Easter Specials!

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Enjoy These Red-Hot Deals!

I rarely post editing specials, but now is the time. I’ve finished writing a book and my funds are a little depleted. So I’m very motivated to work with new clients, especially those who are hesitating about the prices for editing but would like to get a really good, thorough copyedit! These deals will extend into the spring.

Got a Long Book?

For a while I’ve had a hot deal listed on my Rates page: I will edit manuscripts between 70-80K words for $499. Now I’d like to extend that to ALL manuscripts up to 100,000 words. (Sorry, nonfiction is not included because these books take extra time.) Just FYI, the regular price of a 100,000-word edit would be $700.

What’s in Your Budget?

I sometimes have clients ask me for a quote and when I give it to them I can tell that they just can’t stretch that far. It becomes complicated if I don’t know what their budget is. So I’m introducing a sliding-scale plan. I may not be able to take your job if I am busy, but please feel free to tell me what you can afford, and I’ll see if I can help out! Suggested start for the sliding-scale fee is $200 and up. This would be for editing only: I think my rates for proofreading are pretty competitive.

It’s easiest to reach me via the Contact form here. I look forward to hearing from you this spring!

Favorite Genres to Edit

My favorite genres are probably historical fiction and romance, mystery, paranormal romance, thrillers, and books set in England or by English authors. I’m comfortable with editing British English as well as American English. LGBT books very welcome; all heat levels welcome.

 

 

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When Style Guides Agree…

417CHnDxgWL._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_Everything changes. The Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style used to be two very different animals. AP was for newspapers and magazines, the world of hard type and lead slugs and timelines. Chicago was for books and the world of traditional publishing. AP didn’t take the Oxford (or serial) comma; Chicago did. AP had no use for the en- or em dash (closed or open). Chicago described it in loving detail.

In this digital world, there’s a new emphasis on keeping up to date. So now both style guides are available as online subscriptions. It’s actually a wonderful way to use AP, since it’s very easy to search for words quickly. I’ve used Chicago’s online service as well in the past. It was more expensive and quite a bit less easy to search for what I needed.

So I decided to buy the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, #17. It comes in hardback at a hefty price, but there is something about having this book at your side that makes you more confident as an editor. I was delighted to see that the typeface has changed inside. They actually bold paragraph headings, making it easier to find what you need!

But furthermore, and here’s the shocker: AP and Chicago now both agree on a very important thing. They lowercase the word internet. Since this was one of the things I always checked for and held the line on when I edited, it was a bit hard for me to swallow at first when they announced the change a few months ago.

Other items they agree on: “email” is a closed word now, no hyphen. That’s pretty sensible. “Website” is spelled like so, not separated as it used to be (“Web site”). And the nice thing is, the World Wide Web remains the same in both style guides. It will take me a while to get used to “the web,” though (ouch).

So I will be turning to Chapter 7.80 in Chicago every now and then, just to refresh my memory. But on the whole, I like this new edition of Chicago; it strikes me that the editors strove for clarity and readability this time, and even flexibility … meeting their old frenemy AP halfway! The book description on Amazon even mentions self-publishing.

In other news, I’ve lowered my proofreading rates to .003 per word, bringing me more in line with other editors who work for indie authors.

 

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!

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’

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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.