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Thread: Editing/proofreading

  1. #1


    Hello everyone! I was wondering how & where you find your editor/proofreader.

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    Hello meegads & everyone,

    Iím just wondering ...at what point do you look for an editor/proofreader or do you try to do it yourself ?


  3. #3
    Ideally, you need a good few beta reads first! Then if you're not going the trade route, where an editor comes as standard (or should at least), then you need to do your research.

    You need to know your genre and target audience. It's no good taking a fishing manual to a sci-fi YA editor. You also get what you pay for. There are editors out there who'll say they're professional and they'll do it for half of the price. Most times they'll have only handled a handful of scripts, and they'll do more damage than good.

    I've been a contract editor with a publisher for over 8 years now, and have only recently gone freelance. I've edited nearly 400 epic novels, novels, novellas, and anthologies. But I have my own editing comfort zones: I only edit crime and suspense, mm romance at that. If you write horror, I wouldn't be what you're after and always be wary of an editor who say it's not their speciality but they'll take you on anyway. It's usually not a good sign.

    So -- get an editor in your genre, who specializes in what you do. Check out their website, see who's on their client list. Look at their testimonials page. Check out their work on Amazon etc and see what readers are saying about it. Do they complain about the editing? Use the Look Inside option and read the sample. If you see glaring mistakes, avoid.

    Talk to other authors in your genre and see who they recommend.

  4. #4
    Thanks so much Aquilo for your thorough answer. You mentioned some very interesting points to note. I shouldíve mentioned that Iím not an author myself though but you helped me understand some key things

    Iím creating a project where I match editors like you with book writers & Iím at the research stage.

    I want to understand the frustrations & problems that book writers face in regards to editing their work.

    You mentioned already a couple of points. From your experience what other problems and frustrations do they face?

    Thanks so much Aquilo
    Last edited by Carl75; May 13th, 2019 at 03:53 PM.

  5. #5
    I think one major issue is that authors don't know what type of editor they need, and it's a catch 22 situation: they won't really understand the difference between the edits until they've been through it. Or most authors think they've checked the novel well enough, and it only needs a proofread, bypassing the major stage of edits at content and copy/edit level. This industry doesn't help with offering synonymous titles for the same level of edit (e.g., one's content edit is another's structural edit).

    There are very few authors I've worked with who only need a basic proof to bring their work up to scratch with house style etc. In fact, I can name two only. The rest have needed an in-depth content edit, followed by a copy edit.

    There's a way around this, and that's to take full advantage of the samples that editors offer to do. Most will ask the author to submit X amount of words and they'll edit it for you to give you a sense of what they do. With this, an author is well within their rights to test out a number of editors like this before they decide which editor to work with. So -- try before you buy!! Always.

    But it's like with everything else: research what the different editors do, ask other authors about their experience with editors, check on the editor's website to see exactly what the editor does. E.g., on mine, it lists this:

    Content Edit

    From date of receipt, a main content edit is given a fourteen-day timeframe. During this time, a script will have two reads. On the return of 1st edits, the author will receive the main script with:

    1) Comments / recommendations on script
    2) A Macro File that covers the key structural points of content edit discussion

    Content edits focus on:
    1 Character consistency
    2 Structure: pace, plot, atmosphere (scene deletion / scene addition)
    3 Voice
    4 Tension
    5 World-building
    6 Genre definition
    7 Point of View
    8 Relationship development
    9 Show and Tell, including:

    Copula Be Usage

    Action carrying the dialogue
    And then this:

    Copy Edit
    If copy edits are requested, the author will receive the main script with comments, plus a Micro File that shows recommendations on a copy edit level. Copy edits are intricate and focus from word-choice level and up. They focus on the following:

    1 Minor content issues: plot inconsistency, continuity, pace, etc

    2 Copyright material

    Product / artist trademark
    4 Genre guidelines on law requirement (e.g.,
    sexual content of eighteen years plus)
    5 Format consistency: cover to back page
    6 Voice / character / plot consistency

    7 Repetition: close and overall
    8 Show and Tell (at sentence level and more refined)
    9 Grammar
    10 Syntax

    11 Punctuation

    With the return of copy edits, the author will receive the main script with comments, plus a Micro File that shows recommendations on a copy edit level.
    With both content and copy edits, any and all recommendations that are mentioned on script and in the Macro/Micro File author notes are there for guidance and discussion: they are not law. You can discard anything you do not agree with. However it is recommended that you leave Track Changes on in Word and provide a comment next to any suggestions that you do wish to reject.

    No editor should make changes to your script without Track Changes on, and their style should never compromise author style.
    But as a final note, it also says this:

    If proofing is needed, it is recommended that an author seek a professional proof reader as Jack focuses on content and copy edits.
    So the author knows what I will do and what I won't. Then on my cover page, it says exactly what genre I edit; most editor websites should do this.

    At the end of the day, it's the author spending his money, and he needs to be as smart as he would be over purchasing something else: research, and always try before you buy.

  6. #6
    Thanks so much for your thorough answer Aquilo. Iíve learned a few things.



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