Indie Pitfalls

cautionLast week, we focused on identifying and avoiding scams. That’s really just the beginning point. Outright scams are a little easier to avoid than many of the other pitfalls awaiting indies. While most of these other considerations are not necessarily categorized as predation, they can be calamities nonetheless.

As you probably know, there is a lot more involved with being an indie author than just writing your book. Those other necessary steps, including editing, formatting, cover design, and marketing may fall well outside your wheelhouse. There are plenty of people selling those services, but you have to be careful. You do not always get what you pay for.

DO NOT BUY ANY OF THESE SERVICES FROM A PUBLISHER. Legitimate publishers do not charge authors for editing, formatting, cover design, and marketing. Continue reading “Indie Pitfalls”

How to Hire an Editor, Part 2: Ask Questions

iStock_000016462169XSmallIn Part 1, we reviewed the different types of editing so you can determine what you need and therefore, what kind of editor to seek out. Now that you have a few names, start a conversation.

Where to even begin?

This is why it’s so important (if at all possible) to have an idea of what kind of editing you need. What you’re calling “editing” might not be the same thing your potential editor is pricing you on. It’s your book and your money, so you would do well to know what you’re getting into. Continue reading “How to Hire an Editor, Part 2: Ask Questions”

How to Hire an Editor, Part 1: Know What You Need

file000349823764Recently, we asked if you had any questions. The answers, in order, are: yes, but only if the light bulb wants to change; it depends on the phase of the moon; wait until Rich Meyer finishes feeding his cats; we’ll never reveal the secret gruel recipe; because it’s there; and yes, Chris James looks even more handsome in person than he does on the Internet.

Meanwhile, commenter Wendy asked, “Where do I start looking for a good reasonable editor? I know those two words don’t usually go together but I will need an editor soon and don’t have a lot of money to do it with. I know I can’t edit my own work because of the brain auto filling. Need fresh eyes. Any suggestions?” Continue reading “How to Hire an Editor, Part 1: Know What You Need”

The Editor’s Fedora (Part 2 of 2)

Guest post
by David Antrobus

[This is part 2 of a 2 part post. See part one here.]

Now we arrive at the crucial topic of cost, and the seemingly arbitrary variations in same. Some editors are so brilliant that they really can and do charge top dollar. I know someone who can quote $5,000 for editing an 80,000-word manuscript. Before you gag on that, two things: at that rarefied level, it’s an incredibly skilled and precise and comprehensive service that almost literally dots every I and crosses every T. Each word is examined, plus the context of the words amid the whole. Each punctuation mark is carefully considered. For example, did you know that Microsoft Word will turn smart quotes the wrong way if you type them after an em-dash (something that’s quite common in dialogue)? A good editor/proofreader will catch every instance and flip them back the right way. Same with the single quote you get when you type an apostrophe at the beginning of a word, as in ’80s. Or double spaces between sentences. Consistent indents. Catching homophones. POV shifts. There are myriad ways in which a good editor’s eagle eye is essential. Done well, it truly is the greatest hybrid of art and science. But the writer’s job at this point is simply to ensure that prospective editors are as good as they claim. Feel free to test them. Send them a sample rife with errors and see if they catch them all. If they miss a couple, that’s not disastrous—no one catches 100 percent—but if they catch only half or two-thirds, politely move on. Continue reading “The Editor’s Fedora (Part 2 of 2)”