors read her pieces.

Here’s the latest one, called “Top 7 Misused Expressions.”

https://www.freelancersunion.org/blog/2014/04/07/red-line-top-7-misused-expressions/

I’m sure I could think of a few to add, but I’m a bit depleted by Tax Day and I’m supposed to be editing, so I will hold off for now 🙂

By the way, I have yet to see anyone write “on accident.” (Shudder.)

It’s National Proofreading Day

March 8th is National Proofreading Day. I didn’t know about this—did you? It’s not on calendars (yet) and the Google doodle is still up for International Women’s Day—check it out if you haven’t, it’s a lovely, lighthearted piece. In fact, it was a new follower on my Twitter account @editforindies who alerted me to the special day.

Proofreading is an occupation that has almost disappeared from the newsroom (I should know; I’ve worked in three newsrooms!). By that I mean that wages are so low and hours so curtailed that you can’t really make a living proofreading anymore.

EditorLoveBut although I don’t work on hard copy with a red pen anymore, we live in the days of the cyber red pen, at least, and there is still a need for proofreaders, as this graphic charmingly illustrates…

I do love words, and occasionally a typo or blooper will just leap off the page. Here are a few that I wrote down over the last year or so:

Fast foot giant (almost looks right, doesn’t it?)

800 bakers walked down Wall Street (this was a tricky one, but in the very dry, technical context it was obvious that it should have been bankers!)

A lesson or two in manors… (um, manners, perhaps?)

Her umpire waist… (since this described a dress, I was stumped for a moment and then realized the author meant Empire!)

And one of my favorites: “I grabbed my books with a drool look” (I was glad to catch this one to prevent author embarrassment. Methinks the author meant droll.)

To be honest, this is the fun part of the editing/proofreading job for me. (Fussing about em dashes, serial commas, and grammatical consistency, not so much.) Proofreaders work hard and need to be obsessive, but this work can be very rewarding. So, a shout-out to my fellow proofreaders and the people who “get” what we do.

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

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.

2012 in review–Happy New Year!

I am touched that EditforIndies.com got quite a bit of traffic in 2012, especially as I only started blogging in February. Thanks to all the clients who made this year a success. I hope to work with some of you again in 2013. (And also to blog more!)

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Edit for Indies Gets Interviewed by LLBR

My good friend Shannon Yarbrough over at LL Book Review, a thriving site that reviews authors who publish through Lulu, CreateSpace, and the online platforms, recently posed some very comprehensive questions to Edit for Indies!

If you’d like to learn more about my work style—and what it would be like to have me work on your book, you can read it here.

A thought that came to me later after I’d finished the interview: I don’t do content editing/developmental editing, because it really isn’t my forte. I love polishing what’s already there, but get leery about making big, momentous decisions about an author’s work… where to cut, where to add a particular plot line, what that plot line should be. It just isn’t what I do best.

But for authors looking for a content editor, it can be hard to find them! I would suggest trying either the Bay Area Editors Forum or the Editorial Freelancers Association. I’ve been a member of both of those organizations in the past and know that they are full of skilled people with a lot of integrity. On both of their websites, I believe, you can do a search for particular skills you want your editor to have.

Me, I love copyediting and feel like I should stick with what I do best!

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my services.

I edit for indies

Hi, and welcome to Gabriella West’s editorial site! I offer careful, thorough editing services for independent authors. You can read more about my background on the About page, and check out my rates. Please feel free to contact me at EditforIndies@gmail.com.

Need a testimonial? Here is a recent author’s comment:

I just opened up the manuscript. Wow, what a brilliant editor you are—you make me look polished.  I am so pleased.  Just had to let you know.

… Again, thank you so much for your hard work and fast turnaround of the manuscript. I so appreciate it. You made me look like I know what I’m doing.

– Kelan O’Connell, author of the YA novel Delta Legend (2011).

Check out my new Testimonial page here…