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After I think my novel is completely finish and rewritten to hell I still know I need an editor or someone with a ready grasp of the English language to read the entire thing I make it bleed from the errors. I'm a horrible spelling, my grammar or horrible, I may use an incorrect word here and there, I think finding someone to help my polish my novel that EXTRA bit before I submit it would be great. So, how would I go about doing this?

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After I think my novel is completely finish and rewritten to hell I still know I need an editor or someone with a ready grasp of the English language to read the entire thing I make it bleed from the errors. I'm a horrible spelling, my grammar or horrible, I may use an incorrect word here and there, I think finding someone to help my polish my novel that EXTRA bit before I submit it would be great. So, how would I go about doing this?

I'd start with the internet. Google book editors for hire and get a ton of stuff. Or, if you prefer the human touch, Marguerite is a professional book editor. PM her. She knows stuff.

- Thoth

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I'd start with the internet. Google book editors for hire and get a ton of stuff. Or, if you prefer the human touch, Marguerite is a professional book editor. PM her. She knows stuff.

- Thoth

I sent you both a PM, since I don't know if Steve has views about our recommending particular people on the forums.

Best,

M

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I sent you both a PM, since I don't know if Steve has views about our recommending particular people on the forums.

Best,

M

You see? Isn't she just the best?

 

But this does beg a question:

Steve, just what are the rules of the Forum with regards to posting?

 

Curious,

- Thoth.

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You see? Isn't she just the best?

 

But this does beg a question:

Steve, just what are the rules of the Forum with regards to posting?

 

Curious,

- Thoth.

 

Wouldn't he only care if someone was posting a link to a Storyist competitor?

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Wouldn't he only care if someone was posting a link to a Storyist competitor?

Actually, we've discussed Storyist competitors (and their inferiority) at length in other threads. And Steve Himself has posted links to reviews that compare Storyist to other similar (but inferior) products.

 

I suspect Steve's concerns run broader and deeper than aiding and abetting the competition. (I myself have cowered under the flaming lash of His disapproval of some of my own posts. So I know of what I speak.) Ad posts (for Viagra, for example) and obvious cons (the Nigerian Prince scam, for example) would probably be deleted. So clearly, people are not allowed to prey upon our gentle souls. But does a link to a competitor's Web site in the context of a review constitute advertisement? I don't know. Steve's call.

 

Still seeking guidance.

- Thoth.

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As an acquisitions editor for Cengage Learning, we have a whole "stable" of copy editors that we work with, some of which do fiction as well (I sent my novel to one of them, whom I work with most, and is an awesome lady, too :lol: ). I don't intend to take potential business away from Marguerite but if you'd like to interview one or more people before settling on someone, I can give you some addresses.

 

(and Marguerite, if you do non-fiction digital media books let me know offlist [orren dot merton at cengage dot com] and I can give your information to our manager of production services to put you on our roster)

 

 

Ad posts (for Viagra, for example) and obvious cons (the Nigerian Prince scam, for example) would probably be deleted.

That's too bad because I have a cousin who is the prince of Nigeria with a really big money order that he'd like you to cash for him so he can buy some viagra but I guess I'll save that for another forum.

 

Orren

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As an acquisitions editor for Cengage Learning, we have a whole "stable" of copy editors that we work with, some of which do fiction as well (I sent my novel to one of them, whom I work with most, and is an awesome lady, too :lol: ). I don't intend to take potential business away from Marguerite but if you'd like to interview one or more people before settling on someone, I can give you some addresses.

 

(and Marguerite, if you do non-fiction digital media books let me know offlist [orren dot merton at cengage dot com] and I can give your information to our manager of production services to put you on our roster)

 

 

 

That's too bad because I have a cousin who is the prince of Nigeria with a really big money order that he'd like you to cash for him so he can buy some viagra but I guess I'll save that for another forum.

 

Orren

 

Maybe but who Marguerite suggested quoted just way to much for someone not writing for a living. I was thinking maybe I could find a college student to do it pro bono.

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Maybe but who Marguerite suggested quoted just way to much for someone not writing for a living. I was thinking maybe I could find a college student to do it pro bono.

 

Quality costs.

 

You might consider looking at Craig's List.

 

But just what do you consider the maximum, but not to much, rate? Perhaps Orren can give you an idea of the rate range for professionals and non-professionals.

 

Curious

- Thoth

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Quality costs.

 

You might consider looking at Craig's List.

 

But just what do you consider the maximum, but not to much, rate? Perhaps Orren can give you an idea of the rate range for professionals and non-professionals.

 

Curious

- Thoth

The woman I recommended charges $9-10/page in double-spaced Courier 12 (estimating 250 words per page)—at least, that was her rate last time I checked. For TAS, or anyone recommended by a previous client, her rate for the first project is closer to $7/page. It is a lot for 400+ pages (and in fact I didn't pay that, because I hired her to work only on the first two chapters). But she has years of experience with fiction writers, so she offers something a college student can't duplicate: help with story structure, characterization, plot holes, etc. She later read through the whole book for about $300, but that is not what TAS needs. He wants someone to correct errors, and that takes a lot of work.

 

From what I've seen, the $9-10/page is common for fiction editors, but if Orren has a different experience, I hope he will chime in. We poor drones in academic publishing earn a mere $3/page. If I had more free time, I could offer to help TAS myself, but I could only fix the mechanical stuff. I haven't published my own fiction, so my advice on what makes a novel tick is suspect at best.

 

Orren, thanks for the suggestion. At the moment I have more work than I can handle, but if things slow down dramatically, I will definitely send you my resume! I appreciate the offer.

Best,

M

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Quality costs.

 

You might consider looking at Craig's List.

 

But just what do you consider the maximum, but not to much, rate? Perhaps Orren can give you an idea of the rate range for professionals and non-professionals.

 

Curious

- Thoth

 

I could see myself paying $500 total in all honesty. :lol: With two kids, me being outta work for 8 months and more, I just can't afford much more. :) And I know this service would be beneficial to me, don't get me wrong. I can understand paying for a significant investment in a career in writing. Maybe if I saw this book paving my way to fame and fortune (Or at least the ability to write full time) but, you never know that really.

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The woman I recommended charges $9-10/page in double-spaced Courier 12 (estimating 250 words per page)—at least, that was her rate last time I checked. For TAS, or anyone recommended by a previous client, her rate for the first project is closer to $7/page. It is a lot for 400+ pages (and in fact I didn't pay that, because I hired her to work only on the first two chapters). But she has years of experience with fiction writers, so she offers something a college student can't duplicate: help with story structure, characterization, plot holes, etc. She later read through the whole book for about $300, but that is not what TAS needs. He wants someone to correct errors, and that takes a lot of work.

 

From what I've seen, the $9-10/page is common for fiction editors, but if Orren has a different experience, I hope he will chime in. We poor drones in academic publishing earn a mere $3/page. If I had more free time, I could offer to help TAS myself, but I could only fix the mechanical stuff. I haven't published my own fiction, so my advice on what makes a novel tick is suspect at best.

 

Orren, thanks for the suggestion. At the moment I have more work than I can handle, but if things slow down dramatically, I will definitely send you my resume! I appreciate the offer.

Best,

M

 

And I wasn't bitching about the amount, I recognize what she brings to the table besides plain editing. Just saying the amount is impossible for me, not that it's somehow a rip off or something.

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if Orren has a different experience, I hope he will chime in. We poor drones in academic publishing earn a mere $3/page.

 

Actually, my experience is identical. As I said, Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson Learning) is at heart a textbook publisher, so our freelance editors come from the academic field, and we pay exactly that. I'm sure the rates are pretty standard. The editor I was thinking of charged me that also, I don't know if that's just an across the board rate or because she knows me.

 

Orren, thanks for the suggestion. At the moment I have more work than I can handle, but if things slow down dramatically, I will definitely send you my resume! I appreciate the offer.

 

Welcome!

 

I could see myself paying $500 total in all honesty. With two kids, me being outta work for 8 months and more, I just can't afford much more. And I know this service would be beneficial to me, don't get me wrong. I can understand paying for a significant investment in a career in writing. Maybe if I saw this book paving my way to fame and fortune (Or at least the ability to write full time) but, you never know that really.

 

I hear you. And sorry about the out of work thing! This is a really crappy time to be out of work. Even those of us with jobs are jumpier now than usual. How's this for a take-your-breath-away moment: the vice president of our division sent all of us a book we publish: The Job Survival Instruction Book, one of those mini-books with pithy quotes. We wondered if this was a tip that our division was in jeopardy...no, he just really liked the book, and wanted to share it with us. But jeez, an accompanying note explaining that would have been nice....

 

OTOH, I'd try to find an editor who is trying to break into the biz, and willing to read your novel for cheap. You might want to quote $400 or $500 up front for the project, so that potential editors know exactly what they're up to.

 

Orren

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And I wasn't bitching about the amount, I recognize what she brings to the table besides plain editing. Just saying the amount is impossible for me, not that it's somehow a rip off or something.

Yes, I understood that. No offense taken. Maybe the thing would be to build up a war chest and hire one of Orren's editors who has some fiction experience for $3/page when life begins to look rosier.

 

A student or break-in editor might do the job for $500, too. The question is whether your $500 would be well spent. In my (limited) experience—as in when the editor I recommended sent my book to her trainees (with my prior approval) as a teaching exercise—the results were problematic. Unless you really want all your characters to speak perfect English in the style that your Victorian great-aunt learned at her finishing school (get my drift?).... If you end up paying someone else to do the job right, then you lose money instead of saving it.

 

In short, a start-up editor could be a fabulous, undiscovered diamond—or someone who knows the rules but not when to break them. In that sense, nonfiction editing is much simpler.

Best,

M

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Hmm maybe do it a chapter at a time so the expense is spread out. For instance at $7 per page my first chapter would be $126. Course that means a finished product would be a ways away. Also wouldn't it be harder for an editor to comment on the story overall this way, if they forget the first few chapters when they are FINALLY at the last chapter in the book.

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Is it normal for authors to front the money for an editor?

 

There are a number of answers to that question, depending on how you are asking it:

 

Do the majority of authors who are sending manuscripts to publishers have their manuscripts professionally edited first?

No. This is more than likely one of the factors why most are rejected by agents and publishers.

 

Do the majority of authors who have manuscripts accepted by publishers pay to have their manuscripts professionally edited?

Yes. I say this both as an AE for a publisher, and from what I've read other AEs, agents, publishers, and authors write. They wanted to be submitting a truly professional work, and it paid off.

 

Do the majority of authors who self-publish pay for an editor to professionally edit their book?

No. This is one of the contributing factors as to why most self-published works are considered sub-par and not reviewed by popular newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc.

 

Have those authors whose self-published works were reviewed by professional sources and sell 4000+ copies paid for their books to be professionally edited?

Yes. Everyone I've read online who had a self-published work that generated significant sales (usually resulting in a large publishing house picking them up) has talked about getting professional editors to edit their book before they started selling it. They wanted their book to be truly "professional quality" in every way, and their investment paid off.

 

In other words: it is "normal" that authors who achieve a certainly level of success, either in finding representation, a publisher, or self-publishing, front the money for an editor. However, when looking at the vast numbers of authors writing either works to release for free out of personal enjoyment, or who submit material but aren't successful in ever getting published, the majority of authors do not pay for editors.

 

If someone writes for fun, fan fiction, for friends, or for free blogs/zines because it fulfills them, no need for the expense. But if someone wants to play in the "big leagues" with the pros, the text (and cover art, for that matter, if self-publishing) needs to be as polished as theirs.

 

Orren

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There are a number of answers to that question, depending on how you are asking it:

 

Thanks!

 

IF

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I sent you both a PM, since I don't know if Steve has views about our recommending particular people on the forums.

Best,

M

 

Hi M,

 

I must have missed this the first time around. Apologies.

 

If you've got recommendations, please feel free to post them. On-topic links are welcome too.

 

-Steve

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You know, most places that allow unsolicited submissions (TOR for example) want the first 3 chapters. I have a few questions about this.

 

Could I just pay to have the first three chapters edited?

 

Do they have to be the first three? I think my novel is slower going at first then picks up speed after a few chapters.

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They have to be the first three. Otherwise the publisher figures out that the beginning is slower. :lol:

 

I don't pretend to understand how publishers (agents, editors) think. My sense, though, is that you'd be better off making sure your beginning moves as snappily as it can before sending anything out.

 

As to paying just for the first three chapters, that's up to you. If the beginning sings enough for someone to ask for the whole ms., but when they get it, it doesn't live up to the beginning, what have you gained? They'll just reject it later. But if you can apply what the editor did to the first three chapters to the rest of the ms. while you're waiting for an answer (six months or more, TOR says) or build up enough funds in the interim to pay someone to take a look at the rest, it might be worth it.

 

Good luck!

M

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Yeah, what Marguerite said! :lol: To add my two cents—

 

You know, most places that allow unsolicited submissions (TOR for example) want the first 3 chapters. I have a few questions about this.

Could I just pay to have the first three chapters edited?

 

As Marguerite points out, what will happen is if they like it, they will ask for the rest of the book. So I'd recommend that even if you have to get your novel edited in stages as funds permit, you eventually get the whole thing edited. One thing to consider is specifically looking for an editor for the first three chapters, but a proofreader for the rest. At least with Cengage, proofreaders are cheaper than editors. You'd still need to do what Marguerite suggests, and apply yourself all the content suggestions that the editor makes to the whole book.

 

Do they have to be the first three? I think my novel is slower going at first then picks up speed after a few chapters.

 

It needs to be the first three. But don't let that discourage you! Nearly all novels start slower. :) You can be sure that the assistant who reads your chapters will read with that in mind—she (it's nearly always a she) will want it to be engaging, but it will be read with an expectation that whatever the "tempo" of the first chapters, it will pick up. I personally find novels that start with a bang and then slow to a crawl and bog down in later chapters a real effort to slog through.

 

Take care,

Orren

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TAS, here is one alternative to an editor that you may wish to check out: Robert Ray, The Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel. It's just a few months old and costs less than $12 at Amazon.com (about 30 minutes of a commercial book editor's time!).

 

I haven't read it yet, although I have it on order. I do know that the author has reaped much praise, including from our own Steve, for his first book, The Weekend Novelist. So maybe it will give you some hints on how to proceed while you amass sufficient cash to hire a professional. At the very least, it should help you avoid rookie mistakes, if you have any. And unlike so many writing books on the market, it is explicitly tailored to novels, not screenplays.

Best,

M

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Those look like very interesting books. I have added them to my wish list. Thanks for the recommendation M (albeit meant for TAS :))

 

-Jools

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